‘Patria y Vida’: Alberto de la Cruz on the Cuban Uprising

The King of Stuff talks with Alberto de la Cruz, a Cuban American living in Miami and Managing Editor of the invaluable Babalú Blog. Alberto and his writers have tirelessly documented the uprising in Cuba that began Sunday, July 11, and continues throughout the island nation. He talks about how it began, what’s happening now, and what it will take for the decrepit Castro regime to finally fall.

Subscribe to the King of Stuff Spotify playlist featuring picks from the show. Today’s pick is the song that helped spark the uprising, “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”) by Cuban musicians on the island (Maykel Osorbo and El Funky) and in exile (Yotuel, Gente De Zona, and Descemer Bueno).

Here are the lyrics translated into English:

And you are my siren song
Because with your voice go my sorrows
And this feeling is already old
You hurt me so, though you are far away

Today, I invite you to walk in my shoes
To show you what your ideals have created
We are human, though you and I do not think the same
Do not demean us and treat us like animals
This is my way of saying:
My people are crying, and I hear their voice
You, ’59; me, 2020
Sixty years of dominoes falling
As a fanfare plays for Havana’s 500 years
The long-empty dishes in our homes gather dust
What are we celebrating, as so many are so fast
To treat the names of Che Guevara and José Martí like currency?
Everything has changed; nothing is the same
Between you and me, there is an abyss
You advertise the paradise of Varadero
While mothers cry for their children who have died

It’s all over now!
You, ’59; me, 2020
It’s all over now!
Sixty years of dominoes falling, look
It’s all over now!
You, ’59; me, 2020
It’s all over
Sixty years of dominoes falling, look

We are artists; we stand for sensibility
We speak of true history, not of the lies they’ve told
We are the dignity of an entire people who have been trampled
At the point of a gun and of words that mean nothing

No more lies!
My people demand freedom! No more doctrines!
No longer shall we cry, “Fatherland or death”
But “Fatherland and life!”
And begin to build what we dreamed of
What they destroyed with their hands

No longer shall flow the blood
Of those who dare to think differently
Who told you Cuba is yours?
Indeed, Cuba is for all my people

It’s all over now!
It has long been time to break the silence
It’s all over now!
The laughter has stopped, and the tears are flowing
It’s all over now!
And we have no fear; the charade has ended
It’s all over!
We are the 62 years of suffering

There, we lived with the uncertainty of the past
Fifteen friends stood together, ready for our deaths
Still we raise the flag
Despite the repression of our daily lives
Anamelys Ramos, unwavering in her poetry
Omara Ruiz Urquiola, breathing life into us
They broke down our door, desecrated our temple
But the world will know that the San Isidro Movement is still on point!

We’re in the same spot, with Security forces boxing us in
These things enrage me
The confusion of your evil revolution has ended
I am Funky Style, and here, you have my signature
You have done enough
There is nothing left for you, and you are sinking
The people are done being tolerant
We await now a new dawn

It’s all over now!
You, ’59; me, 2020
It’s all over now!
Sixty years of dominoes falling, look
It’s all over now!
You, ’59; me, 2020
It’s all over
Sixty years of dominoes falling, look

Fatherland and life!
Fatherland and life!
Fatherland and life!
Sixty years of dominoes falling

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There are 4 comments.

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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    First mistake:  They should have done it during Trump.  They’ll get no help from Biden, perhaps the opposite.

    • #1
  2. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    I’ve shared the song with my students in spring and summer semesters.  I couldn’t predict how fast this would all go.  It shows just how important culture is, I think.  I pray for Cubans. 

    • #2
  3. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    Thanks for the interview. Who knows. Maybe the people of Cuba will not only free themselves but help to ‘free’ America from the grip of pro-communism/socialism.

    • #3
  4. colleenb Member
    colleenb
    @colleenb

    I’d love a link to the ‘state-approved’ song but the Commies would probably get money for looking at it. It sounds hilarious and clueless.

    • #4