Cuba: Dissident Arrested for Facebook Video Mocking Fidel Castro

Washington

In response to Cuban authorities arresting the political dissident Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado, following Fidel Castro’s death, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Authorities arrested El Sexto for expressing his disagreement with the Cuban government in a creative and peaceful way — the arrest being an example of the government’s sustained effort to limit free speech,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America programs. “Democratic governments and international civil society should press the government to release Danilo and end its frequent arrests of those who attempt to speak freely.”

Background:

On November 26, 2016, Cuban graffiti artist and dissident Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado posted a video of himself on Facebook mocking Fidel Castro's death. In the selfie-style video, shot near the hotel Habana Libre, Maldonado called Castro a “yegua” (mare) and called on the public to celebrate his death. He later spray-painted on a wall near the hotel. Danilo’s mother said he was beaten and dragged across the floor in a police station in San Agustin, Havana.

In 2014, Danilo was imprisoned for 10 months for planning to release two pigs with “Fidel” and “Raúl” written on them.

Cuba is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2016

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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