The Plight of Cuban Rapper Angel Yunier “El Critico” Remon Arzuaga
“Welcome to Bayamo…criticizing has become suicide, I get burned and I don’t ask for help, I will criticize without mercy, I fight and I know the consequences. Bayamo this is my trench, I don’t look outside, my family is here inside, a seed which continues active and keeps producing, I will keep writing for you, a real Bayamo native, lyrics without salary is how I live, this is protest and let it be known.” – “Bayamo” by Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso
Since March 21, 1013, Cuban rapper El Critico, (born Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga and one-half of the duo Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso) has sat in a Cuban prison facing an eight-year sentence. He has been tear-gassed, beaten, and during his stay in prison, contracted cholera. His crime? Criticizing the Cuban government through rap music.
Last month, the rapper went on a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment. The strike helped to raise international awareness of his plight and through the use of the hashtag #FreeElCritico, impacted social media.
Yesterday, it was reported that El Critico has ended his hunger and thirst strike after authorities have decided to “do justice,” as cited in a release by UNPACU. However, El Critico still remains in prison for simply expressing himself through rhyme.
To continue to raise awareness of El Critico’s situation, use the hashtag #FreeElCritico and share his music, which is posted above.
“Bayamo” lyrics courtesy of Pedazos de la Isla.