“Patria y vida”, the “protest rap” that excites and unites Cubans from inside and outside their country and is nominated for two awards at the Latin Grammy edition that takes place this Thursday, has promoted popular mobilization in favor of freedom in Cuba with a clear message: “It’s over.”
Since its departure in February 2021, “Patria y vida” has not stopped accumulating views on YouTube (more than 9 million until today), nor resounding in any demonstration to request a change in Cuba that is held, whether in Miami, Havana , Madrid or Brussels.
With lyrics and a chorus full of direct criticism of the Government of Cuba and messages of support for the San Isidro Movement of young artists, “Patria y vida” translates into words and music the feelings of many Cubans tired of hardship, lack of freedom and to have “trampled dignity”, as the song says.
A song that is feeling
“‘Homeland and life’ is a feeling that touches our hearts and motivates us to express what we feel, it is also the echo of those who cannot express themselves freely,” says Ariel Alón, a Cuban physiotherapist based in Miami who wants to live in Cuba “with harmony and freedom” and treated with “dignity and respect.”
Last July 11, the song was the “soundtrack” of the spontaneous protests that arose in several Cuban cities, as defined by Yotuel Romero, solo singer and vocalist of the group Orishas.
The other artists of “Patria y vida” are Descemer Bueno, Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom, who form the duo Gente de Zona, Eliécer Márquez Duany, “El Funky”, and Maykel Osorbo, “El Osorbo”, who is imprisoned in Cuba. , and will not be able to be with the others this Thursday at the Latin Grammy gala at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas (USA).
“Patria y vida” is nominated in two categories (best song and best urban song) and its interpreters, as well as exile leaders in Miami, have said that the real nominee is the Cuban people for having taken to the streets to demand freedom .
Boris Larramendi, singer-songwriter and member of the Habana Abierta musical project, vowed that he would win one or both awards. “Hopefully I win. Everything that gives visibility to the fight against the Cuban dictatorship seems good to me, ”he told Efe.
For a long time, a “protest song” was not a candidate for awards in this category and a prisoner nominee is not remembered, such as “El Osorbo”, to which his colleagues from Las Vegas will surely refer as they have done these days in the networks.
“#PatriaYVida higher than ever !! @maykelosorbo this goes for you and for every Cuban who cannot raise his voice,” Descemer Bueno wrote on Instagram from the city of casinos and shows.
The speaker of the Latin Grammy
The wide audience of the Latin Grammy awards, which are broadcast live by Univisión to the US and Latin America, will have the opportunity to see tomorrow an unpublished acoustic version of a song that from the title marks distance with those who hold the power in Cuba since 1959.
“Homeland and life” is a contrast to the slogan “homeland or death” of the Communist Party, the only one allowed on the island.
Pronounced out loud or written on posters, T-shirts and flags, generally next to the SOS Cuba label, the words homeland and life have been present since February wherever there are Cubans who are dissatisfied with the regime, even in attempts to mobilize on November 15. (15N).
The regime prevented the Civic March for Change that day by holding opponents in their homes and arresting those who intended to march.
“Do not think you have won,” wrote Yotuel Romero in a message to the Government of Miguel Díaz-Canel after the 15N.
He and the other artists of “Patria y Vida” have not limited themselves to releasing the song and enjoying the success, but have continued to lash out at the regime from the networks and the stages and do activism for change.
Before “Patria y vida” there were other songs that criticized the Cuban regime and announced its end, but none reached its popularity, nor did those that followed in its wake demanding change, nor did those released by artists related to the Government. of Cuba in his defense.
Freedom, not doctrine
“No more lies. The people ask for freedom, not more doctrine. Let us no longer shout homeland or death but Homeland and Life “, says the song.
The chorus uses the game of dominoes, very popular among Cubans, to launch a message of change: “It’s over, you five nine me double two. It’s over, sixty years locked the dominoes, look it’s over, you five nine me double two. It’s over, sixty years blocking dominoes. “
“You are already overflowing, you have nothing left, you are already getting off. The people got tired of holding on. We are waiting for a new dawn ”, says the song in reference to the regime that emerged after the triumph of the revolution in January 1959.
Ariel Alón says that “Homeland and life” is a denunciation of a “failed mandate that wants to continue to root its ideology above the values and principles of a devastated people.”
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‘Patria y vida’ reaches the Latin Grammy so that the ‘it’s over’ begins