August 27, 2008
An accusation and a response
As you can see from the post below we decided to throw a BUCL.org campaign together quickly to get the word out about Gorki's arrest and pending "trial" in Cuba. This was a gut reaction to what I saw in Ziva's post, in the CNN report and Maria Elvira's TV program in Miami last night. I received the email below late last night from a blogger that we used to be friendly with but now, not so much.
Subject: You are not autorized to ask for money on Porno Para Ricardo's behalf.
Date: August 27, 2008 2:06:40 AM EDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Porno Para Ricardo has not authorized you to ask for money on their behalf. You are free to ask for as much money as you want, but not on their behalf, since they never authorized you to do so.
I didn't authorize the use of my graphics on Babalu (Ziva's post) nor the use of my words (Ziva's post) or my audiovisuals (your post asking for "donations"). I don't want to give the impression that I am friendly with Babalu, because.... I am not. So, the same as I do not use any material remotely related to your blogging endeavors, leave mine alone, if that's not much to ask.
We -Charlie Bravo, Gorki, Porno Para Ricardo- are not by any slight chance or even by mistake associated with BUCL.
What follows is the official position of PORNO PARA RICARDO.
BUCL DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORIZATION OF PORNO PARA RICARDO TO ASK FOR MONEY TO ANYONE TO DO ANYTHING.
Porno Para Ricardo and Charlie Bravo do not have a thing to do with BUCL, and the only official campaign to liberate Gorki is being conducted at their website. We have not been approached by anyone in BUCL and we do not know anything about their campaign and what do they plan to do with the funds they hope to collect. We are collecting donations, but mainly we are selling records by Porno Para Ricardo in order to establish the Gorki Legal Defense Fund and to contribute to his family. I repeat, we didn't' solicit by any means that BUCL or anyone else would be part of our campaign the campaign is ONLY conducted by Porno Para Ricardo on their website.
To the dismay of the organizers of BUCL we are proud to announce that we already contacted the press in several countries, the governments of those countries and prominent artists and musicians all around, including FREE MUSE and the Nobel institute with our own resources without asking for a penny to anyone.
Thanks but no thanks.
And Google is your friend, look at the coverage that Gorki and Porno Para Ricardo have obtained without your campaigns.
By the way, why don't you ask for moral support and help to the Cuban American stars who are so silent about this? That would make for a good campaign for them to show a modicum of solidarity with their colleagues in Cuba.
Since you asked for money on the open, I will reserve my right to send this communication to whomever I see fit.
And now read my Spanish note for the lads:
Para mi sorpresa acabo de descubrir que hay un grupito aqui pidiendo dinero para liberar a Gorki. No para pagar abogados o para ayudar a su familia, no, se trada de "liberar" a Gorki con "comunicados de prensa" lo cual ya hicimos gratuitamente en diversos medios de comunicacion, desde la television de la ciudad donde radica este grupo, Miami, hasta otros medios en distintos lugares, como Mexico, España, USA, Canada, Brasil, Francia, e Italia, mas websites independientes y medios latinoamericanos.
Le he dicho que la unica campaña de donaciones se hace a traves del website, y que lo que preferimos es que la gente compre los discos en lugar de dar dinero sin obtener nada a cambio, aunque claro tambien las donaciones puras estan bienvenidas.
Aclaro que Porno Para Ricardo no tiene nada que ver con la "organizacion" de estas personas, ni ha pedido nada de ellos, ni ayuda ni dinero.
Al final les digo que si quieren ayudar, podrian pedir apoyo moral y ayuda a los artisas cubanos en el exilio que se mantienen tan calladitos.
This is my response:
Subject: Re: You are not autorized to ask for money on Porno Para Ricardo's behalf.
