European Parliament Members call for EU mediation to release Cuban artists from prison

El vicepresidentes del grupo demócrata liberal del Parlamento Europeo, Pavel Telicka. (Partido Democrático Europeo)
The vice president of the Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party in the European Parliament, Pavel Telicka. (European Democratic Party)

The vice presidents of the  Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party  of the European Parliament, Fernando Maura and Pavel Telicka, have asked the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Frederica Mogherini, to intervene with the Havana Government for the release from prison of  Angel Santiesteban  and  Danilo Maldonado . In a letter to Mogherini, signed by some thirty Eurodeputies, they also call for an end to the “prolonged confinement” of  Tania Bruguera .

In a letter released this Friday, the Eurodeputies ask Mogherini to mediate for the withdrawal of the charges for “counterrevolutionary activities” against the regime opponent  Antonio Rodiles and his partner  Ailer Gonzalez.  

Maura and Telicka argue that “any step in the advancement of international diplomacy must be accompanied by a demand for a radical change in Cuban policies that restrict freedom of expression and imprison dissidents,” and they demand that respect for human rights “prevails” in relations between the European Union and Cuba.

The graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, known as  El Sexto , has been in prison since last December on charges of contempt and he continues to wait for trial. He was arrested while trying to stage a performance with two pigs stamped with the names “Fidel” and “Raul.”

The writer Ángel Santiesteban is serving a sentence of five years for an alleged crime of violation of domicile. However, activists and independent lawyers have denounced the many irregularities that were brought to bear during his trial.

Bruguera is currently  unable to leave Cuba, because she is being legally prosecuted for the events arising from her attempt to organize a  performance this last December. Since then, the artist has denounced “a constant psychological war.”

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