Monday, September 8, 2008

Notable & Despicable: "Gorki Is No Havel"

"If Gorki is being set up as the Havel of Havana, then God help Cuba." -- Phil Peters, "Gorki!," The Cuban Triangle, September 7, 2008

Phil Peters is the tour guide at a supposedly independent think tank whose only Cuba-related activity is sponsoring junkets to the island for U.S. politicians sympathetic (or potentially sympathetic) to the regime. His investiture as a Cuba expert, however, has been approved by The New York Times and there is nothing more to be said on that matter.

If Phil Peters were a journalist writing about Gorki instead of an "expert," he would at least feel the obligation to get the name right. It is Gorki Aguila not "Avila," Mr. Peters. I wonder if this was actually a careless mistake or just another calculated attempt to belittle him, which seems the only purpose of Peter's belated post about him. I suppose that while the Gorki affaire played itself out -- and Peters was conveniently "away from the blog" -- he did not feel that it was the right time to dump on him. His comments as an "expert" would have been at variance with everybody else's from Amnesty International to The Times itself and would have made what should be obvious to all about Peters even more obvious. Now that Gorki has been released, however, Peters feels safe sitting on the fence again and in judgment of him.

He begins by disputing what he calls the "unanimous narrative" about Gorki, to wit,"that the Cuban government [sic] intended to silence him, but flinched and retreated in the face of an Internet-fueled blast of worldwide outrage." Peters is not so sure that the regime wanted to "silence" Gorki as in repressing his speech because he "blast[s] the government and its leaders in both political and personal terms, sometimes with obscenity." Now, Peters himself seems pretty shocked that Porno Para Ricardo would take such liberties and personally offended that it would resort to "obscenity" to combat the living embodiment of obscenity that is the Castro regime (or "government," as he would have it). Peters, who is apparently more zealous of the regime's "dignity" than is the regime, speculates that it was not the subversive content of Gorki's songs but the noise generated by his band's rehearsals that disturbed the public peace and led to Gorki's arrest. Of course, we all know how important quality of life issues are to the regime. No doubt it feared that Porno Para Ricardo's high-decibeled playing would crack the 3 or 4 intact panes of glass within a 20-block square radius of his studio or cause the walls to buckle that weren't already shored-up.

Ambrose Bierce defined "noise" in his Devil's Dictionary as "undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization." For Peters, however, music, at least in Cuba, should be domesticated and civilization itself reduced to silence. "Listen to the music,' asks Peters, "imagine living nearby as rehearsals are going on, and ask yourself if there’s a neighborhood on earth where a few neighbors wouldn’t call the cops." Of course, in Cuba those "few neighbors" would belong to the block's Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, the "eyes and ears" of state security. No one else would have denounced Gorki because his neighbors, unlike Peters, know the consequences of such a complaint to the police. The Cuban people prefer to keep their contacts with the police at a minimum. Their intervention in such matters is usually avoided because it is certain to complicate everybody's lives, including the complainant's.

Peters also debuts in this post as a music critic. He had never heard of Gorki before the punk rocker's recent arrest (I guess his handlers had never mentioned his name) and made it a point to listen to the songs on the Porno Para Ricardo website. He didn't like what he heard: the outrages committed by Castro's henchmen will always elicit a moderate response from him, but the forceful condemnation of those outrages by one who is not afraid to call Castro a "cocksucker," is more than Mr. Peters could stand. It's not just the "noise pollution" that Peters finds objectionable; he is also concerned that Cuba's children might be exposed to Gorki's explicit lyrics and feels that any parents who denounced him to the police on that account were justified. Never has Peters said one word about the deleterious effects which living in a police state would undoubtedly have on Cuba's children. Perhaps he should begin to research that question with Gorki's 12-year old daughter.

So great is Peters' aversion to Gorki's music and to what Gorki represents (a future without "Cuba experts") that he comes down from the fence he usually straddles to deliver himself of this remarkable statement:

"If Gorki is being set up as the Havel of Havana, then God help Cuba."