Date: August 27, 2008 8:46:07 AM EDT
Let me explain something very clearly to you. I became aware of Gorki's arrest through Ziva's post because I don't read your blogs. I was not aware of any relationship you have officially with Gorki. I, like everyone else who has bought Gorki's music in the past was disturbed about the arrest. That said, the regime has engaged in a scheme of catch and release lately and I thought that perhaps that's what this was.
Then I saw the CNN article by Morgan Neil that said he was going to stand trial on THURSDAY. This elevated the sense of urgency in my mind. Gorki wasn't going to be released, he was going to be tried (and obviously convicted).
Last night on Maria Elvira's program, the former Cuban attorney Camilo Loret de Mola, was on and said that Gorki could be sentenced from 1 to 4 years and that the only way to prevent this from happening was through international pressure. Given the short amount of time I made a decision to launch a BUCL campaign.
Our efforts don't interfere in any way with yours (whatever they are):
1. Our readers and the people who give money for this are not generally your readers, this isn't taking money away from Gorki or your effort.
2. We have access to different people who can lend their voice to Gorki's cause, I know you do as well, but the more people the better.
I want you to understand something. I don't make any money on BUCL campaigns. In fact I've spent more than $500 of my own money during the three campaigns we've had to date.
Our biggest expense is putting press releases on the PR news wires. It costs just under $1000 to put a press release on the English and Spanish wires, more if you want the international circuit. I can't afford to do that on my own so we enlist the help of our readers and our contributors.
Gorki is a public figure and an important one. We have resources and contacts that we want to use to put that international pressure on the regime. Your description of our activities is at best inaccurate, and at worst, dishonest.
I'm not going to argue with you about this.
I want our readers and supporters to know that the worst thing about trying to conduct these public awareness campaigns is raising money. It sucks. I hate to ask people for money but the idea is that if we all put in a little it can amount to a lot and with money you can buy things that help get the word out.
Let me speak a bit about the news business and how it works. Reporters don't walk the streets looking for stories. They sit at their desk and wait for stories to come to them. They get email alerts and such from services like Business Wire and Hispanic PR Wire. If you want to reach a lot of journalists in a short amount of time you can put a press release on the wires but of course that costs money. The amount varies depending on the circuits you want the release distributed to. It could be domestic regional, national or international. The larger the circuit the more it costs. In the past, the circuits we've distributed our releases on cost about $500. That's just for English. We also do a release in Spanish for Hispanic PR wire. And that comes out to about another $500. In addition to putting the release in front of journalists, these wire services syndicate the content of the releases to many news oriented web sites. Here's an example of a release we did for a previous campaign. If you do a google search for the right keywords "BUCL.org Joins Dr. Darsi Ferrer" you can see how our information is perpetuated throughout the web because of the wire services.
Thanks for your attention and support.
Posted by Henry Louis Gomez at August 27, 2008 09:20 AM
It's causes like this that should incline us to stand together...some people can't look past their nose and act like bratty children.
Posted by: AmandaD at August 27, 2008 09:44 AM
Typical dysfunctional Cuban American whining on this guys part - that's why Castro is still in power all these years and we are so divided - because everyone wants to be El jeffe Indio. I can't believe that guy's e-mail - God, when someone offers help, especially in a case like this, you take every little bit of support you can get.
For this person, what Gorki is going through is secondary to the hatred for the opinions expressed herein and the disdain for the conributors of this blog.
of course, it's only a matter of time before we find out that Gorki's arrest has absolutely nothing to do with his music or opinions or that he lives and expresses same under the jackboot of a dictator, but because of the evil Miami Mafia.
Get your egg timers ready.
Way to go Charlie! that's just what we need - to be devided.
Henry, you have my complete support.
Damned if we do. Damned if we don't. We must be doing something right.
Henry, you are doing the right think and for the right reasons. At this point, any international clamor to Free Gorki, should be welcomed by anybody interested in Gorki's and Cuba's freedom. After almost 50 years, it is high time we Cubans came together on who are the real enemies of Cubans everywhere! Enough with petty jealousies y protagonismos! Basta ya!!!
