"El Sexto" in the Clutches of the Castro Beast / Luis Felipe Rojas
Posted on August 29, 2015
Danilo Maldonado is a Cuban political prisoner who just embarked on the
terrible path of committing to a hunger strike. This was confirmed by
his family members from Havana late on August 25th.
"El Sexto" (as in "The Sixth [hero]", referring to the 5 Castro spies
who were imprisoned in the United States, and in open mockery of the 6th
Congress of the Communist Party) is a restless youth who for months ran
Cuban Intelligence ragged in Havana, painting his graffiti art around as
The following is a short and intense note posted by Lia Villares today
on her blog. She has accompanied him during the months of travail since
his apprehension for painting the names "Fidel" and "Raul" on two pigs
that he was going to release in a Havana park, as performance art:
From Lia Villares
In a telephone conversation a few minutes ago with Danilo's lawyer
Mercy, she told me that—because she has only been licensed for two and a
half months, and is in the midst of family problems—she has "turned
over" Danilo's case to another lawyer.
This Monday when she started work, the first thing she did when she got
to the office (at 23rd and G) was to pick up Danilo's file.
She said she had done everything possible for Danilo, including filing
with the prosecutor more than 4 petitions to modify the conditions of
release; all were rejected. The last time she went to apply for
modification of conditions of release at the Municipal Prosecutor's
office, a prosecutor named Viviana told her that she couldn't do
anything because the file was at the Attorney General's Office (at 1st
She insists she wants to take on Danilo's defense, because she sees no
"crime" in the case, and although Danilo had told her during their last
visit (some months back) that he did not want any defense, she still
wants to defend him because she also sees no "dangerousness in the act,"
which is what they are arguing in denying the modifications she has
"I didn't want to let go," she told me in an anguished voice, "and
everyone who has come to see me knows that I haven't stopped doing
everything available to me."
Tuesday I will see her along with Danilo's mother and take to her the
Complaint document prepared byCubaLex, the independent legal counsel
office. I delivered a copy of it on Tuesday, August 25 to the Municipal
Prosecutor of La Lisa, to the Provincial Prosecutor of Havana, and to
the Attorney General of the Republic. I have an acknowledged receipt
from each of them. They are required to respond within 60 business days.
The document explains how Danilo's case ranges from arbitrary detention
to the violation of the universal right to freedom of thought and
expression, how "due process" has not been accorded him, and how his
right to liberty, security, and personal integrity has been violated.
The Complaint is directed to the officials charged with enforcing the
law, that they "accept this document, and investigate the facts here
reported, and submit the officers involved to criminal proceedings,
while restoring the law violated, to avoid the international
responsibility of the Cuban state for breach of its obligations to
respect and guarantee the human rights of all individuals within its
territory and subject to its jurisdiction, without distinction, as
affirmed by almost all the relevant international treaties."
And it further requests his "immediate release as a necessary measure to
protect his personal well-being. The precautionary measures requested
are raised as necessary and appropriate, according to the truthful
information reported and provided in this document.
"The extreme gravity and urgency of this case justifies the need to
protect the physical and mental integrity of Maldonado Machado, because
of the extreme seriousness of the threat to his freedom and personal
safety presented by his arbitrary detention and current imprisonment by
the national authorities. The urgency of the measure is clear when we
set forth the extremely vulnerable position Danilo finds himself in
because of his role as a dissident and defender of human rights.
"It is internationally understood that 'a person who in any way promotes
or seeks the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
nationally or internationally' should be considered a defender of human
rights, and that the work of human rights defenders is fundamental to
the universal implementation of human rights, and for the full existence
of democracy and the rule of law.
"Defenders of human rights are essential for strengthening and
consolidating democracies, since the goal that motivates the work is for
society in general and seeks to benefit it. Therefore, when a person is
prevented from defending human rights, the rest of society is directly
Translated by Tomás A.
Source: "El Sexto" in the Clutches of the Castro Beast / Luis Felipe
Rojas | Translating Cuba -