The controversial rocker from Cuba, Gorki Aguila, arrived last night in Miami. [Watch video here] And, today in the afternoon he presented himself to the public and local media; the first publicity stop in his two-week "Freedom Tour" promoting his latest CD. According to Telemundo 51 [video], he will be autographing CD's for fans tomorrow in the heart of Calle Ocho at the Cuba Ocho Art and Research Center.
The local Spanish media in Miami loves Gorki. Not necessarily because they like punk rock, but because they like his anti-Castro message. Gorki has recently appeared repeatedly on local Spanish news interviews (such as Telemundo 51), Spanish talk show interviews (like Maria Elvira Live), and (surprise, surprise) Radio Marti. In the case of the upcoming Peace without Borders concert in Cuba, Gorki has publicly stated that he supports the event, but believes that the artists, especially Juanes, should inform himself about the Cuban government (because Juanes is naive of course), and place blame on the Castro brothers for the lack of peace in Cuba.
This is music to the ears of the local Spanish media.
But, Gorki honestly despises the Castro brothers. And, its understandable because he's been incarcerated, I believe, three times in Cuba for his "deviant" behavior, and he attributes it all to the repressive machinery of the Cuban government.
Before his arrival to Miami, Gorki had been living and working in Mexico, since April or May, as a waiter in his sister's restaurant (he was shocked that the Cuban government gave him an exit visa). Both his older sister and mother live in Mexico now. He has a 13 year old daughter still in Cuba.
It is also being reported that Gorki's "Freedom Tour" is being sponsored by an organization called the "Global Cuba Solidarity Movement." Looking at their website, this organization seems to have been dormant for about a year since the last Cuba Solidarity Day (which got plenty of attention from the Bush Administration). Looking at the links they provide on their "library" page, you'll get an indication to whom this organization is mostly directed towards (yes, the Babalu blog is there).
Speaking of the Babalu blog, when "founding editor" Val Prieto found out that Gorki was coming to Miami, he got all excited and posted the press release with this title: "Hey Juanes, F*CK YOU!" [screenshot]
Oh, those boys!
Anyway, another excited fan of Gorki's was at today's press conference: Telemundo 51 reporter Fausto Malave. Malave loves to give leading questions, especially when he knows what the answer is gonna be. (Last year, Malave asked former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez in Miami what he thought should be done about Hugo Chavez. Perez replied exactly as he did four years before.) Today at the press conference, Malave (innocently, of course) asked Gorki [video]:
"What do you wish on the Castro brothers?"
Gorki immediately laughed at the question because he knew what Malave was doing. Gorki eventually responded saying: "It so awful to say, but if the freedom of a country depends on the death of a tyrant, then, of course, so be it welcomed." This reply by Gorki also made it on the airwaves of Radio Mambi.
Welcome to Miami Gorki. It's an entirely different propaganda game here.
Gorki made his local television debut last night on Mano Limpia with Oscar Haza [video]. The two other guests on with Gorki shared identical views with him concerning the Peace concert tomorrow in Cuba.
Also, this afternoon Gorki appeared before a large crowd of his fans in Little Havana. The Free Cuba Foundation has some video of the event on their YouTube channel.
Gorki was surprised by the large turnout, and looks like he signed and sold plenty of CDs [video]. There's even video of Gorki playing one of his songs dedicated to Raul Castro [video]. One line in the songs goes: "Raul you are a phony, there's no one that can tolerate you."
You can view lots of music videos of Gorki Aguila and his band, Porno for Ricardo, here.
Here's an excellent video by Generacion Asere:
[Photo by PedroPortal/El Nuevo Herald]