A Mother Planted in Havana

A Mother Planted in Havana

An English translation of a new Latin rap song that tells the true story of the Cuban political prisoners’ mothers.

The Art of Alchemy by Mariana Palova on Pinterest

Self-expression through Art requires freedom —the freedom to produce such art whether you agree with it or not. It’s no wonder the fight for freedom is often led by artists. Activism and Art are Intertwined.

Inside and outside of the Island, art is the weapon of peace used most to fight the Dictatorship that has repressed the Cuban people for over 60 years and the propaganda they push. At the helm of this freedom fight in Cuba are thousands of political prisoners, many of whom are artists being sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, like Grammy Award Winner and rapper Maykel “Osorbo” Castillo Pérez jailed for his participation in producing Cuba’s new freedom anthem, Patria y Vida, or Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, the founding leader of the dissident activist artists’ group, Movimiento San Isidro and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential people of 2021.

Cuban exiles and international communities have joined forces to amplify the Cuban voices asking for freedom or Libertad inside of the Island. Similarly in this rap collaboration featured below titled Las Plantadas, four female Cuban “Artivistas” tell the true story of the Cuban mothers who have been jailed, beaten, and even senselessly killed for simply loving too much -  loving their children - for showing their love in the face of the regime’s acts of hate against them and their loved ones.

Below is my translation of this new freedom song.

Las Plantadas  

Las Plantadas by Kiele, Karen Kwanwey, Ana Olema, Day H. and Yasel Chama

An English Translation

You need to become like Mary Magdalene
Fill yourself with courage and
Break the chains that bind you

Since ’68 something like 20 years imprisoned
For helping other women
Serving their prison sentences

Facing public trials
Beaten, wrapped in barb wire…
Against about 50 false witnesses
All whom have eaten the cable (or drank the cool-aid)

This is why the Castros are the ones to blame
For why my people in Cuba have lost their mothers
Today I proclaim for their names never to be erased

I’ll tell you a sad story of all the beatings they deliver
A jail officer who stood just 7 ft. tall
Exploded the sight out of the eye of a real Cuban woman

(And they say they don’t hit women)
With their abuse of power
With Guanabacoa closed-up

How is it that at the United Nations
Cuba remains out of the loop?
When what is reported by me today
Is our reality?
When as they break our arms
They call it liberty?

Honorable Members of the Human Rights Commission of the
United Nations organization in Geneva Switzerland,
Honorable Gentlemen

We ask for
Justice for Cuban women
For all the female political prisoners
For all those who died
For those who were raped

We have returned
We are Las Plantadas
(We’ve been Planted)

They didn’t listen to us
They said nothing in response
They ignored us with their silence
Now everything is changing

The torch has been lit
We are fearless
We are Las Plantadas (We are planted)

Honorable Members of the United Nations
Don’t turn your face away
Look me in the eyes
200 sisters have experienced all of this 

With a clean machete
They lost their skin
Scraped off in the cold
Dora versus the world

When the men found themselves alone
Before the military
They planted their sign
(This is the real representation of the Cuban people)
“Death to communism” and “Down with Fidel”

Honorable Members of the United Nations
We are behind bars because of your hypocrisy
How can you say that you represent us
If you haven’t once heard what we have said

We feel desperation
They are killing all my brothers
Of course, I will raise my voice!
La Mambisa (The female Cuban freedom fighter)
Is not dead!
She lives grounded and accompanied by God

Her ammunition was her love
How she took care of the wounded
Loving her son was her only crime

Beatings and punishment
Twenty years pass by
Without knowing her son’s face

And as she walked to the jail cell
She was informed
They had executed her husband

Of course, I’m gonna raise my voice!
La Plantada is not dead!

Courageous, and persistent, without lowering their voice
Mothers that carry their country in their womb
Women of stature like Aymara Nieto Munoz

Lockdowns, beat downs, far from their children
Far from their homes
Far from any love

Always defended their freedom with honor
With courage of steel

Continued confinement
They keep her in isolation
While Cuba goes from bad to worse

The courage one must have to stand
Planted like a Royal Palm
In the oppressor’s camp

The fear is gone

You may not be aware of it
but this is our reality
It has been for 62 years

The women and men in Cuba
Have faced the longest sentences in history


Top 10 Most Read Posts