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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Free Gorki: State Security arrests Cuban musician on 21st anniversary of Cuban uprising

"They violate all your rights one after another: the right to march peacefully, to freedom of expression, right to travel, arbitrary arrest. It is incredible all that they do in just one arrest." -
Gorki Aguila, following his release on August 5, 2015

Today marks 21 years since the August 5, 1994 uprising in Cuba that became known as "El Maleconazo." At around 12 noon today, August 5, 2015, Cuban punk rock musician Gorki Aguila was taken from his home by the police. Gorki has spent time in prison in Cuba for his songs dissenting with the dictatorship and been threatened with another political show trial on more than one occasion. He has also stood in solidarity with imprisoned Cuban artists such as El Sexto and with Cuba's Ladies in White.

Three years ago he wrote a song in memory of the August 5th freedom uprising that is embedded above. Cuba is a totalitarian police state without an independent judiciary. The best way to help Gorki is to make his plight known as quickly as possible. Back in early 2014 when facing another miscarriage of justice he spoke out and with international solidarity was able to remain in freedom. Reproduced below is his call for solidarity. in February of 2014 that remains relevant now:
Hello, my name is Gorki Águila I’m the leader of the band Porno para Ricardo, I’m an artist and I’m a musician. And I’m here to denounce this new crime that the government of the Castros would like to do to me.

I’m an opponent to this unjust regime. Now the new thing that they want to do with me is a summary trial. Something that is a tremendous injustice. I don’t know if you know this but summary trials have always been held in totalitarian governments. They are characterized, among other things, by not giving access to the defense to the case files of the prosecution. 

This means that the defense will not be able to prepare itself correctly and that they will be able to do with you whatever they want.

This is why I am appealing to solidarity from all of you so that you will help us once more with this new crime by the Cuban government, before this new injustice, to unite and make this visible in the media. 

To denounce it and to use it to support also other persons, who like me, are engaged in resistance to this regime.

I’m very grateful for the support. And I’m an optimistic guy and I believe that we will succeed if we join together before this situation.
Update: The good news is that Gorki was freed around 4:00pm and that international press picked up the story of his detention the same day. The bad news is that he has been threatened by Cuban officials that if he continues to support the Ladies in White on Sundays and attend opposition meetings at Gandhi Park he will no longer be allowed to travel outside of Cuba.

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