14ymedio, Havana, 8 March 2020 — The musician Gorki Águila received a fine of 2,000 pesos on Friday along with the threat of the fine being repeated whenever he posts criticism against government leaders on Facebook, such as mentioning the Cambio de Bola (Ball Change) program of Estado de Sats (State of Sats), a discussion group.
“For each Cambio de Bola, a 2,000 pesos fine,” he was told in reference to that space he shares with Claudio Fuentes and Antonio Rodiles.
Águila, leader of the band Porno para Ricardo, said he received a citation on Friday to attend an interrogation at a police station and was forced to undress before entering.
“Very afraid of a camera or some device that recorded their rights-violating threats, they stripped me looking for devices and even took my the glasses,” said the musician.
According to his testimony, the officers spoke to him in a threatening tone: “impunity is over for you” and “enough with the talking trash about the leaders of this country,” they said. They also warned him that they could prohibit him from leaving the country, a measure that the authorities use arbitrarily and more and more frequently against anti-establishment artists, independent journalists, opponents and human rights activists.
“I don’t know if the 2,000 pesos of fine are for ’trash talking’ about the tyrants of this country for allegedly spreading undue ’enemy’ propaganda or for the crime of using Facebook live. Communism is a paranormal phenomenon,” said Gorki Águila.
He summarized his concern with an allusion to the repression of April 2003 — which came to be called “the Black Spring” — when 75 opponents and independent journalists were arrested and sentenced to long sentences: “Spring came and its black flowers opened.”
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