So now Gorki is not his own man but is being "set up" by others (?) who want him to be the next Havel, which Peters considers a ridiculous idea. These "others" are presumably using Gorki to hurt Cuba and Peters invokes God's intercession to save our country not from Castro but from Gorki!

For Peters' information (and I could start every sentence with that phrase), the Havel of Prague was himself accused of "obscenity." Perhaps obscenity is the only way to speak to tyrants, except for those, like Peters, who are trying to court them.


Fantomas said...

Gorki fotos y articulo

Fantomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fantomas said...

Manuel tu pierdes el tiempo con peters un simpatizante del are smarter than that 5th grade peters

Vana said...

We all know no one complained about the noise, the noise has been going on for years, the regime simply wanted to silence Gorki that's why he was arrested, little did they know how well known he is in the outside world, it was the pressure and the clamor from without that released him, not the tyranny.

Phil is wrong if it takes a Gorki to tell it like it is then so be it, let him be the Havel of Cuba.

Ms Calabaza said...

... so this was all just a complaint by the "condo association" ... I get it now. Those condo associations can be a real pain ... but to stick him in a hole for almost a week? Wow, that's some complaint!

I would guarantee you that Mr. Peters would be the first to defend any Punk group in the US if someone tried to censor their profanity against the administration or this country. Give me a break.

Charlie Bravo said...

This was my comment to Mr. Peters:

Remember when you wanted to meet Gorki and asked me for an introduction but you told me that you would not take a CD and a letter that I wanted to give you for him?
Remember what I said, that maybe you should not meet him?

I think that I was right when I decided that you didn't deserve to meet a man who has the cojones to stand up straight against that regime.

Phil, this article amplifying what the regime says about Gorki is just low.

Had you met him at that time I would not be surprised if I saw you know trying to jump onto the bandwagon.

Ah, what a moralist.
Do you have anything to say about the morals of Raul Castro?

This jewel of a paragraph you typed says everything about you:

"That may indeed be what happened – even though, in the event, Gorki was convicted of “disobedience,” got no jail time, and was fined 600 pesos. One can’t discount the intimidation value of a few nights in jail with a trial and possible jail time looming."

Do you really believe that a few nights in jail can intimidate a real man?
What's your next piece of advise for the regime about intimidating Gorki, waterboarding perhaps?

Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Peters.
So you condemn Gorki, and we are to supposed to be blessed with your "friendship"? It sounds more like arrogance, (false sense of) superiority, and more.

Fantomas said...

Charlie a mi siempre me ha llamado la atencion que tu tienes el link de peters y el del yoyo jinetero y que en tus blogs

digo, yo creo en la democracia y el free speech pero a mi no se me ocurriria linkear a esos dos simpatizantes de la dictadura

o si no lo son abiertamente QUE NO LA CRITICAN NI HACEN NADA POR HACERLO..

Y los dos saben bien que yo no como cuento con ellos

apunta agustin Fariñas

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


That's a very good point. Peters obviously judges other men by his standards, although I do not think that it would take a "few nights in jail" to break him. The mere intimation of a few nights in jail would suffice. Hell, a raised eyebrow -- if it was the right eyebrow -- would do it.

Charlie Bravo said...

I do not think Fantomas that Yoyo is an instrument of the tyranny. He might have another views, and we are free to share or not share those views, as he is free to have them. But that's me.
There are others who are not altar boys precisely and I still have their links there for people to visit them and compare. Everybody should make their own mind without my interference or advise.

Charlie Bravo said...

The point that bothers me the most is the moralistic approach to it.
What's next? To try to impose "dry law" on Cuba?
To ban dance and sex?
To ban sinful smiles and laughter and jokes?
Why is that Peters thinks that the tyrants should be out of limits and not be made a target for obscenity?
Isn't it obscene that the population of Cuba lives day in and day out deprived of every possible right that is in the book?
And still, he thinks that a few nights in jail have "intimidation value". As if living under a tyranny and a police state was not intimidating enough.

Manuel A.Tellechea said...


The only obscenity is contempt for human life.

Agustin Farinas said...

MAT and Charlie,
Phil goes out of his way to always find the means to apologize for everything the Cuban regime does and place the balem square on the US side. This is nothing new. One look at his commenters and you would have known that. They likes of Leftside, our own old friend Mambo Watch and Afina among others, know where they have a welcome mat and a kindred soul to spout their pro-castro diatribes.

Anonymous said...

I will begin to make these racist republicans who wish do to Cuban-American harm by words or deeds famous. I have had it with how these hate-mongers get a free pass!!

Source: Drudge Report

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The leader of a statewide group of college Republicans has been forced to resign after posting racially insensitive comments about Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on the Internet.

Adam LaDuca, 21, the former executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans, wrote on his Facebook page in late July that Obama has "a pair of lips so large he could float half of Cuba to the shores of Miami (and probably would.)"

Fantomas said...


Provocadores y agitadores profesionales están actuando en estos momentos en forma activa para convencer a cubanos que viven en el exterior y que tienen familias en las áreas desvastadas por los huracanes Gustav y Ike, azuzándolos para que salgan hacia Cuba en barcos cargados de alimentos e implementos de ayuda, sin contar con el permiso del gobierno de los Estados Unidos, violando las leyes. Lo que pretenden estos agitadores profesionales es conseguir que al violarse las leyes, tanto las Autoridades de Aduanas como los Guardacostas, se vean obligados a detener a los que embarquen sin autorización, para entonces culpar a la actual Administración y a los candidatos republicanos, aduciendo que gracias a ellos, no les podrán hacer llegar ayuda a sus familiares en Cuba.(Dibujo de Prohías)

Esta es una operación cuya ejecución beneficia tanto al Partido Demócrata y a sus candidatos, como a la tiranía castrista.

En Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, Tampa, St. Petesburgh y Puerto Rico, están actuando activamente esos agentes provocadores profesionales, que aunque pretendan querer ayudar a los cubanos, en realidad están sirviendo a una operación perfectamente organizada, buscando lograr beneficios para factores ocultos, enemigos de la libertad de nuestro pueblo.

A los líderes de las organizaciones que están empeñados en lograr hacerle llegar ayuda directa al pueblo cubano, les alertamos sobre no dejarse engatuzar por esos agitadores profesionales. ¿Qué cómo se pueden detectar a esos agentes? Simplemente prestando atencióna lo que dicen. Todo el que plantee la salida ilegal y sin permiso y la posibilidad de iniciar una especie en menor escala de un nuevo "Mariel" está demostrando que está respondiendo a una consigna antipatriótica y a una campaña de bastardo partidismo. Ojo con ellos. !A REPUDIARLOS!


Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but why do republicans keep inflaming racial hatred against Cuban-Americans?

Anonymous said...


I will be starting a new blog next month, called Cubans Against Racism. As it is painfully clear, that there is no voice, or nor fight against those bigots that wish to do our community harm. Only silence, and indifference, as well as acceptance. My blog will highlight bigoted acts from any party or anybody. Unfortunately, i suspect most of my post will be from my own party, the republican party.

I hope that you will support my new endeavor. As it is my firm belief that racism against the Cuban community is increasing at an alarming rate, which will only lead to future harm.

It seems as if racism against the Cuban community is acceptable. I suspect it is because (we) do not stand up against it. Because most of the culprits are people that we are politically aligned with.

However, i have seen this unanswered bigotry grow, and i am now scared, hence my new blog. Again, i hope that you will begin to stand up to the racist acts and ugly words committed against the Cuban community.


Vana said...

Anon 11:44AM

What name will you give your blog and when will you open it?

Vana said...

Seems fantomas got his wish, Ike is all over that poor forsaken island, it will be years if not decades before it recovers, wonder how Havana is faring?

Fantomas said...

Vana de que wish tu hablas explicate

Porque que yo sepa el unico wish que yo tengo es acabar con el comunismo en Cuba y empezar a reconstruir la nueva nacion del cual sere protagonista

Fantomas said...

it will be years if not decades before it recovers

El huracan fidel categoria 50 ha sido el peor de todos, ike no se compara en nada dear vana

Se necesitara por lo menos 60 años mas para volver a recuperar los valores eticos, morales y religiosos en Cuba y aun asi sera a very difficult task to achieve

lo material se resuelve en 10 años

Fantomas said...

