Cuba: Graffiti Artist “El Sexto” Released from Prison

The graffiti in front of the Habana Libre Hotel.  Foto:

HAVANA TIMES —Danilo Maldonado, 32, was imprisoned the day after Fidel Castro died (Nov. 25) for having spray painted “Se fue” (He’s gone) on a wall in front of the Habana Libre Hotel. He was released “without charges” on Saturday.

In Cuba, any criticism of the country’s leaders is strictly prohibited.

It wasn’t Maldonado’s first stint in prison for riling up the authorities. Back at the end of 2014 he did a performance that included painting two pigs, one with the name Raul and the other Fidel and letting them loose in the street.  Although he was never charged, he spent 10 months in jail in 2015.

Known as “El Sexto”  (The sixth), a reference to the Cuban Five, a group of Cuban government agents who were arrested in the United States in 1998 and given hefty prison sentences, Maldonado spent just under two months in prison for his latest “offense”, which would be usually punishable by a fine.

The pigs that landed Maldonado in prison for 10 months in 2015.

An international campaign to free Maldonado appears to have finally worn on the Cuba government and led to his liberation.

The artist’s Facebook page noted “It was the growing awareness about his case that has led the Cuban government to liberate him.” They added that Maldonado plans to “continue doing meaningful art towards a free and democratic Cuba,” reported

“The artist was released after the Geneva-based United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention started to review a legal petition filed in his behalf,” noted the ABC news affiliate.
Video in Spanish of El Sexto addressing an audience in Oslo, Norway.


19 thoughts on “Cuba: Graffiti Artist “El Sexto” Released from Prison

  • January 23, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Despite your obvious sarcasm, there is some truth to your comparisons. Obviously El Sexto’s acts of defiance are small potatoes in comparison but he’s speaking truth to power. That’s heroic in my book.

  • January 23, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Gotcha, Moses. Now I completely understand… Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and El Sexto. What on earth was I thinking?

  • January 23, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    In a country where it is illegal to openly criticize Fidel and Raul, it is obviously even more dangerous to paint their names on pigs. It’s also hilarious. He is definitely a hero.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *