Like most socialists, the popular Cuban musical group Gente de Zona likes to enjoy the best of both worlds. In socialist Cuba, their shows promoting the murderous Castro dictatorship provides them with the status and perks reserved only for elite communist party apparatchiks. In the U.S., they get to sell lots of records and perform in concerts and on television, earning lots of imperialist U.S. dollars they use to live a life of luxury here in America.
The problem here is not that they have one foot in socialist tyranny and the other foot in capitalist freedom. The problem is they have both feet firmly planted in support of the Castro regime’s tyranny while enjoying the benefits given to Cubans who risked their lives to fight that tyranny.
Cubans Launch Campaign to Strip Pro-Castro Pop Stars of Green Cards
Cubans and Cuban-Americans on social media are pressuring American politicians to rescind, or at least launch an investigation into, the immigration status of superstar dance-pop group Gente de Zona, whose members perform freely in Cuba and have openly praised dictator Fidel Castro.
Gente de Zona, whose music blends the urban reggaetón genre with traditional salsa and other Latin dance music, has sold millions of records and launched a booming music career from their native Havana, which violently represses musicians who do not bend their knees to the communist regime. They regularly perform in the United States, including on televised awards shows, then return to Cuba with the money they made in America. The current uproar against the group in the Cuban-American community is in part a response to the Castro regime giving them a stage to perform in front of hundreds of thousands of people last week.
Under the hashtag #nogreencardgdz, Cubans and Cuban Americans are taking to Twitter to pressure Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and local politicians to review how group members Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom are legally allowed to live and work in the country. Multiple petitions have also surfaced on Change.org asking the U.S. government to block the band from entering the country.
“Gente De Zona works on behalf of the dictatorship in Cuba and serves their interest. This is a request to open an investigation to possibly have their permanent resident card removed due to their link to the Cuban Government,” one of the petitions reads.
The campaign has snowballed since being launched by Cuban cultural commentator Alexander Otaola, who broadcasts a nightly YouTube program on culture and politics. Otaola has taken to routinely exposing Cuban artists and celebrities for their silence in the face of extreme human rights abuses on the island and demanding they use their platforms, like he does, to elevate the voices of persecuted dissidents.
Otaola noted that Gente de Zona’s concert last weekend in Havana, which attracted an estimated 350,000 people, was particularly offensive in light of violent attacks on dissidents organized to prevent a planned protest Sunday in honor of Cuba’s patron saint, Our Lady of Charity (La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre).
Cuban state police arrested over 100 pro-democracy protesters between Friday and Sunday, severely beating many members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), the island’s largest dissident group. Alleged police officers, many plain-clothed, raided the homes of dissidents while beating them to steal their milk, cooking oil, and other basic needs that Cuba is suffering from extreme shortages of due to government mismanagement.
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