Seems fantomas got his wish, Ike is all over that poor forsaken island

Vana , la temporada de huracanes finaliza el 30 de noviembre dear

Los mas poderosos usualmente salen a final de Octubre mediado de noviembre, IKE y gustavo son el emtremes, falta el plato fuerte y el postre todavia

no has visto nada todavia

recuerda mi prediccion de comienzo de año

2008 Año del Comienzo del fin de la revolucion castrista

Anonymous said...

17 por desde españa (Usuario no autenticado) 09/09/2008 19:01

abajo fidel ,somos extrangeros fuera y dentro de cuba ,ojala k venga un ciclon y a todos estos hijos d putas comunistas lo lleve al cielo lo ante posible a ver si mi cuba sale d esta situacion k a creado ese comunismo ,es decir salvence quien puedak hay en mi cuba

Anonymous said...

"Thus, the most viable initiative is for family members abroad to send cash to their relatives in Cuba." -- Yoani Sánchez

I must disagree with Yoani. The most viable initiative is not sending cash, but getting the Cuba government to allow humanitarian and relief organizations and agencies into the island. Who bring with them the infrastructure to distribute aid and repair Cuba's infrastructure on their own.
Posted by: Val Prieto at September 9, 2008 08:08 AM

It does not have to be an either/or situation.

Yes, the humanitarian aid should be allowed in, but the United States also should at least suspend limits on remittances and travel so family members in the U.S. can provide quick assistance to their loved ones.

Cubans need all the help they can get, so this is not the time to continue a policy that even when the weather is good, is an embarassment to the United States.

Otherwise, our desire to help is held hostage by the dictatorship. Some may think that is OK, for how it enhances their political position. But as long as Cubans are suffering during the current crisis, that is a morally indefensible position.
Posted by: Marc R. Masferrer at September 9, 2008 09:34 AM


Seriously man, Im starting to think you dont really see this issue clearly. Quite simply: First, if there isnt enough food and water for Cubans on the island right now, how can there be enough if more Cubans show up? The last thing any disaster area allows is more people in, period. Water and food and shelter are just going to magically show up with dollars and tourists from abroad?

"Cubans need all the help they can get, so this is not the time to continue a policy that even when the weather is good, is an embarassment to the United States."

I suppose you may see the policy as an embarrassment, I dont. What I see as an embarrassment is to FUND THE VERY SAME GOVERNMENT THAT IS FUCKING YOUR FAMILY.

Otherwise, our desire to help is held hostage by the dictatorship. Some may think that is OK, for how it enhances their political position. But as long as Cubans are suffering during the current crisis, that is a morally indefensible position.


And please, dont you ever state to me that my position on this is politically motivated. I take that as an extreme insult and offense. If thats what you think of me and other folks with the wherewithall to see beyond the regime's platitudes and propaganda, then perhaps you are in the wrong place.

As for Cubans suffering in the "current" crisis, what the fuck do you think theyve been doing for years? What the fuck do you think theyll be doing twenty years from now when we, ourselves, are economically backing, supporting and propping up the very same people that are the cause of their suffering?

My God, man. Stop staring at the fucking tree and look at the fucking forest al around you.
Posted by: Val Prieto at September 9, 2008 10:40 AM

Charlie Bravo said...

This is what I said to one Anonymous, on Phil Peters' blog:

Anonymous said...

I can see how it might be hard to find a place to rehearse if the Cuban govt doesn't sanction you; but that doesn't mean your neighbors don't still legitimately hate the noise. I think the govt wanted to intimidate him and neighbor complaints gave them the reason to.

This musician is no Havel of Havana. I'm a little shocked that everyone would rush to defend a guy whose songs feature the debasement - and murder- of women. He's sick. I won't suggest he shouldn't have the right to sing this garbage, but if he were here in the US all of you would play Tipper Gore and call him just a punk.

