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“Homeland and Life”

A powerful message to the dictatorship that its time is over

"Patria y Vida"

*See below the lyrics in English and Spanish (both are unofficial versions by Cuba Archive).

The song and video clip “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”) was released this past Wednesday, February 16th, and in less than 72 hours reached one million hits in YouTube. It is so effective that the Cuban regime's frenzied overreaction can only confirm its weak, anachronistic, state.

The title “Homeland and Life” is a twist on the slogan “Patria o Muerte” (“Homeland or Death”), the longstanding cri de couer of the Cuban Communist regime. The slogan was introduced by Fidel Castro on March 5th 1960 in his eulogy for the victims of the explosion of the La Coubre ship in Havana.
“Patria y Vida” is a collaboration of several renowned artists --the duo Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, Yotuel Romero, and rappers Maykel Osorbo and El Funky-- intended as a strong critical message to the Cuban dictatorship. The production, directed by Asiel Babastro, was put together outside Cuba with images from the island and of recent international demonstrations in support of Movimiento San Isidro (MSI), an artists' group that started in protest of Decree Law 349 of April 2018 that fiercely controls all artistic activity in Cuba.

Troya, Osorbo, and El Funky filmed inside Cuba in just one day, hiding at a crumbling uninhabited house to avoid alerting State Security. Luis Manuel Otero, the Coordinator of Movimiento San Isidro, makes an appearance with the Cuban flag that flew at his home, MSI headquarters, last November 26th, when State Security broke up a hunger strike by 14 Cuban artists and intellectuals to demand freedom for fellow artist Denis Solís. The 32-year old Solis, who had been ramping up criticism of the regime on social media, was arrested after calling a policeman who entered his home a “coward wrapped in a uniform.” Two days later, on November 11, 2020, he was sentenced to eight months of prison for “disrespect” after a summary trial lacking basic due process guarantees. 

On November 27th, Cuban artists and intellectuals started to gather in front of the Ministry of Culture to demand their rights to freedom of expression. When the group swelled to over 500, the Minister promised a dialogue, which soon led to the demonization of the artists by the regime and increased persecution and repression.

The MSI has brought together a brave and diverse group (by gender, race, and background) of young artists and activists not from traditional opposition groups that increasingly interprets the frustrations, demands, and hopes of Cubans of all ages and walks of life. Its popular support inside and outside Cuba has been growing and it has received international media attention. Among others, The Economist ran a December 3, 2020 story and The Wall Street Journal’s dedicated a December 20, 2020 column titled Cuba’s San Isidro Uprising."
Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, has gone ballistic over the song. It published a front-page rebuke and several articles attacking the piece and the artists. Even Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel took to Twitter to defend and glorify the slogan “Homeland or Death.” 

“Patria y Vida” is a fitting hymn for freedom that Cubans so urgently need. So, please share it; let’s get it quickly to its first billion views!
Lyrics for “Homeland and Life”
*Unofficial translation from Spanish by Cuba Archive.

Note: The reference in the lyrics to "59" is to the year 1959, when the Revolution (Castro regime) came to power, and to the "double two" is to the year 2020 (the double two also refers to a domino tile with equal numbers on each half).

 And you are my siren song
Because your voice takes away my sorrows                                                                                    
This feeling is already stale
You hurt me so much even though you’re far away
Today I invite you to walk through my communal houses
So you can see what your ideals are worth
We are human although we don’t think alike
Let's not treat or harm ourselves like animals
This is my way of telling you
My people cry and I feel their voice
You, five nine; me, double two
Sixty years in a locked domino game
Much fanfare for Havana’s five hundred
While at home, the pots have no food
What are we celebrating if people are in a hurry 
trading Che Guevara and Martí for hard currency?
Everything has changed, nothing is the same
Between you and me there's an abyss
Advertising a paradise in Varadero
While mothers cry for their children who\ve left
It's over. You, five nine; me, double two
It's over. Sixty years in a locked domino game
Look, it's over. You, five nine; me, double two
It's over now. Sixty years in a locked domino game
We are artists, we are sensitivity
The true story, not the one told deceitfully
We are the dignity of a whole people trampled on
at gunpoint and with words that still mean nothing
No more lies, my people ask for freedom
No more doctrines
Let’s no longer shout "Homeland and Death"
but rather "Homeland and Life"

And start building what we dream of,
what they've destroyed with their hands

May blood not continue flowing for wanting to think differently
Who told you that Cuba belongs to you if my Cuba belongs to all my people?
It's over. Your time is up, silence is broken
It's over. Laughter is over and weeping is here
It's over. And we're not afraid, the deception is over
It's over. For sixty-two, causing harm
We live there with the uncertainty of a planted past
Fifteen friends, we are ready to die
We raise the flag as the regime continues to repress
Anamely Ramos, firm with her poetry
Omara Ruíz Urquiola, giving us the breath of life
They broke down our door, violated our temple
And the world is aware that the San Isidro Movement remains firm
We continue just the same,
State Security forcing the prism

Which makes me indignant,
It’s the end of the enigma

That's your evil revolution
I'm funky-style, here's my signature
You’re leftovers, there’s nothing left, you’re already getting off
The people got tired of enduring
We await a new dawn
It's over. You, five nine; me, double two
It's over. Sixty years in a locked domino game
Look, it's over. You, five nine; me, double two
It's over now. Sixty years in a locked domino game.
Homeland and Life!
Homeland and Life!
Homeland and Life!...

See below the lyrics in Spanish and additional links to news on this matter.

Letra de “Patria y Vida”
*Edición no oficial, por Archivo Cuba
Y eres tú mi canto de sirena
Porque con tu voz se van mis penas
Y este sentimiento ya está añejo
Tú me dueles tanto aunque estés lejos
Hoy yo te invito a caminar por mis solares                                                                                            
Pa’ demostrarte de qué sirven tus ideales
Somos humanos aunque no pensemos iguales
No nos tratemos ni dañemos como animales
Esta es mi forma de decírtelo
Llora mi pueblo y siento yo su voz
Tú, cinco nueve, yo, doble dos
Sesenta años trancado el dominó
Bombo y platillo a los quinientos de la Habana
Mientras en casa las cazuelas ya no tienen jama
¿Qué celebramos si la gente anda de prisa
cambiando al Che Guevara y a Martí por la divisa?
Todo ha cambiado, ya no es lo mismo
Entre tú y yo hay un abismo
Publicidad de un paraíso en Varadero
Mientras las madres lloran por sus hijos que se fueron
Se acabó. Tú, cinco nueve, yo, doble dos
Ya se acabó. Sesenta años trancado el dominó
Mira, se acabó. Tú, cinco nueve, yo, doble dos
Ya se acabó. Sesenta años trancando el dominó
Somos artistas, somos sensibilidad
La historia verdadera, no la mal contada
Somos la dignidad de un pueblo entero pisoteada
A punta de pistola y de palabras que aún son nada
No mas mentiras, mi pueblo pide libertad, no más doctrinas
Ya no gritemos “Patria y Muerte” sino “Patria y Vida”
Y empezar a construir lo que soñamos, lo que destruyeron con sus manos
Que no siga corriendo la sangre por querer pensar diferente
¿Quién le dijo que Cuba es de ustedes si mi Cuba es de toda mi gente?
Se acabó. Ya se venció tu tiempo, se rompió el silencio
Ya se acabo. Ya se acabo la risa y el llanto ya esta corriendo
Se acabó. Y no tenemos miedo
Se acabó el engaño, ya se acabó
Son sesenta y dos haciendo daño
Allí vivimos con la incertidumbre del pasado, plantado
Quince amigos puestos, listos pa’ morirnos
Izamos la bandera, todavía la represión del régimen al día
Anamely Ramos, firme con su poesía
Omara Ruíz Urquiola, dándonos aliento de vida
Rompieron nuestra puerta, violaron nuestro templo
Y el mundo está consciente de que el Movimiento San Isidro continúa puesto
Seguimos en las mismas, la seguridad metiendo prisma
Esas cosas a mi como me indignan, se acabó el enigma
Ya esa tu revolución maligna
Soy funky-style y aquí tienes mi firma
Ya ustedes están sobrando
Ya no les queda, ya se van bajando
El pueblo se cansó de estar aguantando
Un nuevo amanecer estamos esperando
Se acabó. Tú, cinco nueve, yo, doble dos
Ya se acabó. Sesenta años trancado el dominó
Mira, se acabó. Tú, cinco nueve, yo, doble dos
Ya se acabó, sesenta años trancando el dominó
Patria y vida...
Patria y vida...
Patria y vida...
Enlaces sobre Patria y Vida

Tomado de: ArchivoCuba – CubaArchive