the Year.

"I was really surprised because ... we were competing against songs that were much more popular than Patria y Vida and artists who are at their peak," the singer, whose full name is Yotuel Romero, said recently in an interview.

The song, which also won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Song, beat out Bad Bunny's hit single Dákiti and J Balvin and Tainy's Agua.

Patria y Vida, or homeland and life, is a poke at Fidel Castro's slogan "Patria o Muerte," which means "homeland or death."

On a stage full of candles – almost as though it was a vigil, Yotuel sang a live acoustic version of the song with fellow Afro-Cuban singers Descemer Bueno, Eliecer Márquez Duany and the duo Gente de Zona.

Dedicated to political prisoners

During the ceremony, Márquez Duany, who goes by El Funky, dedicated the performance of Patria y Vida to all political prisoners in Cuba, especially Maykel Osorbo, one of the song's co-writers, who has been languishing in a maximum-security prison since May for helping create the protest anthem.

Over the summer, the song – which the Cuban regime banned after it came out in February – became a rallying cry during largest anti-government protests in decades.

Hundreds of Cubans detained in connection with the demonstrations are still being held as political prisoners, including dozens of artists.

Cuban regime condemned for "harassing artists"

On Dec. 8, hundreds of prominent figures from the worlds of art, literature and entertainment called on the Cuban government to "stop its unrelenting abuses against artists" in a statement that mentioned the role Patria y Vida played in the protests.

"There is no justification for persecuting artists for peacefully expressing their views," said the statement, whose signers include Meryl Streep, Khaled Hosseini, Orhan Pamuk, Elena Poniatowska, Isabel Allende and Zadie Smith.

"We call on the Cuban government to respect the fundamental role that art and artists play in society and immediately stop harassing artists for engaging in political and social critiques that are not in line with the government's rigid ideology."

Yotuel recently announced that he's producing a documentary, in partnership with Exile Content Studio and his wife, the Spanish musician Beatriz Luengo, on the regime's response to the song, especially since the summer's protests.

Yotuel is one of the pioneers of urbano – a movement of urban genres, like reggaeton, born in Latin America. Yotuel was a trend-setter in the early 2000s for blending Afro-Cuban genres like rumba with hip hop like he did in his debut album A lo Cubano with the group Orishas.

"We have to replace this slogan"

After watching the government crack down on an artistic protest movement last year, Yotuel and other Cuban recording artists collaborated with rappers on the island to produce Patria y Vida. The Cuban rappers – Osorbo and El Funky – recorded their parts clandestinely for fear the government would shut down the production. They filmed the music video in an abandoned building while friends kept watch.

Influenced by the hip hop tradition of "keeping it real," Patria y Vida is a hopeful but plaintive song that visualizes Cuba's liberation in the near future. And its protest message is addressed to Cuba's communist regime.

"This song says: Your time is up. ... I was born in this century, and we're done with your lies and indoctrination," Yotuel said over Zoom from his home in Miami.

Luengo, who was also on the call, said that the first time she visited Cuba, she was startled to see the slogan Patria o Muerte calling on Cubans to give their lives for the revolution.

"We have to replace this slogan," she said she told her husband.

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fullerThroughout the week, we play short segments about what birds are out in Sonoma County and what they sound like, from Harry Fuller. Here's what we've aired so far. Harry spent his working career as a TV and Internet newsman in the Bay Area.  He’s been leading bird trips and writing about birds for thirty years.  He has written three natural history books: Freeway Birding, I-5 San Francisco to Seattle; San Francisco’s Natural History, Sand Dunes to Streetcars; Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon & Washington. He blogs regularly about birds:  And he frequently leads birding trips on the Pacific Coast. Check him out at

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Listen to some recent episodes! Generations in Houston's Fifth Ward Contend with Contamination, Cancer Clusters will break your heart, and perhaps solidify your resolve to make change. The Sea Next Door is told in true partnership with the community living near California's Salton Sea, an environmental powder keg, where the state has no idea how to avoid a coming health disaster.

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Postcards from Sonoma County...
        ... What people are talking about, direct from the locals.
Each week, our correspondents from all over Sonoma County check in with a weekly "postcard" of what people are talking about in their area. Not always "news," but still worthy of a mention. It's our way to give voice to communities that may not make it into the standard news cycle.
We play these in a random rotation throughout the week. Generally, each postcard airs from Sunday morning at midnight thru Saturday at 11:59:59 pm.
We archive all our postcards here. Have a listen!

Week of Sunday, January 23rd, 2022:
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Windsor
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Healdsburg
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Sebastopol

Week of Sunday, January 16, 2022:
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Sebastopol
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Windsor
Greetings from Healdsburg

 Week of Sunday, January 9th, 2022:
Greetings from Healdsburg
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Sebastopol
Greetings from Windsor

Week of Sunday, January 2nd, 2022:
Greetings from the Lower Russian River
Greetings from Petaluma
Greetings from Rohnert Park
Greetings from Windsor

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Savoring Sonoma with Clark Wolf
Clark Wolf publicityClark Wolf is a nationally recognized, James Beard Award-winning food and restaurant consultant, author, and columnist who now lives in what he calls “the Eden of All the Earth," in a 100-year-old logger’s cabin in the Redwoods of Sonoma County.
Savoring Sonoma is a weekly 60-second snapshot of what's importantly delicious in Sonoma County.
Each week, you'll hear two new episodes.
Episodes are archived here.
Sonoma County cheeses
Joys of fermentation
Winter squash
Dungeness crab 2
Olive oil
Local Sonoma County meats
Bodega Red potatoes
Local eggs
Dungeness crab
Should healthy food cost more?
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The Sonoma County ArtBeat
                                      With Satri Pencak
Satri picSatri Pencak is an independent art curator with an M.A. in Art History. She writes about the visual arts for her website,, her Facebook Blog, and other publications.
Satri loves knowing what’s going on in the art world and sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with others.
All episodes are archived here:
Week of December 19, 2021
Week or January 2, 2022
Week of January 9, 2022
Week of January 16, 2022
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