Does the owner of CubanUnderground get a cut from the sales of cd's? If so, I don't think he's got any moral high ground here.
I don't know how they have structured the sales of Gorki's work and frankly I think that's irrelevant. Gorki is a public figure who has been detained by the regime. We are a group of interested individuals trying to promote his plight to the world. There is no ownership issue here.
If Poro Para Ricardo doesn't want me posting from their "site", then perhaps they should inform the webmaster not to email me. I posted about Gorki's arrest after I received the following email:
From: Cuba Underground
Subject: FREE GORKI! (cobardía y represión)
Date: Monday, August 25, 2008, 2:57 PM
FREE GORKI! (cobardía y represión)http://www.pornopararicardo.com/noticias/free-gorki.html Hace pocos minutos la policía castrista detuvo a Gorki Luis Aguila Carrasco, leader de la banda Porno Para Ricardo en su casa, cuando se disponía a grabar las últimas canciones del proximo disco de la banda.Ciro, el guitarrista del grupo, siguió al auto policial en bicicleta hasta la estación donde los esbirros de la dictadura han llevado a Gorki, que no se encuentra bien de salud, y que se disponía a hacer un esfuerzo para grabar los temas pendientes.Gorki tiene una inflamación en los pulmones y falta de aire, y fue sacado de su casa por un policía que dijo cumplir órdenes del delegado del poder popular, un tal Jesús y sin orden de arresto, en el mejor estilo comunista.En la mañana del sábado estuvimos hablando e intercambiando ideas sobre el diseño de la portada del disco y opiniones sobre algunos de los nuevos temas, además de algunos detalles relacionados con la producción de este álbum, el website de la banda y haciendo chistes.Naturalmente, la creación artística independiente en Cuba se premia solo con persecuciones y órdenes de búsqueda y captura por parte de la policía de la dictadura.El testimonio de Ciro:Cuando nos disponíamos a empezar a grabar tocan la puerta. Gorki abre y desde el cuarto escucho, "¿Usted es el Ciudadano Gorki Aguila?" era un policia que le pidió que lo acompañara, el preguntó por qué y el policía le dijo que él solo cumplía órdenes.El policía se dirigió a él siempre en buena forma. Yo los seguí al sector de policia y esperé en la esquina para por si les daba por cargar conmigo también y no quedara quién avisara.Cuando se fueron me acerque al sector de policia y estaba allí el mismo que lo vino a buscar, le pregunté que para donde lo habían llevado y el me dijo que para la estación de 3ra y 62 llamada popularmente la 5ta.De regreso me encontré con el padre de Gorki que al enterarse se puso muy nervioso y fué a la 5ta a averiguar por su hijo.Esto no es nada nuevo. Como los aficionados recordarán, se fabricó ya una vez un caso en contra de Gorki, que fué arrestado bajo cargos falsos y condenado a cuatro años de prisión. En aquella ocasión se filmaba Habana Blues y el régimen mantuvo a Gorki encarcelado impidiendole de participar en la película sobre la nueva música independiente y underground de Cuba. En realidad, el delito de Gorki es solo uno: tener los cojones necesarios para denunciar los atropellos de la tiranía contra el pueblo cubano y la ilegitimidad del régimen heredtario impuesto a Cuba.Esto no es mas que la continuación del acoso al cual ha sido sometido Gorki por parte de la policía y el delegado del Poder Popular, que cuenta con la colaboración de vulgares chivatos barrioteros. Hace solo dos meses, el 17 de junio, Gorki fue llevado a una estación policial por el mismo delegado del Poder Popular, quien lo amenazó con la cárcel por su conducta "antisocial", de un modo bastante gangsteril como quedó recogido en la la grabación clandestina que hicera Gorki de esa citación policial, en la cual tambien puede escucharse su elección de seguir con su arte y el rechazo a la pretensión del delegado a que firmara un acta de peligrosidad.Este nuevo episodio de acoso y persecución ocurre justo cuando Porno Para Ricardo se encuentra en medio de la grabación de su nuevo disco, lo cual elimina cualquier posibilidad de que este escalamiento represivo pueda calificarse de coincidencia?. En Cuba, la voz de los valientes es silenciada por el régimen, que no vacila en utilizar intimidación y fuerza.Por tanto, y en consonancia con el clima de opresión que reina en Cuba -según nos informa el padre de Gorki- lo tendrán detenido hasta el jueves, hasta que le hagan un juicio por peligrosidad y la condena que le impongan puede ser de uno a cuatro años. Ese es el precio de vivir con valentía, pensar por si mismo, y de hablar sin pelos en la lengua. Por favor distribuyan esta noticia a todas sus listas de correos, blogs, programas de radio y televisión. ¡Que liberen a Gorki! ¡Free Gorki!
