President Maduro’s cancellation of conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s tour is a clear bid to weaponise the country’s greatest export, its musical education programme

In the music business, the occasional tour cancellation is almost a way of life. Lack of money, indisposed artists, terror attacks, ash clouds and much more can easily cause the best laid plans to crumble. But on Monday came something exceptional as the media reported that Venezuela’s most celebrated orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela, had had its forthcoming US tour cancelled by the office of the president of Venezuela.

Related: Gustavo Dudamel attacks Venezuelan president Maduro: ‘Enough is enough’

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