“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.”

The patrol car took the route towards the well known Fifth Station in Playa township.

Kafka, in STASI version, according to State Security

“On arriving and being taken to the jail, I insisted that they explain why I was there. Then, the guard in charge of that area found out and told me: ‘You are here for an interview with CI (Counter-Intelligence).’ The other guards looked at me as if I were the most sought after criminal in Cuba. They said: ‘If CI summoned you, it is because they have something heavy against you.’ No one wanted to accept that I could be a prisoner just for thinking or acting politically differently.”

After more than two hours, Gorki was taken to an office inside the station itself. There he had a meeting with an officer from State Security who did not identify himself. This one, in a hectoring tone, threatened the musician:

“The agent told me: ‘If you go this next Sunday to the Ladies in White, you will never leave this country again. Those who have invited you to play in the United States are going to have to get you on a raft. I am personally going to make sure you are not able to leave from the airport.’”

Gorki thinks that “these officers are sick with impunity. They really believe that this system is going to last forever. Their bosses make them think that. We are all buried in a blend of the films ‘The Lives of Others’ and Kafka’s story ‘The Process,’” added the musician.

Gorki in his studio. (Photo by author)
Gorki in his studio. (Photo by author)

Porno Para Ricardo, the Ladies in White, Kerry and the Pope

The band Porno Para Ricardo is scheduled to travel to the US to join a tour. On prior occasions, the group’s musicians were held on the island by express order of Cuban security. Gorki has had to travel via Mexico and turn to session musicians hired by the sponsors in order to be able to perform.

“There are two important visits coming up which have these repressors very nervous. One of these is the American Secretary of State John Kerry. The other is Pope Francis in September. I don’t doubt that they are gearing up for a flash wave of repression. They will do it, as soon as they have the American flag waving at the embassy across from the Malecon,” he says.

At the beginning of July, Gorki Aguila debuted his theme entitled “Ladies in White” in Gandhi Park, near the Santa Rita Church. He did it surrounded by the respect and emotion of these brave women and the activist members of the Forum for Rights and Freedoms. A little latter, everyone marched in defiance of repression. They have continued to do so. They will do it again next Sunday.

About the Author: Camilo Ernesto Olivera Peidro

Translated by Mary Lou Keel