Cuban Regime Sees a ‘Corrupt Plot’ to Favor ‘Patria y Vida’ at the Latin Grammys

From left to right, Descemer Bueno, Yotuel Romero, Randy Malcom and Alexander Delgado, in a moment of the video clip ’Patria y Vida’. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 21 October 2021 — The Government of Cuba persists in its sleepless nights for the song Patria y Vida [Homeland and Life], whose title became the motto of the protests of July 11 and which has almost nine million views since its premiere, just seven months ago.

The nomination of Patria y Vida for two Latin Grammy Awards, whose gala will be held in Miami on November 18, has reopened the regime’s wound, after the desperate and ineffective official “war of songs” unleashed against the Yotuel song. Romero, Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Castillo Osorbo and El Funky, soon became an anthem for change on the island.

And so, on Tuesday the State newspaper Granma newspaper denounced a “network of corruption” within the Grammy organization to “favor a counterrevolutionary song.”

For this, they cite “international media,” which turn out to be just an unknown Mexican websiteBendito Coraje [Blessed Courage]. The site disseminates content related to the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and is presented as a “page for the dissemination of news and content to dismantle fake news and the tantrums of the organic intellectuals of the old regime.”

According to the “investigation” of that medium, which is not signed, Gabriel Abaroa, who is identified as “former president emeritus and executive director” of the group that awards the Latin Grammy Awards (Latin Recording Academy or LARAS), “would have been bribed, for the amount of one million dollars” to favor Patria y Vida as song of the year.

In reality, Mexican Gabriel Abaroa left the executive leadership of LARAS last August and his current position at the Academy is president emeritus.

The Mexican website assures, without naming any source, that said “monetary delivery” to Abaroa “would be channeled through several offshore companies located in the Virgin Islands.”

“The offshore network that stands out in the journalistic investigation known as the Pandora Papers, reveals payments from Atlas Network, the company behind the financing and promotion on social networks of the song Patria y Vida,” the newspaper Granma reprints from the Bendito Coraje site, without adding a coda that the Mexican page does include: that the song “became the ’anthem’ of the protests against the Díaz-Canel government.”

“According to other publications and analysts,” says the official Cuban newspaper without specifying which, “it is sung” [thus, in quotation marks] that the Grammys “will raise the subject of times past as part of the total politicization of an artistic event subordinate to the interests of the extreme right of Miami and the United States Government.”

Granma refers to the song’s authors as “a group of reggaeton artists of Cuban origin living in the Florida peninsula, all subject to a diametric change of political discourse as an inescapable exchange card to be able to perform and earn money there.”

Regarding the subject itself, the newspaper considers that “it is a political construction that talks [sic] about a non-existent reality and country.”

Regarding the subject itself, the newspaper considers that “it is a political construction that talks [sic] about a non-existent reality and country.”

“If you put song of the year, all the nominees come out except Homeland and Life,” it explained in a video. Romero says that he complained to Google and the company told him that they are “receiving demands from Havana” that say that the nomination of that song for the awards is false.

Thus, the artist asks “all Cubans to write to Google telling them that we are nominated, that Patria y Vida is nominated, that although it hurts, we are nominated.” And he concludes his recording: “They may remove the song from Google, but they will never remove the song from the hearts of all Cubans.”


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.