Monday, September 28, 2009

Two onions, a head of lettuce and a dash of freedom

Aldo Rodriguez Baquero. YouTube video

Cuban rapper Aldo Rodríguez Baquero was detained Monday morning and freed later in the day on suspicion of "illegal possession of a computer," blogger Yoani Sanchez said via Twitter.
Havana blogger Claudia Cadelo spread word of the rapper's detention early Monday. Bloggers outside Cuba quickly rallied around Rodríguez, calling for his release. Musicans and writers who learned about the rapper's troubles on Facebook and other social networking sites soon joined in, CubaEncuentro reported.
Rodríguez has certainly been on the socialist government's radar. He began as an underground rapper in February 2003, but in recent years has made it clear he is pushing for social and political change. He told the New York Times in December 2006:
We are not in agreement with any political system, the one here or the one you have. We want liberty and freedom.
From one of the group's music videos, a place called "Restaurap"

Rodríguez Baquero and a friend, Bian Rodríguez Gala, lead a group called Los Aldeanos, or The Villagers. Rodríguez told the Times:
What we sing, people can't say. They think we are crazy. We say what they only whisper.
Those loyal to the socialist government have tried to bring rappers into the fold, asking that they join a rap agency, the Agencia Cubana de Rap. But most have declined. Rodríguez told the Times:
We don't want to be in any agency. It's the same as slavery for us.
Production costs for the Restaurap video, according to the group: Three tomatoes, two onions and a head of lettuce
Emetrece Productions, the rappers' representative
Along the Malecon's Yoani & other bloggers page

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