Where is the outcry when a book gets banned from a school right here in the USA?

September 9, 2008 1:35 PM
Blogger Charlie Bravo said...

Anonymous 1:35
The song in question does not advocate for women assassination, one needs to be a little too wanton to condemn the singer for that. The song talks about a famous case in Havana, a real murder case in which a woman was assassinated in the Colon Cemetery, by her lover. But how would you know that.... Of course Peters could have done his homework, but decided to use ONE song to condemn the artist.
Ever heard of freedom of speech?
Do you think that it's only applicable to Anglo Saxon Americans and not to Spanish speaking Cubans in Cuba? Well, it's a universal right.
Now, you might want to limit the right of the artists to get whatever they want from real life and sing about it. Remember Maxwell's Silver Hammer? Would you accuse Lennon and McCartney of promoting killings with a hammer blow to the back of the victim's head? Would you say that "She left through the bathroom window" encouraged young girls to run away from home?
Or that "happiness is a warm gun" is an anthem for nuts with guns conquering happiness with the smoking barrels of their pistols?
That's your prerogative.
I hope you criticize with the same zeal the lyrics of gangsta rap, which really talk about killing cops and raping women, pimping and so on, but somehow you don't seem to be the type. As per the neighbors accusations, read the numerous blogs and the press, and ultimately listen to the interviews available online with Gorki's father, band members, and others; the accusation comes from a woman called Heidi, who doesn't even live in the same building. Gorki's next door neighbors testified that they weren't bothered by the music, his lyrics, or the noise. This is all the doing of the regime which in its best tradition fabricated yet another case. Maybe government intimidation sounds right for you, given that you hate some sort of music. Do you use the police to intimidate your neighbors? Just asking. From me, you get a lot of outcry when censorship is applied, but from you... what I am getting is that censorship is ok, as long is practiced by the tyranny of Cuba.

September 9, 2008 2:43 PM

Fantomas said...




Agustin Farinas said...

Are you still in shock?
Rubber Head says:
"Se necesitara por lo menos 60 años mas para volver a recuperar los valores eticos, morales y religiosos en Cuba y aun asi sera a very difficult task to achieve"
A filthy pig who loves to wallow in the dirt and the filfth, whose language is the filthiest and the most insulting, is now talking about ethics and moral and religious values. Will wonders ever cease!
This reminds of a prostitute in a whorehouse talking about the moral values of abstention from sex, and the virtues of virginity. I had to laugh when I read that statement. Some people have no shame and their faces are as hard as cement. The nerve and the gall of this character is unbelievable.

Fantomas said...


Si yo fuese Mc Cain …presionaria a Bush a que permita que levanten una sola restriccion en caracter de emergencia

POR SOLO 90 DIAS CUBANOS CON FAMILIARES DIRECTOS PADRE ,MADRE, HERMANOS ,TIOS ,PRIMOS, Abuelos…pueden viajar una vez sin restriccion en los proximos 90 dias a llevarle insumos a sus familiares en Cuba , ropa zapatos, comida, etc…

ESTO SERIA VISTO BUENO por el gobierno de Cuba, por el exilio, y por el que recibe la ayuda en Cuba

De esta manera el gobierno cubano NO TOCA ESA AYUDA

Quien se beneficia de esto…Mc Cain, y el partido Republicano, Unico perdedor…Barack Obama y los Democratas


Fantomas said...

Agustin es una pena que no conozcas al verdadero personaje behind the mask, nada que ver with the character, nada

I feel pitty for you

Fantomas said...

A filthy pig who loves to wallow in the dirt and the filfth, whose language is the filthiest

la unica pig que esta en las noticias se llama Pälin , eso lo dijo obama algo de la pintura de labios

Vana said...


Yes I'm still in shock, he has his nerve!! cara de palo.

Vana said...

That damn hurricane is still drenching Havana, will we ever know what id did to our people there? the regime claims only 4 deaths, but we know what liars they are, poor people they are so alone, I feel helpless, imagine the anguish they must feel.

Fantomas said...

