Cuban Rapper Maykel Osorbo Decries Mistreatment in Prison

Threatens to sew his mouth shut if conditions don’t improve

Recent photo of Maykel (Osorbo) Castillo taken clandestinely from the Kilo 5 y medio prison, in Pinar del Río. (Facebook/Anamely Ramos)

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – Cuban activist Anamely Ramos, now in exile in the US, reported this Wednesday on her Facebook profile that rapper Maykel (Osorbo) Castillo tattooed the slogan “Patria y Vida” on his forearm and that he threatened to sew up his mouth, as a gesture of protest against the mistreatment suffered in the Kilo 5 y Medio prison, in Pinar del Río, where he has been imprisoned for two years.

“If you don’t hear from me again on Friday, you know what happened: in a cell, with my mouth sewn up. This is war!” warned the musician during a phone call he had with Ramos, who assures that until now, Castillo had assumed prison as a race of “resistance” and had focused on reinventing himself, reading and “connecting” with his family, but now he asks for “respect.”

Ramos said that she has been reporting on Castillo’s situation in prison for months, where he has suffered “all kinds of abuses” and the recurring violation of his rights. “Not even the nine years that they have thrown at me matter to me. I am ready to continue being me, to assume whatever. But artists are treated with respect. I am not going to give my respect in exchange for anything, nor for my freedom,” said the co-author of the song Patria y Vida.

Ramos, an activist and art historian, also details a list of arbitrariness committed against the musician, which includes confinement in punishment cells, periods of solitary confinement of up to three months, cancellation of regular and conjugal visits, continuous disagreements with Security agents of the State, humiliation and threats from common prisoners allowed by the officers in charge of maintaining order within the prison.

In Ramos’s opinion, these warnings have been “directed by the prison bosses” to harass Castillo. “At this point, Maykel has decided to say enough is enough,” she clarified, noting that the inmate’s life is in danger, “like that of all political prisoners who are not willing to play at the pace that power wants.”

As a preventive measure, says Ramos, the rapper “tries to eat as little as possible of what they give there.” As he previously reported, his jailers have even installed a surveillance camera in his cell after accusing him of inciting a riot.

They have also delayed giving him immediate medical assistance when he needed it and refused to give his medical file to his family. “His situation has worsened significantly since they changed his company,” said the activist.

Translated by Translating Cuba

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