The audio-visual series #PassItOn once again highlights the situation of Cuban dissident rapper and pro-freedom activist Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga ‘El Critico’, who is still behind bars in the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo since March of 2013. He has been subjected to beatings and threats at the hands of his jailers. On occasions, he has been denied his right to telephone calls and family visits. During the month of July 2013 he contracted cholera and was in a very critical state of health. Although he has recuperated from the condition, he is still suffering from another ailment — chronic gastritis — and the authorities refuse to provide him with medical assistance. His wife, Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, has also been under constant harassment by the regime’s State Security apparatus. On September 23rd 2013, Remon was mistreated in prison and denied his right to his family visits. His crime continues being his protest music and his activism. He is also coordinator of the opposition group UNPACU in Granma province and a member of the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children (‘Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso’).
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Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, activist and dissident rapper best known as ‘El Critico’ from the duo The Unwanted Children, remains behind bars in the Eastern town of Bayamo for political reasons, without having had a trial and under constant reprisals, as occurred last July 8th 2013, when he was beat by a common prisoner being used by the State Security apparatus.
Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, the young wife of the musician, made the news public. She explains that the aggressions occurred on the same day Remon was supposed to have a family visit and that no prison authority told her about what had happened. Roseyo found out the details thanks to another political prisoner who has shown solidarity with her husband.
“Angel Yunier was in a prison cubicle with other prisoners and he was talking to them about the bad hygiene in the penitentiary when suddenly a common prisoner known as Jercy showed up with a knife“, details Yudisbel. The prisoner threatened to cut Angel Yunier but ended up “attacking Angel with his hands, punching him on the eye and breaking his mouth“.
The response of the jailers was to make it seem as a common fight among prisoners started by the rapper, who they punished by refusing him the right to conjugal visits. Their was total impunity for the aggressor and, as of yet, no disciplinary measures have been taken against him.
For this reason, Yudisbel assures that the event “was planned by State Security. In fact, when agents talk to me they always mention this situation, saying that it happened to my husband for talking too much“.
Roseyo explains that what the authorities seek is to try and involve Angel Yunier in a common crime and, in that fashion, officially sentence him, considering that he is currently in a judicial limbo, jailed since March 26th for making protest music and carrying out pro-freedom acts of civil disobedience on the streets.
Another tactic that the communist regime is using to try and reach that goal is to harass Yudisbel so that Angel will respond with anger and violence – a method which has not yielded results.
“People who I do not know have come to my house talking bad about Angel and trying to create some kind of confusion between us“, she says, “On July 24th, for example, I was outside when a person came up to me and told me ‘you’re going to be mine’ and grabbed my hand, and I quickly broke free and defended myself. People showed solidarity with me and when this man left, just a few moments later a couple of State Security agents walked behind him“.
Yudisbel is also victim of constant police persecution and vigilance, especially during the week of July 26th, when the State celebrates an anniversary of a violent assault on a barracks carried out by the current rulers.
“Since the 24th, I have been completely surrounded in my own house. A State Security official known as Eric visited me to tell me that I could not leave my house, but I responded saying that I was not going to be jailed in my own house, and much less in my native province. He told me that if I left I would be jailed and that they did not care if I was with my son or with anyone else“, she denounced.
The son of the young couple is only 5 months old and has barely seen his father due to his arbitrary arrest. The minor has suffered various health issues and his mother has had to travel long distances in search of medical assistance.
“Wherever I go with my son they follow me…a police vehicle and a number of State Security agents…day and night. Their is a police car stationed on the corners of my house at all hours. If I go to the clinic for my son, they go as far as to walk in behind me and keep an eye on my every move. They continuously threaten me and tell me I will be detained if I participate in any sort of activity“.
‘El Critico’ was imprisoned after a violent act of repudiation against him on March 26th, when he decided to give a public discourse to his repressors, explaining to them that as Cubans they were being used by the dictatorship but that they had the power to stop and change the system. He was being harassed and detained frequently prior to that moment due to his protest music and his activism out on the streets. Remon is also a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU).
“My response is that if something happens to Yunier, the only ones responsible will be them [the government]“, declares Yudisbel, “my husband is firm in the same cause, as always. He told me that he’d rather be dead than to stop believing and fighting for his ideas“.
New music straight from Cuba. A collaboration between Primario y Julito and Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso (The Unwanted Children), two dissident hip-hop groups in the island. This new video is for the single “Mi Delito” (‘My Crime’), from the new CD by Primario y Julito which has the same name.
The video was filmed a few months ago and was just recently published thanks to independent journalist Roberto de Jesus Guerra, director of ‘Hablemos Press’, who posted it on his YouTube channel.
Primario y Julito (Havana) and The Unwanted Children (Bayamo) join forces in this song to rap against government corruption and persecution of freedom defenders in the country.
“Tell me Fidel, tell me Raul, until when are we gonna have to put up with State Security knocking on our doors, to harass and arrest“, raps Primario in the beginning of the song, while the chorus says, “I didn’t assassinate Boitel, I’m not the culprit of Mariel boat-lift, I don’t repress those who think differently, I didn’t lock up 75 innocent people…this is my crime, speaking about what you have never spoken of“.
In a recent interview with this blog, Julito explains that this song is one of his favorites from the new album and is a protest anthem against the abuses committed by the Cuban dictatorship.
Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga “El Critico”, member of The Unwanted Children who participates in “My Crime” is a living example of some of these government abuses on the island. He’s been behind bars for three months for his protest lyrics and because he is a pro-freedom activist. (#PassItOn: Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga #FreeElCritico).
The Unwanted Children and Primario y Julito collaborate on a number of tracks in the new album. Here’s the video:
A new video published by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) on the YouTube channel of Ana Belkis Ferrer shows the repressive methods utilized by the Cuban regime against currently jailed dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, “El Critico”, in Bayamo.
Friends and family of Remon have been denouncing the situation the young activist has been going through since last March after various detentions and a House raid. Now, these denouncements are proven in the new video which document the events which preceded his arrest. The video has been subtitled in English (my translation):
Remon’s home was attacked multiple times by police officials with tar and other materials. The results of such actions can be seen in the first half of the video. His response was to paint the phrase “I do not commit any crimes, that is why I am free. Down with the rob-alution”. Eventually, after another attack, the rapper writes “Down with the dictatorship” in large and visible letters right on the Street in front of his House. The police then says agents to cover the message while they also convoke an act of repudiation against the dissident.
However, the vast majority of neighbors do not take part in shouting offensive slogans at Remon and he proceeds to talk to them about their rights, the repression of the dictatorship and calls of them to not feel fear because he knows that they do not support the regime. He invites the onlookers to pass by his House to pick up “pro-freedom literature” which is banned on the island.
Remon also offers a moving and brave discourse about Cuba’s “beautiful history” which was “destroyed by the Castro dictatorship” and urges citizens to wake up from the lethargy imposed by the system.
These are the reasons why a young Cuban rapper is currently behind bars in the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo.
As part of a new Project of this blog we launch “Pass it On” (‘Pasa la Voz’), an audio-visual series that aims to tell the story of Cubans with free minds. In this first edition, we dedicate the video to dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico de Arte”, member of the hip-hop duo ‘The Unwanted Children’, from Bayamo. “El Critico” has been imprisoned since March 2013 for handing out pro-freedom literature, as well as because of his protest music and constant activism. The young Cuban is also a member of the pro-freedom Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU). As of yet, he has not had a trial.
These videos are designed to be shared online, so feel free to Pass it On!
For more videos visit “Pedazos de la Isla” on YouTube.