Cuban Punks Arrested on Charge of Possessing "Instruments of Dubious Origin"


From Saturday's Christian Science Monitor, another amazingly stupid sentence about the fetid dictatorship in Cuba: "Never forced to fret over college funds and health-care copays or contend with gaping divides between rich and poor, they've never faced the dramas of market-driven economies. Like most Cubans, they've earned little in their lives–because they have needed little." Keep in mind that this is from a news story, not some slobbering Saul Landau op-ed.

This type of nonsense isn't really worth engaging (though, if you need a primer on the grotesque and cruel Cuban regime, I have engaged it previously here, here, and here), but while the Christian Science Monitor is telling readers that it hardly matters that Cubans have little material wealth because they "need little" (and that there isn't an awful divide between rich and poor, because everybody is poor!), the Castro brothers are still busy arresting and harassing those who find "the dramas" of free speech and a market-driven economy worth exploring.

According to the their unofficial Facebook page, members of the Cuban punk band Porno Para Ricardo were arrested again last week for "carrying instruments of dubious origin."   

The members of Porno Para Ricardo were arrested on Friday, when traveling toward the home of Silvio Benítez (Liberal Party President of the Republic of Cuba) in Punta Brava, to go and leave some of the instruments they were going to use for the concert "I love my CDR. " This concert was scheduled to kick off the tour of the same name.

Ciro Diaz (guitar), Hebert Dominguez (bass) and Claudio Fuentes photographer were taken to the 5th Station of Playa and Gorki Águila (vocals) and William Retureta were taken to the station of Siboney. All were handcuffed and taken in patrol cars to police stations where they were accused of "carrying instruments of dubious origin."

And an update:

After the arrests suffered by the members of Porno Para Ricardo on Friday, November 26, Gorki Águila (singer and guitarist) was requested to appear on Saturday afternoon at the immigration office for questioning about his music, the concert in Punta Brava and an interview he recently gave to Radio Martí, the questioning was intended to intimidate him with refusing to allow him to leave the country, where the group is in the midst of the process to attend a cultural event in Los Angeles, which will be attended by Lech Walesa and Patty Smith.

I interviewed Gorki on a recent trip to America—he was allowed to leave temporarily, though if he didn't return at the scheduled time, the government would revoke his citizenship. In other words, he would be permanently separated from his wife, children, family, and bandmates. American and British punk rock kids raged against the oppression of Ronnie Raygun and Maggie Thatcher—remember Rock Against Reagan and Red Wedge?—because it's best to rage against an oppressor that doesn't oppress, to be a dissident when dissent doesn't mean spending months in a rat-infested jail cell. Billy Bragg started Red Wedge to protest the evils of Thatcherism, and a year later traveled to East Germany to perform at the communist dictatorship's Rote Liederfest (Red Song Festival). So if you are still confused, this is what real dissent looks like: