Cuban Rock and the Revolution
Fidel Castro didn’t like rock music. Or hippies. In 1968, he launched a “revolutionary offensive” aimed at eliminating all remnants of capitalism. He also closed Havana’s nightclubs for a year.
Castro aimed to cure Cuba once and for all of “ideological deviants,” which included long-haired youth, homosexuals and any others the authorities simply had reason to mistrust. For Cuban authorities, The Beatles were viewed as harbingers of an imperialist offensive out to corrupt young Cuban minds.
Over the next two years, thousands of youth were swept up in a repressive crackdown.
While the septuagenarian Stones make the headlines:
Members of Cuban Band Porno Para Ricardo Detained Upon Return to Cuba UPDATED
Lia and Gorky’s music is known for criticizing and satirizing the Castro regime without holding anything back. Gorky, the frontman of the group, was arrested in 2008 in Cuba for “social dangerousness.” At the time, Cuba was in the throes of its “Cuban 5” campaign, hailing five Cuban spies who infiltrated America as heroes, demanding their immediate release. On the island, Gorky’s ironic arrest garnered national attention including a New York Times story. He was eventually found guilty of the lesser charge of “disobedience” and fined $600 pesos, about six weeks’ salary. But that hasn’t stopped the band from speaking its mind. Porno Para Ricardo’s 2013 song “El Comandante” directly chastises the Castros, telling them not to “eat so much dick.”
Here’s El Comamdante [LYRICS NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK]