The project aimed at Cuba rappers emerged simultaneously with the creation of other projects perfectly linked such as the so-called Cuban twitter Zunzuneo and project Genesis, addressed to train change leaders among university students back in 2008.
I admit it was a surprise to listen to Aldo’s rap dedicated to the Venezuelan right entitled “Para Venezuela, de Aldo”. You always harbor hopes despite real life shows the contrary. Los Aldeanos’ musical career changed after they got in touch with Serbian promoter Rajko Bozic, one of Serbia’s EXIT Festival producers.
As a writer, intellectual of this time, I always trusted Los Aldeanos did not know who were pulling the strings behind the scenes. But this song, paved with tons of ready-made messages of fiery style makes me believe the contrary.
My memory takes me to the 2005 when CIA official Rene Greenwald, after a long talk about the need to forge in Cuba a symbol of resistance that excelled the atomization of Cuban dissidence, told me the importance of such strategy, the music, seeing that Cuban people love music.
Greenwald ordered me to carry out an inquiry about Cuba’s main musical group, especially those having great acceptance among young people. He gave us software for DJs and several CDs from some American and Latin Amercian rappers.
Before Greenwald’s visit and as part of my CIA recruitment back in 2005, I was trained hard in 2004 in the strategy of Soft Coup.
The CIA gave paramount importance to the promotion among Cuban youth of the so-called non-violent struggle. 2006 was a complicated year. The announcement of the illness of our Commander in Chief Fidel Castro and his retirement from the political scene triggered a series of actions from the U.S. government and its special services to overthrow the Revolution. America organized many provocative actions — one of them was the media uprising on August 13th in Centro Habana—, in order to facilitate the military occupation of Cuba “to protect” civilians from chaos, ungovernability, and deaths by following the guidelines of the Fourth Generation Warfare.
The enemy strategy followed step by step most of the 198 methods of non-violent resistance suggested by the Gene Sharp’s guidebook; namely, false hunger strikes, graffiti, and media war. The Ladies in White was a group created following the guidebook instructions: colors, symbols, exploitation of humanitarian and religious feelings, demonstrations, actions on the streets, broad media coverage, etc. Ladies in White would then play a very important role in this scenario as part of the strategy of what retired Col. of the U.S. Army and vet of Vietnam war Bob Halvey, allied of Gene Sharp, called political jiu-jitsu, to provoke the use of force from your rival and use it to undermine it and put it down, by isolate it from its people.
Rene Greenwald came back to Havana in 2006. He proposed me to create a Rap Agency this time. He explained that he needed with urgency a popular group capable of gathering thousands of young people in any place of the country.
Greenwald gave me some CDs with backgrounds and songs with highly critical lyrics. He said: "Do you imagine a group singing this before thousands of young people? What would the police do? How would the State Security react?” The veteran official believed I was the right man for the job since I was a writer linked to the country’s art world (I was chairman of the AHS —Asociacion Hermanos Saiz— in Cienfuegos and belonged to the Culture Workers’ Union in Havana). I rejected the proposal by arguing that I was working in creating an alternative Literary Agency, task directed by Greenwald himself. “There is lots of money involved”, he insisted.
And there was money, indeed. The USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the “Soft Coup” strategists, George Soros from the Open Society Foundation, Gene Sharp, the Albert Einstein Institute, the International Center for the Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC) that have participated in the creation, organization, and funding of the OPTOR group (resistance) in Yugoslavia, were the organizations involved in these subversive actions against Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries.
Oddly enough in 2009, some of the backgrounds and two of the songs I listened to at home were part of Los Aldeanos’ repertoire afterwards.
According to the AP, early in 2009, a contractor from a U.S. federal entity sent Serbian musical promoter Rajko Bozic to Cuba with the purpose of recruiting one of Havana’s most popular rappers, to foster a youth movement against Cuban government.
The project aimed at Cuba rappers emerged simultaneously with the creation of other projects perfectly linked such as the so-called Cuban twitter Zunzuneo and project Genesis, addressed to train change leaders among university students. Back in 2008, the CIA came with the idea of introducing cell phones to Cuba in order to effectively mobilize people. Different NGOs would serve as a CIA cover to deliver, under the pretext of “helping Cuban people to improve access to information and communication”, of smart phones and other devices.
