“If You March this Sunday, You Won’t Leave the Country Again” / Cubanet, Camilo Ernesto Olivera

Gorki during a prior arrest in August 2008

Gorki during a prior arrest in August 2008

Ultimatum from the political police to musician Goki Aguila, participant in the peaceful marches of the Ladies in White.

cubanet square logoCubanet.org, Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro, Havana, 6 August 2015 – Tuesday, August 4, Gorki Aguila, leader of the punk band Porno for Ricardo, was visited at his home by an official from the PNR Sector (Revolutionary National Police). She tried, without success, to get Aguila to accept a badly drafted and irregular summons.

After that visit, on Wednesday at about midday, Gorki heard a knock on his apartment door. On opening, he found two police officers who were bringing orders to arrest him:

“I barely had time to make a couple of calls,” says the musician and host of the offline radio program Gear Shift. “Then, while I was being taken to the patrol car, I asked the agents the reason for the arrest. They did not know how to answer me.” Continue reading

Police Warn Gorki Aguila He Will Not Leave Cuba If He Continues His Activism / 14ymedio

The musician Gorki Águila, leader of Porno para Ricardo. (EFE)

The musician Gorki Águila, leader of Porno para Ricardo. (EFE)

14ymedio, Havana, 5 August 2015 – After several hours of being detained by the police, the musician Gorki Águila was released at around four in the afternoon on Wednesday. During his arrest he was taken to the Fifth Station in the Havana municipality of Playa where an official warned him that he would not leave Cuba again if he continued attending the Sunday marches of the Ladies in White, according to what Gorki told 14ymedio in a telephone conversation.

The rocker and leader of the band Porno para Ricardo detailed that they warned him that his arrest would be brief, but if he continued to pursue his activism, “Those who invite you to visit other countries will have to come looking for you in boat.”

Hours earlier, his daughter Gabriele had denounced that, “Yesterday at noon they brought a police citation, which he received but he refused to sign it because he didn’t know the reason behind it.” The police agents were looking for the rocker for a couple of hours today at noon; a call to the phone number 18806 — through which one can ask for information about any citizen detained — which did not reveal his whereabouts nor the reason for his arrest.

The last time the musician Gorki Águila slept in a cell was at the end of May, when he was arrested outside Havana’s Museum of Fine Arts for carrying a sign with the image of the graffiti artist El Sexto, with the word “freedom.” This Wednesday history was about to repeat itself.

 

They Arrest Gorki Aguila, Leader of the Rock Band Porno Para Ricardo / Cubanet, Camilo Ernesto Olivera

Gorki Aguila, file photo

Gorki Aguila, file photo

Cubanet.org, Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro, Havana, 5 August 2015 – Around noon Wednesday, musician Gorki Aguila was arrested, and his whereabouts are unknown.

The vocalist for the rock band Porno para Ricardo managed to communicate via telephone with this reporter just when two police officers presented themselves at the door of his home in order to take him. They did not explain the reason for his arrest or identify the place where they would take him.

Days earlier, law enforcement officers had approached Gorki Aguila’s house in order to bring him a police summons. Given apparent irregularities in the preparation of the document, the artist refused to sign it.

This arrest occurs within a few days of the arrival of the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to Havana for the inauguration of the American Embassy.

Translated by MLK

About 70 Ladies in White and Activists Arrested Sunday / 14ymedio

The Ladies in White in Gandhi Park on a previous Sunday

The Ladies in White in Gandhi Park on a previous Sunday (Americateve)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 19 July 2015 — This Sunday has led to the arrest of forty Ladies in White and thirty activists, at the conclusion of their usual march on 5th Avenue in the Havana neighborhood of Miramar.

After Mass in the church of Santa Rita, the Ladies in White gathered together with several activists in Gandhi park. There, from the speakers of a car, was heard a composition by the rocker Gorki Aguila, that pays tribute to these women and their human rights movement.

