‘My People Demand Freedom!’: Cuban Popstars Blast Communist Regime With Viral Song
Alexander Delgado (L) and Randy Malcom (R) of Cuban reggaeton duo "Gente de Zona", speak during an interview with AFP ahead of their Miami concert at Marine Stadium in Key Biscayne, Florida, on April 20, 2021. - Havana and Miami are waging a war of political slogans, but in song: over the past few months, supporters and detractors of the Cuban government, on both shores, have engaged in a musical ping-pong to the rhythms of reggaeton, salsa and rap. The latest battle in this war of songs will be fought on April 25, when the duo Gente de Zona performs for the first time in public during a concert in Miami, the song that sparked the hostilities: "Patria y Vida" (Homeland and Life). (Photo by Eva Marie UZCATEGUI / AFP) (Photo by EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

A group of Cuban artists has released a viral song openly critical of the nation’s communist regime.

The artists — Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom of Grammy-winning reggaeton group Gente de Zona and singer Descemer Bueno, who live in Miami; Yotuel Romero, who lives in Spain; and rappers Maykel Castillo (known as Maykel Osorbo) and Eliécer Marquez (known as “El Funky”), who live in Cuba — recently released a song entitled “Patria y Vida.” Since its release in February, the music video has amassed over five million views on YouTube.

Following the release of the song, Castillo was reportedly detained by Cuban authorities after asking why he was being surveilled by police. One month later, he was reportedly beaten by two individuals as onlooking Cuban law enforcement officials recorded the incident without intervening. According to local reports, the attack left Castillo with a broken nose. 

“Patria y Vida” translates to “Homeland and Life,” a direct challenge to Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara’s infamous slogan “Patria o Muerte” — “Homeland or Death.”

“It’s over. No more lies! My people demand freedom. No more doctrines! Let’s no longer shout ‘Patria o Muerte,’ but ‘Patria y Vida,’” says one verse of the song. “Stop the blood from flowing for daring to think differently… Your time has expired, silence has been broken.”

“It’s over now — you, fifty-nine [1959]. Me, double-two [2020],” says the chorus, referring to the year of the Cuban Revolution.

Cuba’s regime was not enthused. President Miguel Díaz-Canel tweeted that the artists’ desire was to “erase our motto.”

Writing for Granma — a Cuban state media outlet sympathetic to the communist regime — one journalist states:

Neither fame, nor talent (or its absence), nor imagined glory, neither likes, nor views on the Internet, neither real nor paid. The sincere hand does not join with stagings where there is neither homeland nor life. The voice, the hands, the dreams, and the history that carries the names and surnames of true Cubans let us know that Homeland or Death has always been a banner for life.

Those of us who have Homeland know that.

Citing the current political climate, the artists explained that citizens are more willing to confront the Cuban government. 

“This is the most critical moment that the dictatorship has faced,” Bueno told The Miami Herald. “This is the moment many people like me have always waited for. If I had been asked to do this before, I would not have been prepared. I would not have had the anger that seeing the way the dictatorship has treated the people in the last year caused me.”

Coco Fusco — an international artist and Guggenheim Fellowship awardee — told The Miami Herald that “the collaboration between musicians inside and outside the island is a powerful message for Cubans and also for the Cuban state.” 

“It overcomes the official discourse that always seeks to divide Cubans into good and bad, revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries, islanders and exiles. United we win.”

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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