POST-CASTRO CUBA CONTINUES TO LOCK UP DISSENTING ARTISTS
Street artist "El Sexto" was jailed for writing "Se fue" (He's gone) on
BY ANTHONY L. FISHER ON 12/19/16 AT 11:30 AM
Cuba's nine days of official mourning for its deceased former dictator
Fidel Castro has mercifully concluded, but his penchant for locking up
artists who aren't sufficiently appreciative of the island prison
state's health care and education lives on.
Danilo Maldonado Machado, the Cuban street artist also known as "El
Sexto," has reportedly been locked up since the day after Castro's death
for the crime of spray-painting " Se fue " (He's gone) on the wall of a
El Sexto's mother, Maria Victoria Machado, says his neighbors had told
her authorities invaded his apartment and "violently dragged him down
the stairs into an awaiting patrol car, all while punching him in the
stomach and torso," the CBC reports.
Machado also claims her son has been beaten while in detention, and
refuses to eat the food his jailers are offering out of fear that it is
laced with drugs meant to keep him compliant.
Although pro-government graffiti can be found all over Cuba, for "damage
to public property," El Sexto could be held for 60 days.
Related: How Trump violated the U.S. embargo on Cuba
This isn't the first time the 33-year-old dissident has been locked up
for artistic expression, he also spent 10 months in jail for painting
the names "Fidel" and "Raul" on two pigs, with the intention of
releasing them in public. He was arrested before his stunt could be
accomplished, but his efforts did not go unnoticed. Human Rights
Foundation awarded him the Václav Havel International Prize for Creative
Dissent in 2015.
Anthony L. Fisher is an associate editor for Reason.com.
Source: Post-Castro Cuba Continues to Lock Up Dissenting Artists -