Timeline of US involvement in Cuban hip-hop

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2014 8:26 AM
Timeline of US involvement in Cuban hip-hop

A timeline of USAID involvement in the hip-hop scene in Cuba.

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Summer 2000 — Music festival held in Novi Sad, Serbia, part of student protests against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. It becomes first of internationally recognized EXIT music festival.

Oct. 5, 2000 — Milosevic is ousted.

Feb. 27, 2003 — Los Aldeanos present first concert to small group of Cubans in La Lisa.

2006 — EXIT begins providing support to the underground alternative music concerts in Cuba known as the Rotilla festival.

Feb. 21, 2009 — Serbian music promoter Rajko Bozic arrives in Cuba with instructions to recruit local rapper Aldo Rodriguez and spark anti-government youth movement.

March 23, 2009 — Salida, front company for Washington-based Creative Associates International, incorporated in Panama.

June 5, 2009 — Los Aldeanos perform to packed crowd in town of Candelaria. Bozic films event. Aldo spends night in jail for "disturbing the public."

Mid-August 2009 — Creative Associates meets in its San Jose, Costa Rica, offices to plan how to use Juanes' peace concert in Havana to boost Los Aldeanos.

Sept 20, 2009 — Juanes' "Peace without Borders" concert in Havana attracts some 1 million spectators.

Sept 28, 2009 — Aldo detained for possessing illegal computer. As favor, famed singer Silvio Rodriguez tells authorities he gave it to rapper.

Early November 2009 — Bozic briefly detained arriving in Cuba.

Dec. 3, 2009 — USAID subcontractor Alan Gross arrested at Havana airport for bringing into Cuba satellite phones and computer equipment without permission.

December 8, 2009 — Creative Associates tells Cuban contact, concert promoter-VJ Adrian Monzon, that Bozic will not soon be returning to the island due to security concerns.

Feb. 9, 2010 — Monzon detained and asked about connections to Bozic.

July 11, 2010 — Los Aldeanos play EXIT festival in Serbia where they also secretly receive leadership training from Creative Associates.

Aug. 8, 2010 — Los Aldeanos perform at Rotilla music festival and slam Cuban government before some 15,000 people.

Nov. 14, 2010 — Los Aldeanos allowed to travel to perform in Miami, where they are met with both support and scorn from Cuban exile community.

April 11, 2011 — Monzon detained again returning to Havana, his computer and memory stick are seized.

2012 — Los Aldeanos perform internationally and eventually move to Florida, as does Monzon.

2014 — Los Aldeanos quietly work on new album with far less politically explosive lyrics. Monzon works at a Papa Johns and runs small music promotion company.