Thursday, December 1, 2016

Detained Cuban artist who mocked Castro’s death ‘was badly beaten,’ family says

Detained Cuban artist who mocked Castro's death 'was badly beaten,'
family says

Cuban dissident artist Danilo "El Sexto" Maldonado, who was detained by
authorities on Saturday after mocking Fidel Castro's death, was severely
beaten, according to relatives who saw him at the detention center in

"Danilo's mom saw him," the artist's girlfriend, Miami resident
Alexandra Martinez, 24, said late Tuesday. "He was badly beaten upon
entering Guanabacoa and suffered a severe asthma attack."

Authorities also confiscated his cell phone, she said.

Martinez said Maldonado's mother, Maria Victoria Machado, was allowed to
visit her son at a Guanabacoa police station, on the outskirts of
Havana, for the first time since he was violently detained Saturday
morning at his Havana apartment. Relatives called the arrest by Cuban
State Security a "kidnapping."

On Friday night, after hearing the news about the death of Fidel Castro,
Maldonado went around the city and drew several graffiti, including one
with his signature and the words "Se fue" (He's gone) on a wall at the
iconic Hotel Habana Libre, where Castro took up temporary residence in
1959 following his triumphant entrance into Havana alongside rebel
fighters, including brother Raúl Castro.

He also posted a video on Facebook mocking Fidel Castro's death and
urging viewers to "come out to the streets...and ask for liberty."

Since he was hauled away by authorities, Maldonado has been transferred
to at least three police stations in the Cuban capital.

Maldonado is accused of damaging public property, his girlfriend said.
But no official charges have been issued yet.

Martinez said that shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday, she received a call
from Maldonado saying that State Security agents entered his apartment.
According to neighbors, four uniformed officers and five others in
civilian clothes dragged Maldonado to a patrol car as he shouted, "Abajo
Fidel, Abajo Raúl!"

Several human rights organizations, as well as relatives and friends are
calling for the immediate release of Maldonado, who was scheduled to
participate this week at Miami Art Basel.

Maldonado's relatives said that the Cuban government is trying to
silence him during the national mourning over Castro's death.

Maldonado, 32, attempted to carry out a performance in 2014 at a park in
Havana featuring two pigs painted in green with the names "Fidel" and
"Raul." He was imprisoned without trial for 10 months.

Maldonado is the recepient of the Václav Havel International Award for
Creative Dissent awarded by the Human Rights Foundation.


Source: Cuban artists 'El Sexto' is beaten by authorities, family says |
Miami Herald -

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