Cuban Punk Rocker Gorki Aguila on Music, Life and Getting Led Zeppelin Records in Cuba

The trial of the Russian feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot does not seem to be going well for the Kremlin. As we learned during an interview with Cuban frontman Gorki Águila, punk musicians don't take well to authoritative regimes.

Here is the original text from the October 13, 2009 video:

Gorki Águila is blunt in his assessment of Fidel Castro's half century of revolution: "Communism is a failure. A total failure. Please, leftists of the world-improve your capitalism! Don't choose communism!" Águila, a Havana resident, wears homemade anti-government t-shirts, frequently denounces the Castro brothers as geriatric tyrants, and heads up perhaps Cuba's only explicitly political punk band, Porno Para Ricardo. And because of his stubborn belief in free speech, he is routinely arrested on charges of "social dangerousness." Tired of his anti-regime music, Cuban authorities made the rare decision to grantt Águila a visa to travel abroad, perhaps hoping that he wouldn't return

In September,'s Michael C. Moynihan caught up with Águila on the Washington, D.C. leg of his American promotional tour to talk about his music, the origins of Porno Para Ricardo, and how long it takes to get Led Zeppelin records in a totalitarian society.

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Approximately 7 minutes. Shot by Meredith Bragg. Edited by Dan Hayes.

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    "Communism is a failure. A total failure. Please, leftists of the world-improve your capitalism! Don't choose communism!"


    Musicians in commie shitholes condemning communism and advocating capitalism; musicians and entire mass movements in post-industrial first-world capitalist superpowers condemning capitalism and advocating socialism.

    Why is the world such a fucked-up place?

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    Ask John Cougar Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen.

    The thing about Rage Against the Machine and other artists, of course they'r gonna get the rec carpet treatment and speak to all the "right" people thus ensuring they get a skewed, if not untrue, picture of Cuba.

    Regardless, they'll come back and wax poetic about it and will look like jackasses to people who really know better.

    I've been to Cuba. It's a shithole. The country, culture and people are beautiful, but as far as a nation-state goes, it's a shithole.

    Simple as that.

  • 2ndClassProle||

    Sure wish the interviewer asked Gorki his thoughts about Rage against the Machine playing a concert in Cuba.

  • JeremyR||

    I thought punk rock fans absolutely hated Led Zeppelin?

  • Voros McCracken||


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