Thursday, September 20, 2007

Parlez-vous Français?


Cuba: forbidden from the stages and threatened with prison, this rocker denounces the regime and the obstinate decision of the dictator to stay in power.
A solitary combat:
Gorki, 38, is the only opposition singer that has not left the island. In spite fidel castro's "absence", the regime does not relax its grip.
Gorki Aguila:
"Open your eyes: here, nobody supports castro"
"There are evil mechanisms that play with the fears of people"

Cuba "is apparently a paradise island where liberty and justice reign" ironizes this nose piercing sporting thirty something year old. "It's the contrary! When a head of State keeps power for eternity that's the first injustice, it violates the rights of millions of people!"
The leader of the band Porno Para Ricardo vilipendiates with pleasure that whom he calls el Coma Andante: "I will never sum myself to the crappy ideology of this country". He sais it in one of his songs over a melody saturated of electric guitars which reminds those of the Sex Pistols.... "I don't want to be the marionette of a blind king, I piss in his soup and whip him..... I don't want your damn future".... This is far from being the ballades of the Buena Vista Social cubla, but the offensive discourse is comedic in the manner of Gorki Aguila who translates what the Cuban youth (who trade his cd's under the table) do not dare to say.
"Open your eyes: here nobody supports castro, he's extremely unpopular. But there are vil mechanisms that play with the fears of people. For example, people has to go to those so called "marchas del pueblo combatiente" or "meetings de repudio", those demostrations in which somebody is harassed for hours, just because they want to avoid having problems..."
At the time of its inception in 1998 Porno para Ricardo didn't sing of politics right away. But by the Black Spring of 2003, when castro took advantage of the fact that the whole world media was focalized on the Iraq war to send "discreetly" to prison about 90 intellectuals, Gorki received a letter prompting him to change the name of the band and some of its lyrics. He send them packing. A few days later he was thrown in a high security prison, after a provocation in the yearly rock festival of Pinar del Rio. A female "fan" said that he had sold her an amphetamine pill, so without any tangible proof he was declared to be an "antisocial rocker" and thrown in jail for four years.
He was subject to a regime of semi-isolation, he shared with another prisoner a cell that was about 8 by 5 feet, without water and with very poor nutrition. He was allowed to see his family once every three months, and there was a horrid smell of blood and lard coming from the kitchen, so heavy that "one could not get to sleep".
Freed on probation by 2005, he has suffered some "spontaneous" reprisals indeed organized by the government.
The mobs screamed that he was a "delinquent, an antisocial".
After that, all the stages are declared off limits for him and the band.
Porno Para Ricardo does not even has the right to rehearse in a bedroom with egg-crate cladded walls in the small apartment Gorki shares with his father. He and his three musicians are forced to cut their records in underground studios.
"We have thought, naturally, of leaving the island", says the singer. "the air here is unbreathable, you cannot express yourself, one has to struggle every single day to find fot to eat or to transport yourself from one place to the next, we don't know till when we will be able to resist, but we do not want to leave Cuba".
Thus after being summoned to a police station on July 28 (2007) the Cuban rocker seriously fear for his freedom.
By Antoine Mira for the French magazine VSD (200 000 copies)