Punk Rocker Faces Prison in Cuba
I haven't blogged for a while because I've been focusing on other issues. But this one can't be ignored. Cuban punk rocker Gorki Aguila -- imagine The Clash transplanted in Havana circa 2008 -- is going on trial Friday in Havana for "pre-crime dangerousness." Echoing what Frances Robles wrote in this article, it's a critical test on tolerance for Raul Castro's rule. Will Cuba's new president continue the island's decades-long practice of imprisoning artists that challenge the government, or is a new era of civil liberties dawning on the island?
Convicting Aguila might sweep an unwanted nuisance under the rug for the Cuban government, but it might also unleash an underground cause for his freedom and identify a martyr for Cuba's youth. With the power of the internet, Aguila is no longer an obscure garage-band rebel. He is becoming an international icon that may resonate with people as far away as Eastern Europe, whose own underground rock movement helped usher in glasnost and perestroika in the late 1980s.
Aguila, who is non-political, would essentially be convicted for singing "No comas tanta p-----a, Comandante," which translates into, well...use your imagination or ask a Spanish speaking buddy. Here's Porno Para Ricardo's YouTube video. WARNING: Not for the overly sensitive or faint of heart: