Cuba: Rappers persecuted – beaten, ransacked, arrested

17 February 2014

Excerpt of blog-post by John Suarez at

“The importance of generating and maintaining attention is critically important for anyone who dissents from the official government line. Rodolfo Ramirez, known by his rapping name as El Primario, member of the hip-hop duo El Primario y Julito, who appears in the above video was so badly beaten by an agent of state security that he is suffering from memory loss, and his face is completely disfigured.

Another who is not in the video but is a fellow rapper is Angel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, whose stage name is el Critico del Arte (the ‘Art Critic’). He has also been badly beaten up and jailed since 26 March 2013 and has been so mistreated that it has driven him to hunger strikes that have compounded the deterioration of his health caused by the beatings.

At the same time that the campaign for solidarity has provided much needed protection for Gorki in other parts of Cuba the repression continues. On the mornings of 5 February 2014 and again on 11 February, the home of Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’ was invaded and ransacked and Antúnez violently arrested and taken out of the city and held for hours. All his belongings seized during the first raid. No search warrant or notice that his property was to be confiscated for some legal reason. Nothing.

His wife, Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, detained, abused and beaten on February 5th as she was going to the offices of State Security to ascertain her husband’s plight. This morning, 11 February at 6:00am without warning their home was invaded again and both were detained and beaten. This has led Antúnez to take the extreme measure yesterday to announce a hunger and thirst strike in protest.

We must remain vigilant for Gorki. The show trial has been suspended for the time being and can be reconvened at any moment. The dictatorship hates what he represents, and as we saw with Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas even high visibility is not enough to protect one who lives free in Cuba. We need to continue gathering signatures for the petition demanding his freedom. At the same time there are others who also need our attention.”


» This text was written and published by John Suarez at

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