Music News

Cuba's Fidel Castro honored with a reggaeton song

A vintage car moves past a portrait of Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro in Havana July 1, 2009. REUTERS/Enrique De La Osa

HAVANA (Reuters) - Since he swept into power 50 years ago, Cuba’s Fidel Castro has been honored in poems, movies and paintings and now in reggaeton, a form of music widely popular among Cuban youth but not island leaders.

Cuban musician Yoandys “Baby” Lores presented on Friday in Havana his song “Creo” (“I Believe”), said to be the first reggaeton track dedicated to the ailing Castro, 82.

“You do not betray your motherland for money, women or fame,” sings Lores, 25. “I’m going forward with my commander in chief.”

Fidel Castro has not been seen in public since he underwent intestinal surgery almost three years ago. He was replaced as president last year by his younger brother Raul Castro.

In a video of the song, Lores sings Castro’s praises while getting a tattoo of the revolutionary leader on his shoulder.

Lores said he wrote the song because he was angry about rumors that he had defected during a recent trip to Europe.

“This is my motherland. This is what I know, and so people don’t comment anymore, I put it there,” he said, displaying the tattoo.

“It is a tribute because (Castro) is a man who has given many things,” he told Reuters.

Reggaeton, a sensual mix of rap, reggae, salsa and other Caribbean rhythms, has been criticized by Communist authorities because of its often vulgar lyrics and has been dismissed as a neo-liberal influence.

Reporting by Rosa Tania Valdes