Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Why Castro Sucks, Reason #1,169

This happened in August but I only learned about a couple of days ago. When the mis-named Pastors for Peace come through your town on their propaganda tour for a dictator, represser of labor rights, presecutor of gays, enemy of democracy, I suggest you organize a punk rock concert for Gorki Aguila.

From The Daily Telegraph

Cuban rocker Gorki Aguila on trial for 'social dangerousness'

A Cuban punk rocker is being charged with "social dangerousness" because his songs denounce the communist government.

Gorki Aguila, lead singer of Porno para Ricardo, has been in police custody since Monday.

He is due to appear at the Playa municipal court in western Havana charged with subverting "communist morality."

Should he be convicted, he faces up to four years in prison for openly defying the revolution and poking fun at Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, who became Cuba's president in February.

Police arrested 39-year-old Aguila at his home where he was putting the finishing touches to a new album which was provisionally called Geriatric Central Committee, a reference to the ageing Castro regime.

His arrest has sparked protests from artists and human rights groups with supporters due to assemble at Havana's Malecon promenade to protest.

The government often applies the "social dangerousness" charge in cases of public drunkenness or as a way to keep large groups of unemployed Cubans - or those simply skipping work - from congregating on city streets during business hours.

Porna para Ricardo, formed 10 years ago, are banned from official airwaves, and make up part of an underground music movement.

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, an illegal but tolerated group, said in a statement: "Gorki Aguila has not committed any specific crime as defined by the current criminal code."

The rock star has asked for "diplomatic observers" to attend the trial but refused legal help from US-based Cuban American National Foundation.

Ciro Diaz, the band's guitarist, said: "These kind of trials are very biased. It's difficult for someone to be absolved.

"A lawyer can do very little because there's no evidence of criminal activity presented, only what the police say."

Fortunately, Gorki was found innocent of the most serious charges.

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