I like the cara de palo term

Fantomas said...

will we ever know what id did to our people there?

they are not your people Vana please

Julio Rey said...

Manuel: Gracias por despingar al comemierdas (y tu tambien, Charlie!)

Julio Rey said... that I've cooled off, let me translate Peters' "Havel of Havana" statement:

"I am crapping in my pants because Cuba has finally generated its equivalent of Vaclav Havel, and that can only mean that the end of my little cottage industry is near. God help me."

Charlie Bravo said...

guy by the moniker of Leftside, or Leftard had some questions.
Of course, he had posed them in another website, Along the Malecon, where I answered them, and now he repeats on the Cuban Triangle, with the hopes of casting doubts on the integrity of Porno Para Ricardo, Gorki, or the people whom he call "his handlers".
These were his comments, followed by my answers:
Blogger leftside said...

It needs to be pointed out that Bravo and Gomez have a personal relationship with the "artist" Gorki. They ought to explain it. Who maintains Gorki's website, who sells his CDs? Who has handles his PR and carefully promoted the image of a censored rebel, which was broadcasted around the world verbatim without a fact check or semblence of journalism in sight? While we are at it, we can ask them about their views of violence in relation to Cuba.

Gorki's own website features multiple mentions of being spoken to about the decibel levels - by neighbors and the authorities. He was clearly warned, but with his ego fed by by his US backers, he probablty decided to thumb his nose and risk arrest, knowing full well it would be misunderstood and made into a propoganda moment for those with radical plans for the island. Even with the laughable outcome, they probably think they still won the battle because there were far fewer stories sent around the world about the outcome. A high-school buddy of mine had heard of the arrest but not of the result. Perfect.

September 10, 2008 6:06 PM

Blogger Charlie Bravo said...

Henry does not have ANY relationship whatsoever with Gorki or Porno Para Ricardo.
I do.
I help maintain their website.
By the way, there are some free MP3 available in the website and soon there will be another website which will feature free music by the member of the band, in case you care. I suspect you don't.
His CDs are sold and all the proceeds go to the band, you don't work for the IRS so I don't have to give you more details, but here you are:
An independent company prints the CDs
They are mailed to whoever buy them, regular USPS, or rush, depending on how fast the customer wants it. The CDs are sold for 9.99. From that figure discount the cost of printing covers, pressing the CDs, mailing to us, and mailing to the client and you have just a meager symbolic amount that goes to the band, and then you have to discount the fee that certified agencies as Western Union charge to send the proceeds to the band. Ah, and I suppose you have to be grateful to Bush and Co. that we can only send a limited amount of cash to the band per year.

Of course, you could have ask that at the bands website, but following the toilet logics of your communist brain you have to ask here with the hope of discredit the band or what you call "their handlers" when the only ones with handlers are commie groupies as yourself. Mind you, the ones who love communism without suffering it.
PR: the website. If we were as good at PR as you suggest, the band would not be constrained to rehearse in a makeshift studio or being verboten in Cuba, we would have landed some good Latin American and Spanish gigs for them, and maybe some in Miami -given that we are so good that we would be able to convince your idols to let them out of Cuba. You asked the same questions in Along the Malecon, but you have to ask them again. These were my answers again.
Violence in relation to Cuba:
The communist government of Cuba is violent against 12 million human beings.
Fact checking, ask CNN, AFP, EFE, and all the other agencies that have visited the band in Cuba. They can give you a thick file on their findings. The same is valid for the Nobel Institute, and Free Muse, not to mention Amnesty International.
Censored rebel: if they go after you and they ban you from performing in the public space due to your political views, then you are a censored rebel.
A per your second paragraph, it is so high schoolish that it doesn't merit comments.... but let's say....
Would you condone the silencing of liberal acts in the United States just because they don't cheer for Bush? Because I don't. For me they have their God given right to dissent, from Bush and from whoever is in power. But for you.... since the target is the dictatorial government of Cuba -which is sacrosanct for you- they ought to be prosecuted.
Now that I answered all your questions, you are free to go have a life. A nice one.

September 10, 2008 11:33 PM

Anonymous said...

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