This message was sent from Cuba Underground to firstname.lastname@example.org. It was sent from: Cuba Underground, P.O. Box 60541, Santa Barbara, CA 93160. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.
Also note that the photo I posted was copied from Zoe Valdes' blog whom I credited. Also note, and I can't prove it because I didn't copy the info that the info at Cuba underground I linked on my post has been changed so that the particular text I linked to is now something else, last I checked penned by Charlie Bravo.
CB's right about one thing, we are not friends and have nothing to do with each other. The reasons are obvious. I said it before and will repeat it here, to paraphrase Marti: There are two kinds of men, those who love and build, and those who hate and destroy. I prefer to associate with the former.
I feel really bad that I can't contribute to this cause. Money is really tight at this moment, but if I had the chance I'd definetely put something in the piggy bank.
As for the letter from Charlie, there's no time for "he likes me - he likes me not" business. There's someone that's going to be sentenced to jail for speaking his own mind. Set your differences aside and unite to help Gorki.
The best I can do for this cause was write to the person in charge of Latin American coverage for the L.A. Times and explain to her the situation. I doubt anything will happen, but hopefully they can look into this.
Don't sweat the donation. It's important to get the word out. Send emails to your entire address book.
Are we going to have to get an "authorization" from Cuba's eleven-million enslaved residents to advocate for their freedoms now too?
When did worthy causes become copyrighted material?
Posted by: albertodelacruz at August 27, 2008 12:03 PM
Stop being such a sangano and be proud that folks like Henry and Val care and are action oriented when things like this happen.
I can tell you the Castros love it when we bicker amongst each other because that negative energy is what has kept them going for so long.
You exhibit a severe case of "displaced anger" towards the Cuban-American community as if they were or are responsible for the sinister system that has made Aguilar its latest victim; But only its latest. You apparently feel uniquely victimized, but after nearly 50 years of brutal repression millions of lives have been destroyed by the Castro tyranny. Millions of those lives are represented, both literally and figuratively, by the Cuban-American community who has lost fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and perhaps most devastating, a homeland.
So while you draw attention to the plight of Aguilar do not lose sight of the fact that he is hardly the regime’s only victim. There are hundreds sitting in Castro’s jails and thousands who served stints over the years for similar “offenses;” Millions sitting in far away lands separated from loved ones; Thousands lost at sea trying to escape the despotic rule. Millions suffering daily repression on the island prison. Courage comes in many forms and is hardly exclusive to Aguilar. Ultimately, the problem isn’t a supposed lack of solidarity from Cuban-American artists; the problem is the Castro tyranny.
I wrote an article last year critical of the politically active celebrity culture in the US and their lack of real courage when compared to the actions of the outspoken Aguilar. http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/05/the_antithesis_of_michael_moor.html
I do not know Aguilar or his political views, only that he should have the right to express those views as a free human being. But bear in mind his views are no more important than the views of any other victim of the despot, Castro. In the end, if you and Aguilar are seeking support from only like minded people than you truly do not understand the concepts of freedom and self-determination.