One of the possible usages of Zunzuneo was as follow: users received a message summoning them to a live concert performed by a popular band. Thousands of those young people gathered in a certain point, but there was no concert. Minutes passed by and unrest rose. They blamed cultural authorities for the inconvenient. A new message saying the artists were arrested by the police came to light and then people were urged to go to the place artists were allegedly detained. Well, we can imagine how a situation like this could end. In 2009, the group selected by the CIA to carry out this action was Los Aldeanos.
To Bozic, tension with authorities was part of the plan. The hip-hop environment was “subversive enough to be extremely attractive, but at the same time it was not too dangerous to play in it.”
A great international and underground promotion in the country could make untouchable the duo, or trio sometimes, and any actions against the group could lead to demonstrations and served to mobilize people all around the country. Marketing strategies, colors and symbols’ use would allow duplicating Serbia’s scenario in Cuba.
Everything turned around, said AP, to a subtle manipulating strategy. Bozic was hired by Creative Associates International, a company that signed a multimillionaire contract with USAID. - We know it well, the same company of Zunzuneo, Piramideo and Commotion, the same related with Alan Gross. Creative would hire Aldo and other Cuban musicians for projects that were supposedly cultural initiatives but were in fact aimed at boost their visibility and stimulate fans to challenge the Cuban government… there was a precedent: the Bozic project was inspired by protest concerts of the student movement that helped overthrowing the former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic in year 2000.
Adrian Monzon, a producer hired by USAID, "creator" of the Talento Cubano.net network that gathered musicians from all over the country, - an idea of USAID to create an anti-government social movement -. Following the same method used for many years to train young leaders opposing the late Chavez in Venezuela. He traveled to Europe accompanied by Cuban musicians included in the Talento Cubano platform to train them as leaders.
Los Aldeanos participated 4 months later in July 2010 at the Exit Festival of Belgrade. Regarding this event the AP quotes "Do you think the training was able to keep them a more focused on their roles as actors of social mobilization? “ asked Utset in a chat with Monzon. "Yes, it did", he replied. "Now they saw there are other people fighting in other places on the same or even under worse situations. He added: "Serbians kept telling us all the time 'if we did it in Serbia for sure you can do it in Cuba" '.
The next step would come in the Rotilla Festival, the largest festival of electronic music in the island, years after years thousands of young people met for three days near the beach, good music, dance, healthy and not so healthy fun meet in that place, Los Aldeanos were invited to participate in 2010 edition, acclaimed by the crowd, they challenged the police and made fun of every institution and government personality that crossed their mind. The taunting could have given results, 15, 000 people gathered in the place witnessed as their musical idols challenged authorities and criticized the Revolution. They spoke foully to the police, taunting, offending, undoubtedly the course taken at OTPOR paid off.
It was the top of the project that finally, didn't find solid ground in a nation having remarkable defenses against plans like this. To the "success" of the performance in Rotilla followed a series of sounded failures, the experience of Serbia was unfavorable in Cuba, among other things because Cuba is not Serbia, it is neither any of the places where the strategy of the Soft Blow has given result. There is an authentic Revolution in Cuba, the outcome of historical past of the nation, born from the revolutionary radical thought that originated it.
The arsenal unleashed by the so-called non-violent revolutions or soft blows, it seeks the symbolic defeat of the opponent, said Gene Sharp once at Harvard University "I say the non-violent fight is armed fight, we fight with psychological weapons, economic weapons, social weapons, and political weapons". The ultimate goal is for the opponent to crumble that the state disappears, deprived from the spirit that holds it, defeating its icons, changing the panorama, destroying the symbols. To confuse, to destroy the ethics, to break the will of resisting are three basic principles of this war.
In Cuba, in the panorama, in the symbolic field the icons of an authentic revolution prevail, the logic, the common sense of the Cuban people is still socialist, against that reality the U.S.’s plans have failed over and over again.
Today Aldo lives in Tampa and although he stuck in denying it with a hint of decency, he hires his talent to the killers of the Venezuelan Fascist right-wing, with the worst propagandistic style of Miami’s television channels.
To Bozic, the Serbian, we can follow his journey through Tunisia, Ukraine, Lebanon, and Zimbabwe. Some press colleagues who saw in Ukraine, in Maidan, organizing music concerts when, due to low temperatures and the exhaustion of the protest, people were heading home. The promoters of the coup in Ukraine needed to keep the Square crowded at any cost.
Cubasi Translation Staff