Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Cuba detains dissident artist for celebrating Castro's death

Cuba detains dissident artist for celebrating Castro's death
By Nicole Martinez
Reuters November 29, 2016

MIAMI (Reuters) - Cuban police have detained dissident artist Danilo "El
Sexto" Maldonado, once declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty
International, after he made a video celebrating the death of Fidel
Castro, a dissident human rights group and the artist's girlfriend said
on Monday.

Castro died on Friday at age 90, a decade after he had retired due to
poor health and ceded power to his brother, current President Raul Castro.

Maldonado posted a video on social media on Saturday in which he rants
against Castro and calls him a "mare," a Cuban pejorative.

Such a video could constitute the offense of "disrespect." Maldonado,
33, was previously jailed on that charge for painting the names "Fidel"
and "Raul" on a pair of pigs.

His most recent detention was reported by Maldonado's American
girlfriend, Alexandra Martinez, who said she spoke with him moments
before he was detained by Cuban officials, and by the dissident Cuban
Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation, which said
Maldonado's mother reported the detention on South Florida radio.

Cuban officials have not confirmed whether Maldonado was in custody,
said Kimberley Motley, a human rights attorney contacted by the Human
Rights Foundation to handle Maldanado's case. Cuba does not publicly
report arrests and dismisses dissidents as U.S.-paid mercenaries.

Maldonado has used performance and graffiti art to criticize the Cuban

Following his arrest in December 2014, he spent 10 months in prison and
was released after an Amnesty International statement that he was
considered Cuba's only prisoner of conscience.

(Reporting by Nicole Martinez; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Marguerita Choy)

Source: Cuba detains dissident artist for celebrating Castro's death -

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