Gorki Aguila returns to Cuba.
MEXICO (AP) – After spending 11 months away from his native Cuba, the singer, Gorki Aguila, prepares to return today, but the uncertainty about his future in Cuba, where he has been charged with “social dangerousness,” casts a troublesome shadow.
The bandleader of Porno Para Ricardo, a band that distinguishes itself by producing songs that criticize the ex-president Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, said that he was anxious to return to see his 13-year-old daughter and his friends, who have become his extended family.
“I was always afraid that, when I left, they would not let me return and it’s not something just in my imagination. They’ve done this to many people,” said Aguila on Tuesday in an interview with AP in the house of his agent in Mexico.
“That is my fear: that they have let me leave in order to not ever let me in again, using whatever pretext or even without a pretext at all,” he added, while he sipped on a small cup of Cuban coffee.
The 41-year-old singer will head to Cuba on a flight from Mexico City on Wednesday morning and should be arriving to the island around noon.
He is convinced that he will be under the scrutiny of the Cuban government, that is if he is not imprisoned immediately on his arrival.
On August 29th 2008, Aguila was sentenced to pay a fine of 600 Cuban pesos.
He was accused of “social dangerousness” but during the hearing a judge decided to reduce the charge to one of public disorder, based on the noise and annoyance the music his band was making supposedly caused the neighbours.
Previously, he served two years in prison and another two under “conditional liberty” for a charge related to drugs.
His arrival in Cuba this week coincides with the uproar caused by the recent death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, due to complications stemming from a hunger strike which he initiated in December to protest against his imprisonment, which he was subjected to since 2003. Four other Cubans are now on hunger strike.
“The death of Zapata was an assassination and it is very important to continue the media coverage that has been circulating around it. Let people know that in Cuba there are political prisoners that die for what they believe in,” affirms the musician, whom sported a black shirt with white letters that read (in English): ‘Che Guevara – international assassin, oppressor of Cuban people’ alongside the famous image of the guerilla behind a prohibited sign.
Regarding the other four who also decided to go on hunger strike he said he feels much admiration for them.
“What I have for them is a feeling of solidarity. I lived through prison. And truthfully I really don’t think it is effective to carry out a strike of that sort but I do respect it. I think it is a radical and brave decision. In prison, if you already feel the loneliness it is also very tough to add to this strong physical suffering as well,” he declared.
In his opinion, the goal is for each one of these protests, including his own through his music, to be known internationally.
Meanwhile, Aguila intends to complete the construction of a small studio in Havana where he would be able to record, with better quality, new songs with his punk rock group.
“It is going to be very important. It is at a stage now that is going to change our musical production because it is going to give us lots of autonomy… and it’s not only going to benefit us, but other musicians who do not wish to abide by the system in Cuba as well,” he assured.
He is also planning to record an album with new versions of some of his band’s songs from their five previous albums, which includes such titles as “Rock for the Masses,” “I don’t Like Politics but I Like its Company,” “I’m Porn I’m Popular,” and “Faded Red CD.”
His hope is that more people can listen to his music, which he believes could reach the masses despite the strident character of punk music.
“Punk, to me, is a concept, a style of assuming and creating more than just a music genre which was born, like DaDa-ism, to break from the styles that reigned until that moment and has served to influence many people,” he argues.
Even though the Cuban radio stations do not play any of his songs he doesn’t care.
“I have hope,” he expressed. “If I wasn’t an optimist I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
Translated by: Raul G., Araby