EFE (via 14ymedio), 29 September 2016 — The dissident and leader of the Cuban punk-rock band Porno para Ricardo, Gorki Águila, said in Miami on Thursday that the “plan” of the Cuban regime is “to mutate into a perfect tyranny” with an “image much more whitewashed before the world. ”
The government of “the Castros needs a lot of money, and they are taking good advantage of this situation,” Águila told EFE, speaking in reference to an economic opening to foreign investment on the island, at the end of a news conference at the Institute of Cuban Studies and Cuban Americans, at the University of Miami (UM).
The event was attended by Cuban dissidents, activists from exile and leaders and legislators of the Cuban-American community in Miami who expressed their commitment to the Todos por Cuba Libre/All for Free Cuba campaign, an initiative that will be presented this coming October 11 in Miami to demand “real change… toward freedom”
Águila, like other participants, bluntly criticized the widespread view in the United States that encouraging commercial investment on the island will support openings toward freedom and the restoration of the rights of Cubans.
“The Castro regime is a Mafioso regime and to place real confidence in them is impossible. Their whole lives they have lied and betrayed,” said the activist and musician who asked, skeptically, “How are you going to do business with the Castros and think that freedom is going to be possible at some point?”
He said that the current worsening of repression on the island is not only against dissidents, but also against the self-employed who have shown their discontent with the stifling of and restrictions on their activities by the authorities.
Referring to his own case as a musician and composer, Águila said he is “deeply censored” and watch by a coercive power that bans him from performing in Cuba. “To me, they say it very clearly: you are not going to play in this country,” he denounced.
“I can’t play or even practice in my own home. There is a surveillance camera on an electric pole aimed at my balcony. They have me under total surveillance and I don’t even remember my last attempt to play in Cuba,” he said indignantly.
Despite all these calamities, Águila was “optimistic” about the crucial historical change being pushed by Cubans, what the musician called a “Cuba with two shores.”
For his part, the regime opponent Antonio Gonzalez-Rodiles, director of the critical forum Estado de Sats (State of Sats) stressed the importance of galvanizing the fact that all Cubans are “fed up” with the system at a time when, he warned, the “regime is trying to effect a transfer of power.”
A “transfer” that, according to the press conference remarks of the ex-political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez – known as “Antúnez” – should be called “an intended dynastic succession” of a regime that has imposed a “single, criminal and genocidal blockade for sixty years” on Cuban society.
Antúnez, who is also national secretary of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, was very confident that the Todos por Cuba Libre/All for Free Cuba campaign will be a “great success and give fuel to those fighting for freedom.”
Claudio Fuentes, a dissident photographer from the Forum for Rights and Freedoms, expressed disappointment at the “voices” who express their enthusiasm for opening Cuba to foreign investment, as long as it is obvious that “without freedom there is no prosperity.”