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Cuba to try anti-Castro punk rocker Gorki Aguila
By Frances Robles

Cuban musician Gorki Aguila of the band

Cuban musician Gorki Aguila of the band "Porno para Ricardo." Photo property of the Cuban Democratic Directorate.



The Cuban rocker whose biting profanity-laced lyrics against the Castro government has previously gotten him in trouble is now in detention and expected to face trial Friday, according to human-rights groups in Havana.

Gorki Aguila, 39, heads Porno Para Ricardo -- Porn for Ricardo -- a 10-year-old, punk-rock group that regularly denounces the government in its songs.

Aguila was picked up Monday during a rehearsal for an album tentatively called Geriatric Central Committee, an apparent jab at the aging members of Cuba's communist party leadership.

He is charged with ''pre-crime social dangerousness,'' a law the Cuban government uses against people it considers a threat to the revolution.

''In our view, he has committed no crime,'' human-rights activist Elizardo Sánchez said from Havana. ``The government is furious, because he composed about 12 to 15 songs which they consider disrespectful or irreverent. They ridicule both Fidel Castro and his brother.''

Sánchez said he listened to two of the tunes and they are ``quite strong.''

On Wednesday, the Cuban American National Foundation offered to provide Aguila an attorney for his trial Friday at the Playa Municipal Court in western Havana.

But Aguila's website says he is apolitical, accepts no funding from political groups, and disavows the use of his music for political purposes.

In a recent interview with TV Martí, the U.S.-funded anti-Castro news broadcast, Aguila said the Castro government constantly harasses the group, because the music caught officials by surprise.

''They provoke us and offend us daily,'' he said, ``and we're kind of tired.''

Sánchez said this is Aguila's second arrest.

The first, in 2005, was a ''confusing drug case with no evidence'' that was engineered by the government, Sánchez said.

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