Saturday, September 19, 2009
Gorki Aguila En La Florida
Cuban dissident punk rocker Gorki Aguila visits US
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AP – Cuban punk rock musician Gorki Aguila smiles during a news conference in Miami on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009. …
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By LAURA WIDES-MUNOZ, AP Hispanic Affairs Writer – Sat Sep 19, 4:21 am ET
MIAMI – Cuban dissident punk rocker Gorki Aguila is in the U.S. for 15 days to promote his new CD, but he's not sure if he'll be able to return home because of his sharp criticism of the Cuban government.
"I'm scared," said Aguila, who has repeatedly been arrested there.
"But I have to do this. This is the path I've chosen," Aguila told reporters in Miami on Friday as he began a tour to promote "The Faded Red Album" — a dig at the Cuban government's communist ideology.
The lead singer of Porno para Ricardo, or Porn for Ricardo, has a small but dedicated following on the island but is better known outside the country for his sexually explicit and irreverent criticism of Fidel Castro and his brother, Cuban President Raul Castro. One of the group's albums features the traditional communist hammer and sickle symbol, with a phallus replacing the hammer.
On Friday, Aguila dressed in jeans and a self-designed red T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase: "59: The year of the Error," a nod to the 1959 Cuban Revolution.
"I want to return," he said. "I have my projects in Cuba, and more importantly, I have my daughter," he said, adding that he would hold the Cuban government responsible if he is denied re-entry.
His U.S. visit is sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group Global Cuba Solidarity Movement, an umbrella group for roughly 20 organizations in the U.S. and Eastern Europe. Some of the U.S. groups receive federal funding but not all.
Aguila's tour coincides with a massive international peace concert Colombian singer Juanes has organized in Cuba on Sunday. Juanes requested Aguila's group to play, but the group has been banned from public performances and from Cuba's airwaves.
"I do believe in Juanes' good intentions. I just think his intentions are very naive," Aguila said.
He said it was hard to believe the concert won't be political when it will be held under a massive likeness of Cuban revolutionary icon Che Guevara.
"It's time to call things by name. The bad in our country has a name: It's called Fidel Castro. It's called Raul Castro," he said.
Aguila was first arrested in Cuba in 2003 on drug charges he says were politically motivated. On Friday, he recalled how two months before his arrest, a government official came to his house and demanded he sign a paper rejecting his previous anti-government statements, as well as change the name of the band.
Aguila declined and spent more than two years in prison. He said his band's name is a counterpoint to the Cuban mantra of "Country or Death." Aguila said porn is about pleasure and life, and Ricardo celebrates an individual, rather than the masses.
Aguila was arrested a second time in 2008 for "social dangerousness," a vague charge often used against dissidents. He credits international solidarity groups such as Amnesty International for pressuring the government to release him within days.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social dangerousness or Pre-criminal danger to society is a legal charge under Cuban law which allows the authorities to detain people whom they think they are likely to commit crimes. The charge carries a penalty of up to four years in prison. The Cuban government has been accused by Amnesty International of using the charge almost exclusively against critics of the government.
People that have been imprisoned under this charge include:
José Oscar Sánchez Madan, sentenced to four years in prison
Guillermo Espinosa Rodríguez, sentenced to two years of house arrest
In 2008, the punk rock singer and dissident Gorki Águila was arrested by police on a charge of social dangerousness. He was eventually ordered to pay a $30 fine for the lesser offence of public disorder, after prosecutors dropped the charge of social dangerousness.