Pitbull Talks Cuba (and Represents)

Friday, August 26, 2011
The U.K.'s Guardian newspaper talks with young, Cuban-American, hip-hop icon Pitbull:

Pitbull's political side might come as a surprise – unless you'd paid attention to his album titles. El Mariel, from 2006, and The Boatlift, from 2007, refer to the mass emigration of Cubans to Florida in 1980 – an exodus Pitbull's father helped organise. His grandmother fought for Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolutionary war, but sent her daughters – his mother and aunt – to the US during Operation Peter Pan in the 1960s, when "it became clear he wasn't the best for the country", Pitbull says. Though he raves about playing all over the world, there is one country he refuses to set foot in: "I won't perform in Cuba until there's no more Castro and there's a free Cuba. To me, Cuba's the biggest prison in the world, and I would be very hypocritical were I to perform there. The people in Cuba, they know what I stand for, and there's a lot of people in Cuba that stand for the same. But they can't say it." He makes sure to call out any acquaintances he sees wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt. "It's like wearing an Adolf Hitler T-shirt and not knowing," he sniffs disapprovingly. "You're gonna offend a lot of people."