Cuba

Cuban Dissident Artist 'El Sexto' Has Been Sitting in Jail For Disrespecting Fidel Castro

Even with free health care and education, some Cubans are still willing to risk their life for free expression.

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Yeah, but free healthcare.
@dmmelsexto/Twitter

Cuba's nine days of official mourning for its deceased former dictator Fidel Castro has mercifully concluded, but El Commandate's 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 Havana hotel.

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.

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.

Click here to read the dumbest reactions to Castro's death from world leaders.

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  1. But at least he’s literate, so he can read the confession they give him to sign, and his health care is dynamite!

    1. His free health care includes stiches and cold compresses after receiving several blows to the head and ribs, courtesy of the Castro regime.

      1. His free health care courtesy of the Castro regime includes stiches and cold compresses after receiving several blows to the head and ribs falling down the stairs because he was pushing the officers instead of watching where he was going. Repeatedly.

        There, comrade. Fixed now.

        1. That’s…I’m not sure funny is the right word…but I didn’t even read the article before I posted. Not at all surprised I was pretty damn accurate.

  2. Click here to read the dumbest reactions to Castro’s death from world leaders.

    Thank you for that link, that article will hopefully be kept fresh in minds of commentariat for years to come.

    CANADA #1 BITCHES!!!

    Although, I bet PM Zoolander starts preening soon about how they should maybe consider letting the artist go, because it would look really good for Zoolander if they did.

    1. Better bet might be he’ll decide El Sexto was eengaging in hate speech and thus deserved reeducation.

      Hm. Well, maybe that’s too much even for Zoolander.

      1. He got cockslapped so hard over his Castro statements, even his Vanity Shield couldn’t absorb it all. He’s been trying to find a way to recover what he perceives as his dignity, so this would be a good, harmless body to climb on and grandstand.

        1. Well, at least he got his name out there. Most of the world couldn’t name a Canadian PM to save their lives.

  3. Do they still provide the free healthcare after lining you up against the wall and shooting you for disagreeing with their politics?

    1. Can you believe that the capitalist U.S. forces its people to buy funeral insurance to cover expenses? Cuba buries you for free!

      1. A government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take everything you have.

        They don’t even stop at dignity.

    2. No. Then they start charging for your blood.

      1. Shots fired.

  4. I was told he was a magnificent leader and champion of social justice. Now I am confused.

    1. Social justice for some, tiny [fill in the blank] for others!

  5. the crime of spray-painting “Se fue” (He’s gone)

    obligatory

    1. Why does the guy on the left has black spraypaint across the top of his lip?

      1. He was in fact a cuban exile who hid his identity to avoid persecution of his family back in the home country. All of his music was actually coded anti-casto propaganda.

      2. That’s Oates, man. Watch your step.

        1. You mean the “highest paid backup singer” of his time.

          1. You do him wrong. He was the special sauce in their big mac

            1. So, musically, he was some mayonnaise that got left under a heat lamp?

              1. Warm and creamy, with just a hint of danger. Yes.

            2. I’m quoting him.

              1. His exceeding humility is one of his many virtues.

  6. I’m eagerly awaiting a comment from that noted champion of freedom, amsoc.

    1. He’s in his bunk.

    2. He’s busy a couple threads down accusing everybody here of wanting to do sex with Trump and claiming that the United States has full employment.

      1. +1 Obama’s “save or create” jobs programs.

        1. These jobs are so great you can do them for 20 hours a week instead of 40! They’re so great, a lot of people have two or three of them! GREAT JOBS!

  7. “he also spent 10 months in jail for painting the names “Fidel” and “Raul” on two pigs”

    I like this el Sexto guy.

    1. You’d think he read Orwell, given ~100% the literacy rate. Then you realize that all copies of Orwell’s books in Cuba would have been burned long ago and if you get your hands on one then you’ll end up exactly like one of Orwell’s characters.

  8. Even after death, Castro can still say, el Estado, soy yo.

  9. A friend of mine just had his first kid and thus is now researching things like maternity leave and “breastfeeding rights” (?) etc. He posted on FB his recent discovery that “The US is way far behind. Our capitalism keeps people away from their children for low wages while giving them an illusion of the freedom to excel financially”.

    He then posted Cuba’s “breast feeding” policy from Wikipedia:

    Since 1940, Cuba’s constitution has contained a provision officially recognizing and supporting breastfeeding. Article 68 of the 1975 constitution reads, in part: During the six weeks immediately preceding childbirth and the six weeks following, a woman shall enjoy obligatory vacation from work on pay at the same rate, retaining her employment and all the rights pertaining to such employment and to her labour contract. During the nursing period, two extraordinary daily rest periods of a half hour each shall be allowed her to feed her child.

    I posted a link to The Last Communist City by Michael Totten, a great piece about the real Havana. His answer was that the article was too “ethnocentric. If you look at the value and quantity of oppression, the Cuban government is a saint compared to the USA.”

    I literally can’t even.

    1. There is no way to argue with people who can find excuses for anything.

      The only point they can’t twist is to point out that “Nobody flees paradise”

      Everyone outside wants to get into the United States. Everyone inside Cuba wants to get out. The only votes that matter are how people vote with their feet. If Cuba were even half-decent, people would immigrate there. No one does because its a shitshow.

      1. This. And Americans have been allowed to travel to Venezuela for some time now. I don’t know anyone who’s tried. But now people are risking their lives to flee the country in boats and women are going to the Columbia border to sell their hair to try to keep their families from starving to death. But they get free maternity leave!

    2. a woman shall enjoy obligatory vacation from work on pay at the same rate

      Let’s see… 100% of next to nothing is…

      1. Yeah, that free $20 per MONTH after giving birth is totally worth living in a Communist dictatorship.

    3. Tman, your friend is a moron. Sorry to have to break it to you, but there it is.

  10. Maybe I should get down to Cuba so I can see what an oppressive political system looks like before it’s corrupted by American Capitalism.

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