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In Bizarre Scheme, U.S. Government Trying to Overthrow Cuban Govt. Using Cuban Rappers

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 3.18.09 PMReports have surfaced that for more than two years, a U.S. agency has been invading Cuba’s underground hip-hop scene and recruiting rappers in order to spark a movement against the government, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The premise was to use Cuban rappers “to break the information blockade,” according to documents, but so far it hasn’t been unsuccessful. Instead of overthrowing the government, the movement really only hurt the Cuban music culture. The government caught wind of this ploy and the documents show that on more than six occasions, Cuban authorities detained or interrogated people involved in the program, confiscating their computers and jeopardizing their safety.

Several big artists that U.S. Agency for International Development contractors tried to promote eventually either fled the country or stopped performing due to governmental pressures and fear of repercussions from the Cuban government.

In a statement, USAID denied that the campaign was a secret.

“Any assertions that our work is secret or covert are simply false,” USAID said in a statement Wednesday. They insisted that their programs intended to strengthen civil society “often in places where civic engagement is suppressed and where people are harassed, arrested, subjected to physical harm or worse.”

The program was described in documents tying Creative Associates International, a Washington, D.C. firm, to the movement, detailing that the contractor paid millions of dollars to undermine Cuba’s communist government. The thousands of pages of documents include contracts, emails, preserved chats, budgets, expense reports, power points, photographs and passports.

The program even included the creation of a “Cuban Twitter” and a program that sent Latin American youth to provoke protests, which included a front organization and a financial scheme to mask the USAID’s involvement in the movement.

“I never imagined that a program like this could exist,” said Silvio Rodriguez, Cuban musician, and leader of the nueva trova movement. “When you find out you could be surrounded by a conspiracy, it’s shocking.”

Of course there’s plenty of evidence that the US has embarked on numerous efforts over the years to overthrow the communist regime just 90 miles south of Miami, starting with the botched Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 authorized by President Kennedy and using 1,400 anti-Castro Cuban exiles trained by the CIA. But that plan failed—the exiles were killed or captured by Castro’s military—as have many others over the years.


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5 thoughts on “In Bizarre Scheme, U.S. Government Trying to Overthrow Cuban Govt. Using Cuban Rappers

  1. FUSION: Cuban artist defends US’ crazy plan to fund revolutionary hip-hop scene – by Daniel Rivero – People getting all bent out of shape by the idea of USAID funding Cuba’s underground hip-hop scene need to drink a rum and coke and relax, according to a figure at the center of the controversy. Before critics start to squawk sanctimoniously about the U.S. using hip-hop artists in a plot to destabilize a foreign government through subversive songs, people need to understand the reality of trying to survive as an independent artist in Cuba, says Cuban filmmaker and event producer Diddier Santos.

    Santos denies that he or his production company Matraka Productions ever knowingly received funding from the U.S. to support their countercultural music and arts festival in Cuba. “But with that said, who would you rather get money from? The Cuban government who will only give you money if you follow the party line, or another government who will give you creative freedom to do what you want to do?” Santos told Fusion.

    “We’ve gotten money from the government of Holland too, and no one ever had an issue with that. It all comes back to this mess that we have between our countries, that [the U.S.] is the ‘enemy’,” he added. “My conscience is clean, but if things were how they should be this [scandal] would have been no big deal. But it’s not, so it’s seen as a treason.”.

    The scandal broke on Wednesday with an AP report that found USAID had a program aimed at fomenting unrest in Cuba by infiltrating the island’s hip-hop scene.

    The report said that a Serbian national was contracted by USAID as a bagman to subsidize Cuba’s largest hip-hop group, Los Aldeanos. The Serbian agent used his monied influence to encourage the group members to amplify their anti-government statements in public. Members of Los Aldeanos were brought to Serbia for a “training” that U.S. handlers hoped would embolden the group’s socially conscious messages. The artists claim they were not aware of USAID’s role or political intentions.


  2. YOUTUBE: PUNK OUTLAW TV: Punks in Havana, Cuba Speak Out – A rare and exclusive look into the underground world of punk music in Cuba. While we were taping in downtown Havana, the police arrested one of our interviewees for reasons unknown. This video is dedicated to him and all the other courageous punks in Cuba who speak out against oppressive conditions, intolerance and attempts to suppress innate freedom of expression.

  3. YOUTUBE: Documentary ¡Cuba RebelióN! – (trailer) is a documentary about Cuban underground rock musicians who rebel against the Castro-regime. It shows the painful reality of musicians who are not allowed to express themselves publicly but are nevertheless willing to put their freedom at risk by playing their music.

  4. YOUTUBE ENTIRE DOCUMENTARY: "Grandchildren of the Cuban Revolution" – The Grandchildren of the Revolution gives the youth a voice to share their feelings of hope and despair. Some speak with humor, many do it in defiance. The film tries to capture the vibe of Cubas youth today. Featuring artists like: Los Aldeanos, Porno para Ricardo, Silvito El Libre and bloggers Claudia Cadelo, Yoani Sanchez and Laritza Diversent, the film was directed by Carlos Montaner with the help of young camera men and women who visited the island throughout a span of several months. SPANISH WITH ENGLISH SUB-TITLES.

  5. Jay Contreras says:

    The US organized criminal network aka the US guvment is ALWAYS up to no good–everywhere on the planet it seems. When are there going to be counter movements? What's good enough for the goose should be good enough for the gander. All empires eventually over reach and fall. It's just a matter of WHEN, not if. The mob that runs this country will fall hard. Can't wait to witness it.

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