Music Video: Primario y Julito together with The Unwanted Children, “My Crime”

rap

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:

Music Video: Primario y Julito together with The Unwanted Children, “My Crime”

“My Crime”, Making pro-freedom music under a dictatorship

This blog recently had a chance to catch up with Julito, independent and dissident rapper from the duo El Primario y Julito, who spoke to us about the group’s new record, an opposition rap agency, the difficulties independent artists face in Cuba and more. 

The dissident hip-hop group El Primario y Julito, based in Havana, recently launched their new album titled “My Crime” [‘Mi Delito’], a production which contains 14 songs, among them the first single “Lambon”, which has been accompanied by a music video.

Julio Leon Fonseca, better known as Julito, explains that “My Crime” is one of his favorite projects to date.  It consists of a number of “protest songs” and others which are more “commercial and reaggaeton-based“.

Among the protest anthems are “Este año si se Cae” [‘This year the dictatorship falls‘], a collaboration with the punk-rockers Porno Para Ricardo, while other invited artists on the disc are Rapper Issac and Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso [‘The Unwanted Children’].  The latter also form part of a new rap agency, along with Primario y Julito, dedicated to making protest music.

This agency consists of 5 rappers who are not allied with any government organization and we work completely independent because we are members of the opposition“, says Julito, “The agency is made up by us – Primario y Julito – and also Rapper Issac, from Santiago de Cuba, and The Unwanted Children, from Bayamo“.

The young musician highlighted the situation of Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico”, a member of The Unwanted Children, who has been arbitrarily detained for more than 2 months, being held in Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo, for making protest music and carrying out civic activities as a human rights defender.

Some artists affiliate themselves with certain musical or cultural groups belonging to the government, but we don’t buy that“, expresses Julito, “we make protest music and we have absolutely nothing to do with government agencies.  If we are going to protest, we will do so with our means, not with theirs“.

He adds, “in reality, this is not a government… it’s a family dynasty which took over the country and has not wanted to let go. This country, this government, has to change…or better said, this government has to cease existence“.

Some of the other 14 new songs are “Gobierno Tirano” [‘Tyrannical Government’], “Triste” [‘Sad’], “Malo” [‘Bad’], and “My Crime“, which is the title track and recounts how the regime classifies these musicians as being dangerous because they write lyrics critical of the system and publicly manifest their opinions without censorship.

This free attitude has cost independent artists on the island quite some reprisals.  Julito says that in the case of his group, “we have been beat, we have been arrested and we’ve been completely censured“.  In fact, Primario y Julito also go by the name “Los Censurados”, (‘The Censored Ones’).

When we started making music as a duo and we launched our first disc, we were summoned various times by the political police.  While in the police units, agents told us we would not have access to any stage and that we would not be allowed to perform live“, recounts the Havana-based musician, “In fact, I still haven’t been able to perform live because of this.  And it’s something I have always wanted to do as an artist, to see how the crowd reacts to my music.  But these things happen under dictatorships“.

Despite the censorship and the prohibition of not being able to present themselves publicly, Primario y Julito still have lots of followers.

“There are many people who listen to us, who know who we are out on the street, especially young people“, assures Julito, who also explains that in order to spread their art, they have to do so through their own means, “burning CDs and handing them out to the population“, while “opposition groups also help us spread our work throughout the country“.  In addition, they have to do record in “home studios” which other musician friends lend them.

He points out that an efficient way to assist artists like them in Cuba is to facilitate their access to blank CDs and USBs.

Our discs are not on sale in Cuba“, says Julito, son of well known dissident and Lady in White Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo.  However, anyone can buy the new album on their website, www.elprimarioyjulito.com.

Roberto de Jesús Guerra, director of the Havana-based independent news agency ‘Hablemos Press’, recently published a video-clip of one of the new singles of the rap group, “Este año si se Cae” [‘This year the dictatorship falls’].

Here we are“, expressed Julito, “My message to other young musicians like us in Cuba is that they join us to keep taking the sentiment of freedom to the people.  Here I am…and we have to keep fighting without fear and taking this protest music against the dictatorship“.


To contact directly with Julito:
Cell Phone: +53-246-070

“My Crime”, Making pro-freedom music under a dictatorship

New music from Cuba: Primario y Julito with Rapper Issac- “Lambon”

Primario y Julito, dissident rap duo based in Havana, have joined forces with Raper Issac, from Santiago de Cuba, in a new song and video: “Lambon“.

“My thing is not a whim, my thing is not a vice, my thing is desire for freedom”, says the opening of the new single published on the YouTube channel of Roberto de Jesus Guerra, director of the independent news agency ‘Hablemos Press‘.  Guerra helps the young rappers record and promote their work.

Both Primario y Julito and Raper Issac, like all other independent musicians on the island, are prohibited and censored from any air time in the country, yet they are still popular amongst the everyday population, especially the youth.  Musicians such as these hand out CDs with their music on the streets.

Other rappers- such as Angel Yunier Remon “El Critico”, based in the Eastern town of Bayamo, are subjected to constant government persecution.  In Remon’s case, he has been in prison for nearly 3 months and may soon face charges for making music, carrying out peaceful demonstrations, and hanging up anti-government signs on his home.

Check out the new single by Primario y Julito and Raper Issac, “Lambon”:

New music from Cuba: Primario y Julito with Rapper Issac- “Lambon”

Calixto Ramon Martinez, back at the headquarters of Hablemos Press (Photos)

After his release from prison on the night of Tuesday, April 9th 2013, independent journalist Calixto Ramon Martinez Arias has returned to the headquarters of Hablemos Press, the news agency of which he is a correspondent.

The news agency has published photos of this emotional return and encounter on their Facebook page. Here they are:

Meanwhile, in this audio published by “Radio Republica”, Calixto Ramon recounted his time in prison and sent out a message of appreciation to all those, in and out of Cuba, who joined in solidarity to demand his release. 8 dissidents went on hunger strike to demand his freedom, while many others took to the streets to carry out public protests.

In another audio, Roberto de Jesús Guerra, director of Hablemos Press, sent out his own message of appreciation and gratitude.

Martínez Arias has assured that he will continue reporting and working towards a Cuba where there is a free press and respect for Human Rights.

Calixto Ramon Martinez, back at the headquarters of Hablemos Press (Photos)

Berta Soler travels outside of Cuba and Ladies in White continue marching

Ladies in White accompany Berta Soler in the airport. March 10th, 2013. Photo published by @jangelmoya

Berta Soler, the national representative of the Ladies in White, boarded a plane to travel outside her country for the first time ever, with destination to Spain, this Sunday March 10th, to participate in a conference organized by the exiled representatives of the mentioned female dissident group.

Her husband, renowned activist and former political prisoner of conscience, Angel Moya Acosta, along with the also former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, used their Twitter accounts to narrate the moment in which Soler arrived to the airport.

“A car with a private license plate is following us”, tweeted Moya in his account (@jangelmoya) while on his way with his wife to the JoseMartiAirport in Havana. However, the activists managed to make it without any complications, accompanied by “35 Ladies in White and 19 male human rights activists”, explained another tweet.

On his part, Ivan Hernandez informed in his account (@ivanlibre) that in the airport there were also “regime agents dressed as immigration workers” as well as “special troops” keeping watch over the group of dissidents. Hernandez added that Roberto de Jesus Guerra, director of the independent news agency ‘Hablemos Press’ had his phone “blocked” in order to keep him from sending out Twitter messages to his many followers.

It was confirmed that Berta Soler boarded the plane and set out to Spain at around 12:45 AM.

Just hours before, Soler participated in the habitual Sunday march of the Ladies in White in Havana, where 65 women walked down 5th Avenue and assisted Mass at the Santa Rita Church.