Gorki Aguila told 14ymedio  the song that just premiered, was produced in the studios of La Paja Records, managed by the group Porno for Ricardo. In addition to the melody of a cello, the musical theme includes strings, guitar, bass, drums and a solo by Aguila himself.

According to the artist “the intention was to give to the Ladies another song, to encourage other artists to make artworks to them, they deserve it.”

The renowned musician was taken to the so-called Vivac de Calabazar prison with Jorge Moya, Jorge Luis Antunez, Claudio Fuentes, Egberto Escobedo and Antonio Gonzalez Rodiles, among others. The women may have been transferred to a detention center in Tarara, east of Havana, where they are routinely detained.

More than 70 Ladies in White and Activists Arrested / Diario de Cuba

Ladies in White in front of Santa Rita Church on a previous Sunday (fhrcuba)

Ladies in White in front of Santa Rita Church on a previous Sunday (fhrcuba)

Diario de Cuba, Havana, 7 June 2015 – Over 40 Ladies in White and some 27 activists were arrested this Sunday, the ninth of repressive operations in Havana, according to dissidents.

Among those arrested were the musician Gorki Aguila, the director of Estado de Sats, Antonio Rodiles, photographer Claudio Fuentes and artist Tania Bruguera, who has already been released, according to the activist Ailer Gonzalez.

Other Ladies in White and opponents were arrested on leaving their homes, or forced to remain in them, according to the dissident Martha Beatriz Roque. Continue reading

Gorki Aguila Arrested in Front of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana / Diario de Cuba

"This too shall pass"

“This too shall pass” (Danilo’s artwork from prison)

diariodecubalogoDiario de Cuba, Havana, 24 May 2015 – The musician Gorki Águila, leader of the band Porno para Ricardo, was arrested by State Security agents on Saturday night in front of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana.

Gorki Aguila

Gorki Aguila

Águila went to hold up a sign on the outside wall of the museum with the word “Libertad” (Freedom) and the image of the graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, known as El Sexto, imprisoned since last 25 December, when he allegedly went to Havana’s Central Park with two piglets named “Fidel” and “Raúl,” to stage a performance.

After Águila’s action, recognized repressors from State Security’s Section 21, posted in the area, approached the musician and forced him into a car. Meanwhile, Águila shouted demands for “Freedom for Danilo!”

The repressors were in the area because of the inauguration of a show that presumably was going to be attended by the artist Tania Bruguera, now retained on the Island without her passport because of an attempt to stage her performance Tatlin’s Whisper in the Plaza of the Revolution last 30 December.

This coming Wednesday, 27 May, the Oslo Freedom Forum, a principal world event dedicated to human rights, awarded El Sexto the Prize for Creative Dissidence.

Estado de Sats… for our Spanish-speaking viewers

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to translate and subtitle all the wonderful videos coming out of Estado de Sats and the Forum for Rights and Freedom, but for our many readers who do understand spoken Spanish, we just wanted to remind you they are there.

This particular video is a discussion of the Americas Summit in Panama.

The Estado de Sats YouTube channel is here.

29 April 2015

Post Summit Debate / 14ymedio

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14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 17 April 2105 – This Friday morning, the Forum for Rights and Freedoms convened a group of activists to a meeting under the title After the Summit in Panama, what next?  The event took place at the home of Antonio González Rodiles, director of the opposition group Estado de Sats.

About 70 attendees heard testimony from Berta Soler, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez, Gorki Águila, Roberto de Jesús Guerra and other activists who participated in the Civil Society Forum during the recently concluded Seventh Summit of the Americas in Panama.

The discussions addressed issues related to the restoration of relations between Cuba and the United States and on the actions taken by the representatives of civil society sent to Panama by the Cuban government.

#FreeGorki – The Gorki Aguila Case / Lia Villares

Gorki Águila. (CLAUDIO FUENTES)

The trial schedules for this Tuesday against Gorki Águila, leader of the punk rock band Porno para Ricardo, was postponed because of the health problems of his defense attorney, according to the musician himself on his Facebook page. Gorki spoke about the background of his case with Diario de Cuba.

