A protest anthem echoing from the streets of Cuba to South Florida started as a hip-hop song. Youtel Romero, a Cuban exile and popular artist living in Miami, turned the Communist slogan “Homeland and Life” on its head. It might just spark a revolution.
“We come from Homeland or Death,” Romero explains in Spanish, “But … who would want to exchange life for death? Everyone.”
Romero is one of several artists behind the viral hit-turned-protest anthem. He says his co-creators in Cuba have been arrested or are missing. Music video director Asiel Babastro says the song resonates because it gives voice to the realities of living in Cuba– and is a play on the revolutionary phrase, “Patria y vida,”– homeland and life.
Babastro said in Spanish, “It was honest, it was true. The song does not make an accusation. What it is, is an observation of that reality, but most of all a translation of that reality.”