Hernandez Carrillo added on Twitter that in the province of Santiago de Cuba, 60 Ladies in White marched and assisted Mass, 18 did so in the province of Matanzas, and 10 in Guantanamo, leaving it very clear that these women will continue their activities while their leader is outside of the country.

“Berta Soler is already inside the airplane”, wrote Ivan Hernandez afterwards in his Twitter, “May God protect her and may she have a safe trip, and that she may be able to raise her voice for the Cuban people in the free world”.

Berta Soler
Berta Soler travels outside of Cuba and Ladies in White continue marching

From Cuba: Video-Declaration demands release of jailed reporter

#LiberenaCalixto (“Free Calixto”) is a hashtag being used with much popularity in the world of Twitter by users of this social media in and out of the island, with the intent of demanding the immediate release of jailed independent journalist Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias who has been on hunger strike for more than 27 days in a dungeon of Havana, simply for reporting without censorship and with a perspective free form the grips of state control.

Now, his colleagues from the independent news agency “Hablemos Press” have published a video on their YouTube channel, narrating Calixto’s situation and demanding his immediate and unconditional release.  Watch it below:

Roberto de Jesús Guerra, the director of Hablemos Press, recently sent out a Tweet (@HablemosPress) informing that this past Thursday, 6th of December, penal authorities have refused to give Calixto water, with the intent of forcing him to desist his protest, according to testimonies of some common prisoners who have been able to establish communication with the Havana-based news agency.

If what the prisoners allege is certain, Calixto Ramon Martinez would be traveling down the same path as martyrs like Orlando Zapata Tamayo,who declared themselves on hunger strike but not on thirst strike, and were instead refused the liquid by authorities to give up their protest and/or to speed up their demise.

If you’d like to add your signature to an initiative demanding the release of the journalist, you may do so by visiting this digital petition.

Freedom for Calixto NOW!

From Cuba: Video-Declaration demands release of jailed reporter

Lady in White Manages to Photograph Dungeon Where She Was Detained

Photo of Sara Marta Fonseca in police unit cell, posted by Roberto de Jesus Guerra (Hablemos Press)

In his Facebook account, Roberto de Jesús Guerra-  independent journalist and director of the (illegal) “Hablemos Press” news agency in Havana- has published a series of photos taken by the Lady in White Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo when she was confined (for hours) in a cell of the 4th Police Unit of El Cerro this past 9th of July.  The photos demonstrate the horrid conditions in which the  dungeons of police units throughout Cuba are kept, where the regime sends peaceful dissidents and activists.  It seems the activist managed to sneak in a camera or cell phone.

The home of Fonseca Quevedo is constantly under attack by the Cuban political police, who keep a tight watch over who enters and leaves, as well as impeding dissidents from entering or, in many cases, exiting.  The house has also been attacked with objects such as condoms, mud, excrement and more.  Fonseca is frequently arrested for simply trying to leave her own neighborhood or for trying to carry out a nonviolent activity, as was the case on July 9th 2012 when the Lady in White had plans to carry out a tribute to the victims of the 13th of March Tugboat Massacre.  Her family- especially her husband Julio Leon Fonseca and her older son “Julito” (the rapper from the hip-hop duo ‘Primario and Julito‘) are also active members of the Resistance and suffer beatings, arrests, and threats just like Fonseca Quevedo.

It is the first time that Fonseca manages to capture images from the dungeons where she is commonly kept.

Photo of Sara Marta Fonseca in police unit cell, posted by Roberto de Jesus Guerra (Hablemos Press)
Photo of Sara Marta Fonseca in police unit cell, posted by Roberto de Jesus Guerra (Hablemos Press)
Photo of Sara Marta Fonseca in police unit cell, posted by Roberto de Jesus Guerra (Hablemos Press)
Lady in White Manages to Photograph Dungeon Where She Was Detained