On 27 June 2018, Cuban punk musician Gorki Águila was prevented from boarding a plane traveling from Cuba to Miami at the José Martí International Airport after being informed by Cuban Customs that there was a travel restriction placed on him by the Cuban government, the artist told Freemuse and Martí Noticias. Águila has also directly informed Freemuse that authorities had temporarily confiscated his passport, which has since been returned to him.
The lead singer of the band Porno para Ricardo insists that he was never presented with an explanation for the ban and was never previously informed about his inability to travel. Notably, the musician was also prevented by authorities from traveling to the United States this past April and had seven “Cuban Latino Dialogue” pamphlets confiscated from him upon returning to Cuba from Argentina, reported CiberCuba.
In early May of this year, Águila signed a Cuban opposition statement directed against the “dynastic succession of the Castro family” in the country. His status as a dissident has left him unable to perform in Cuba.
According to Freemuse’s The State of Artistic Freedom Report 2018, Cuba is one of the very few countries that chooses to detain artists more than censoring their work, a result of the Cuban Constitution’s assertion that “artistic creativity is free as long as its content is not contrary to the Revolution”. In 2017, 61 per cent of artistic freedom violations in Cuba were detentions compared to 28 per cent of censorship violations.