Monday, August 25, 2008
From Black Sheep of Exile: Gorki Is Arrested
The police has just picked up Gorki, in Havana. In a few more minutes I will be posting more about this, please contact all your friends and acquaintances and let them know that Gorki is in danger.
Well, Ciro just called to let me know that security forces have put Gorki in a patrol car and are apparently taking him to the police station; he is following the patrol car on his bicycle and will call me shortly; that's all for now. Earlier in the day, at approximately 10:00 AM, I had spoken to Gorki and he informed me that Ciro was on his way to his house and that they intended to record a duo for only one song, because Gorki wasn't feeling very well due to congestion in his lungs and difficulty breathing. It was at that precise moment, when they were about to record the song, that the police arrived accompanied by the delegate [from the Assembly of the People's Power]. [Charlie Bravo]
Ciros's Eyewitness Account:
Just as we were about to begin recording the song, we heard a knock at the door. Gorki opened the door and from the bedroom I heard someone ask, "Are you citizen Gorki Aguila?" It was a policeman who requested that Gorki accompany him and told him that he was only following orders.
The policeman continued to address him in a courteous fashion. I followed them to the police sector and waited at the corner lest they should decide to arrest me as well and there be no one left to relay the news of Gorki's arrest.
When the patrol car had left I approached the arresting officer who was still there and asked him where Gorki had been taken. He answered the station at 3rd and 62nd, popularly known as "La Quinta."
On my way back I met with Gorki's father, who on learning the news of his son's arrest became very nervous and proceeded to "La Quinta" to inquire about him.
Comment Left on Yoani's Blog by Charlie Bravo:
Gorki has been arrested for peligrosidad (social dangerousness) and under this judicial farce he will be tried on Thursday. They are asking for 1-4 years. He is currently held at the police station located at 3rd and 62nd, the notorious "Quinta Unidad" [Fifth Unit] of the PNR [National Revolutionary Police]. The local delegate of the Assembly of the People's Power is behind this, and as we know this is Gorki's punishment for having the balls to denounce the dictatorship. His arrest deserves to be denounced energetically as well.
[This comment has not yet appeared on Yoani's blog though it was left more than an hour ago].
From the band's website:
[Victim of] Cowardice and Repression
A few minutes ago the Castroite police arrested Gorki Luís Aguila Carrasco, leader of the band Porno Para Ricardo, in his house when he was preparing to record the last songs from the band's forthcoming album.
Ciro, the guitarist of the group, followed the police car on his bicycle to the station where the government henchmen had taken Gorki, who is not in good health and was, at the time of his arrest, making a great effort to record the remaining songs.
Gorki has an inflammation of the lungs and difficulty breathing, and was taken from his house without an arrest warrant by a policeman who said he was following orders from a certain Jesús, a delegate in the Assembly of the People's Power. Everything was done in the best Communist manner.
On Saturday morning we had been exchanging ideas on the design for the new record cover and opinions about the some of the songs, as well as discussing details related to the production of the album, the layout of band's website and cracking jokes.
Naturally, independent creative activity in Cuba is rewarded only with persecution, search warrants and orders of arrest carried out by the dictatorship's organs of repression.
Ciro's Eyewitness Account:
"Just as we were about to begin recording the song, we heard a knock at the door. Gorki opened the door and from the bedroom I heard someone ask, "Are you citizen Gorki Aguila?" It was a policeman who requested that Gorki accompany him and told him that he was only following orders.
"The policeman continued to address him in a courteous fashion. I followed them to the police sector and waited at the corner lest they should decide to arrest me as well and there be no one left to relay the news of his arrest.
"When the patrol car had left I approached the arresting officer who was still there and asked him where Gorki had been taken. He answered the station at 3rd and 62nd, popularly known as "La Quinta."
"On my way back I met with Gorki's father, who on learning the news of his son's arrest became very nervous and proceeded to "La Quinta" to inquire about him."
This is nothing new. As our fans will remember, there was a previous attempt to fabricate a case against Gorki, who was arrested under false charges and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. On that occasion Havana Blues was being filmed here and the regime jailed Gorki in order to prevent him from taking part in this documentary about Cuba's new independent underground music scene. In truth, Gorki's only crime was having the balls to condemn the tyranny's human rights violations and the illegitimacy of a hereditary regime imposed on the Cuban people 50 years ago.
This is no more than a continuation of the harassment to which Gorki has been subjected by the police and the delegate of the People's Assembly, who are assisted by vulgar neighborhood chivatos (informants). Only two months ago, on June 17, Gorki was taken to a police station by the same delegate, who threatened him with jail for his "anti-social" conduct in a rather thuggish manner as is evident from the secret recording made by Gorki of the interrogation, where his own refusal to abandon his art or to sign a confession admitting to his alleged peligrosidad (social dangerousness) can also be heard as well.
This latest episode of intimidation and persecution comes just as Porno Para Ricardo was in the middle of recording their newest album, which eliminates any possibility that this renewed repression could be a "coincidence."In Cuba, the voice of the brave is routinely silenced by the regime, which never hesitates in using intimidation and force.
Therefore, in keeping with the climate of oppression which reigns in Cuba, we have been informed by Gorki's father that he will be detained until Thursday, when he will be tried for peligrosidad (social dangerousness) and that the sentence that will be imposed upon him may range from 1 to 4 years. This is the price that one pays in Cuba for bravely trying to live as a free man in a country that is not free, for thinking for one's self and speaking one's own mind.
As you all know, Gorki is being kept in the holding cells of the infamous police station known as "La Quinta."
They are keeping him incommunicado, his father has taken numerous trips to the precinct to no avail, they have not allowed him to see his son.
Gorki has a young daughter, who is also under the stress of not knowing what is happening to her father or what is in store for her and her grandfather if Gorki is smeared in court and convicted of the crime of thinking independently and speaking his mind.
At this point, all we know is that Gorki will be tried summarily with no charges, but under the accusation of social dangerousness, or for proclivity to commit a crime — in Cuba, the sole fact that you have not died under the restrictions imposed on the population makes you a criminal, because buying food on the black market is illegal. Let alone having the balls to speak your mind, let alone having the fortitude to think independently.
From today to Thursday a lawyer has to be located, a lawyer that has no fears to represent a criminal like me — or as a matter of fact, like you and Gorki. Yes, because to the government of Cuba, all of us are dangerous criminals who have a lethal weapon in our minds, and the proclivity to use said weapon against them.
A Gorki Legal Defense Fund will be established at the the band’s site. Please help his cause by visiting the donation area and tag yours as Gorki Legal Defense Fund. [Charlie Bravo]
CNN takes note: