The band’s name and logo explosively break down both ideological and social barriers. Their logo is a caricature of the Communism hammer and sickle logo redrawn as a penis penetrating a vagina. The name of the band also has a name that most conservative audiences would disapprovingly frown upon.
“The short version is that it is the opposite of 'Homeland or Death.' 'Porno' is everything banned and censored while Ricardo represents the individual as opposed to the mass directed and indoctrinated,” Lía Villares, the bassist for Porno Para Ricardo since 2014 and blogger said. “In totalitarian governments, there are always two great taboos—politics and pornography, so Porno Para Ricardo is an explosive combination. Many people, usually very conservative people and more, reject the obscene logo image of the hammer and sickle."
For the past 60 years, the Cuban government has constantly silenced people who fight to reclaim their liberties that the dictatorship has taken away. Villares believes that the Cuban government works in their own best interest instead of the interest of the Cuban citizens.
“Individual freedoms are strongly repressed… even today, the increases in arbitrary arrests and kidnappings of the anti-Castro dissidents are becoming more visible,” Villares said. Villares also addressed the problem of no freedom of public expression in Cuba. She referred to the peaceful protest group The Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco), a group of women who wear white every Sunday after Mass who silently protest the police and paramilitary violence that victimizes the dissidents in the campaign #TodosMarchamos.
The band seeks to empower Cubans to take back their country, despite the opposition from the government. Their goal is to dismantle a megalomaniac-driven regime through humiliation and humor. They want the regime to feel naked, crushed, and defeated, which is why the band is constantly fighting an uphill battle.
Porno Para Ricardo is well accepted in European countries that also suffered under Communism. Lithuanians, Czechs, Poles, Albanians, and Serbs who lived under dictatorships share the same pain and suffering that many Cubans still live under today. European countries are also a lot less conservative and don’t mind the explicit nature of the name and logo.
“Porno Para Ricardo believes that humor can break barriers and make a message that reaches the unabashed public. This type of artistic proposal has to be crushed, mutilated, and discredited by the regime because it feels naked and derided,” Villares said. The European audiences can share and appreciate this type of humor not only for being able to bond in the similar experience but also for not allowing the sense of humor to embarrass them.
At the end of the day, the Cubans have to fight for their country. On March 21, 2016, President Obama will be making his historical trip to Cuba. The president previously said he wouldn’t visit Cuba if the human rights violations were still occurring. Unfortunately, human rights violations are an everyday occurrence and it’s the job of the Cubans to speak out. Villares sees the president’s negotiations as giving the Castros more power to take away the Cuban citizens’ rights.
“I imagine a country where a young person not only wants to eat or live better but where they want to prosper and rebuild their nation and feel proud to be truly free,” Villares said. “The greatest interest of our band is to sing to the Cubans because our songs are for them. That is our main audience.”
Visit Lía's blog at http://habanemia.blogspot.com!