 Gorki, what are they accusing you of?

The formal citation they gave me said the crimes of pre-criminal social dangerousness and illegal drug possession, with many points suspended.

Were you carrying drugs?

When they stopped me on the street and searched me and found two Tradea pills — methylphenidate — for which I have the appropriate prescription, signed and sealed, which are strong proof that they were bought legally. The police investigation has no evidence beyond those two pills.

Why are they accusing you?

The classic recourse of the government is to tie the “uncomfortable” individual to some prefabricated crime. In my case they didn’t ahve much more and I thought it unlikely that they’d convict me, if it was a free trial, for the (completely legal) possession of two tables of a medication that I need, according to a doctor’s prescription.

What’s your impression of this new trial and now the suspension of it?

It has the same characteristics of the 2008 trial, the same intentions, because a despotic government like ours never renounces the idea of silencing protestors like me by constant threats of prison, whether we are artists, activists, journalists or simply citizens. Continue reading

Gorki Aguila in the Dock of the Accused / Angel Santiesteban

A drop of rain won’t make the swimming pool overflow; nor will a difference be apparent to those who see the little circles that widen when it falls, but this drop, although it appears to disappear, to dissolve among the rest, continues fighting to survive.

Unjustly, the first reason that has caused the musician Gorki to be accused of “illegal drug abuse,” according to what some independent journalists have told me, is that he belongs to a gang of rockers, which is sufficient to validate the accusation, without considering that he has epilepsy, backed by a clinical history from a doctor in Mexico–from where he recently returned from a concert tour–who prescribed him the psychotropic Tradea, which is similar to carbamasepina, as it is known in Cuba.

It is naive not to believe that it’s about a long-awaited revenge by the political police, who have been waiting for the chance to imprison him for the lyrics of his songs where he “offends” the Castro brothers and the totalitarian regime.

The painful thing is that some of the “naive” cast doubt on the idea that State Security is on the hunt for the leader of a punk rock bank who previously has suffered two legal processes, one of which sent him to prison due to a trap set by the dictatorships henchmen, and the other one of which failed to imprison him because of the international solidarity that ended his arrest, and these same doubters question Gorki’s innocence. Too much innocence for a single soul!

I know very well the case against the artist, because in my case a similar infamy was constructed. I remember that shortly before entering prison, I participated in a free art exhibition at Gorki’s house, where I told him to be careful or he would be coming to keep me company in jail.

Hopefully I was wrong, and the evidence presented by the attorney Amelia Rodríguez Cala will be enough to invalidate the process, which didn’t happen in my case, although they weren’t able to present a single piece of evidence that showed I participated in the alleged acts.

Gorki Aguila, I’m with you with my solidarity and my prayers.

Ángel Santiesteban Prats

Lawton Prison Settlement, February 2014

We invite you to support Gorki by signing the petition:

Free Gorki Águila of the absurd charges and set him free.

Sign this petition so that Amnesty International will declare Angel Santiesteban a prisoner of conscience.

6 February 2014

#Free Gorki : Gorki Aguila’s Trial Suspended / Joan Antoni Guerrero Vall

gorkiindexMusician Gorki Águila announced today this his trial scheduled for this Tuesday was suspented “due to reasons of health” of his attorney.

The leader of the band Porno para Ricardo said that “at no time” did her receive “official notification.” Because of this, he said, he went to the “summary court of Marianao, at 100th and 33rd, to register my annoyance at this news,” and so that “they would have no possible argument to accuse me of not appearing.”

Also, the musician asked the people who are now raising a campaign for him on the social networks “not to abandon the denunciation” given that the authorities assert that “they will take full advantage of this pause to attack after impunity.”

Águila is the Cuban musician most critical of the regime living in Cuba with a major international presence.

From the blog of Joan Antoni Guerro Vall

11 February 2014