Daniel Devita: The flag of collectivity

Daniel Devita: The flag of collectivity
Fecha de publicación: 
26 December 2021
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These are extremely hard times for Cuba. To the difficult economic situation is added the psychological condition of being locked up because of the pandemic, sometimes away from family and unable to hug friends. We have seen with sadness how people we thought we knew pretty well openly support a military intervention, and we have heard with surprise that "the bombs will not be against the people, but against the government."

In such difficult moments, finding a fellow soldier in Daniel Devita renews our hopes, and gives us the strength to resist and continue fighting.

I admit that I came to Devita, the people’s rapper, for work reasons, and before listening to his music I began to follow him on Twitter. Who was that Argentine young man so committed to our Latin American struggle, who would release, a few weeks later, an album whose name was Patria Grande? Thanks to the benefits of the Internet, I downloaded the CD Latinoamérica en disputa and I found everything we need amid these hard times: anti-imperialist and anti-hegemonic music, in favor of the unity of our peoples and a true champion for our pride.

How do you get into the market and how difficult is it for you when you show an anti-system discourse?

"Some believe that being anti-system is being against everything and everyone. The fun fact is that the culture and entertainment industry is very generous with those who are against everything and everyone. Apathy is a great asset to the enemies of the peoples.

“What does the industry neither allow nor tolerate? A discourse committed to a project antagonistic to the proposals of neoliberalism and its variants, whether the harshest or the most "friendly" ones.

"There are not only obstacles within the industry, but also in the circles where neoliberalism is confronted. To date, many believe that culture has a merely decorative place in the political confrontation and that a discourse challenging the status quo of power, must be accompanied by the hit of the moment to lessen the impact.

"We could define it as a great “Mission impossible," but thanks to more than a decade of head-banging walls, an iron family and an audience immensely aware of the cultural struggle, here we are.


With so many disinformation campaigns and media lying and manipulating the reality of Latin America, how did the 12-13-years-old Daniel (the age you were when you started making music) and present-day Daniel to find and stay true to that "truth that is not negotiated"?

"Rebelliousness is a first step, that breaking point in the life of each young person, which is where young people realize that the world is not what it should be. That rebelliousness can be transformed into a search for answers and political action, or it can remain as a straight up rebelliousness, in a permanent and aimless adolescence, which is what the establishment really likes, something that actually explains how the most combative artists end up turning to the most hard-line positions of conservatism as years go by.

"I was fortunate to have a family that never turned a deaf ear to the need of others, who led me by example. I found the right books at the right time and met rap very early. And without a doubt, I spent my adolescence in a pivotal stage in history, I am the son of NO TO THE FTAA, of the trials of genocide victims in Argentina, of the public disclosure across the continent of aberrant crimes committed in the times of the Condor Plan, perpetrated by imperialism to impose a financial and predatory economic model on the peoples. That is unavoidable."

Latin America witnesses constant ups and down between the left and the right. Why do you think the people are voting again for the right? Have they no memory?

"Most people do not go to the polls thinking of either the right or the left. In Argentina, Macri won in 2015 by promising not to take away any rights, only being more efficient and transparent (In the context of a false complaint by a prosecutor corrupted by the CIA and the Mossad, Alberto Nisman, who pointed to President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner as an accomplice of terrorism).

"In Brazil, they impeached Dilma and then put Lula in prison so he does not participate in the elections.

"In Ecuador, Correa's project won and neoliberalism prevailed from the betrayal of scum Lenin Moreno and in Bolivia, Evo also won but they had to stage a coup.

"The way I see it, we are witnessing a fierce attack by the empire breaking all institutional norms (as it has always done) but in a more sophisticated way. Even Guillermo Lasso's recent victory in Ecuador cannot be explained without the ban to Correa, the interference of the Colombian judiciary, and the millionaire financing of false indigenous/environmental candidates.

"The peoples do not vote for the right, our projects have not been able to avoid the absolute media control of large corporations, to avoid U.S. interference in their political system and the results are an accurate reflection of that. Now, we see how Nicaragua has banned the external financing of politics, taking the bull by the horns and how this measure is rejected by locals and others across the continent. So, it is very difficult and the starved and exploited people is the one suffering the most.

You released Patria Grande a few weeks ago. Firstly, I want to thank you for outwitting the American blockade of Spotify for Venezuela and Cuba and putting your music in your Telegram profile. And secondly, you understand music as a mean to generate changes. In this regard…What does Patria Grande bring us?

"I am very happy with that decision and we continue to invite all friends of our Great Homeland to search for it on Telegram and download it, or listen to it from the application itself and share their favorite songs with whoever they like. It is an opportunity that distribution systems of music do not offer anymore. It is something that results from blockades —in addition to pain and suffering—, they spark popular creativity and the opportunity to do things our way.”

"This album is a meeting spot. It is an invitation to feel and think together as brothers of Our America. We have the same dreams, the same enemies, the same challenges and it is my conviction that we have a future victory together. Speeding up the times is not the task of great politics, nor of the leaders, nor of the presidents. We, the peoples, have in our hands the chance to precipitate that popular victory, loving each other, knowing each other, transforming integration into the main popular claim. The rest will come only if we achieve all of the above."

In the song Odiadores (Haters), you say "I wake up planning utopias" and we already know what Daniel criticizes, but what are those utopias?

"I have a lot! Those that have to do with the unity of our peoples to guarantee sovereignty and social justice, to be the first region in the world to completely eradicate starvation. To have a competitive industry that guarantees full employment and the full quality of life with a fair working day. And also those related to art and my professional career. Millions of people listen to us, doing exactly the opposite of what the market says one should do. Every time we achieve something that looks impossible for most of people, we shall give the value it really has. In times where we seek to pay tribute to the individual, to worship the man or woman alone against the world, we raise the flag of collectivity. Not because we want to suppress the singularity of each human being, but rather because those singularities applied to the project of the majority are capable of changing the world and transforming it into something much better."

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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