Cuban Exiles Demand The Release Of Danilo Maldonado

Danilo Maldonado, 'El Sexto'. (Archivo del artista)
Danilo Maldonado, 'El Sexto'. (Artist's file)

The Assembly of Cuban Resistance in Miami on Tuesday demanded the release in Cuba of artist Danilo Maldonado, known as  El Sexto (The Sixth), who has spent 22 days on a hunger strike to demand his freedom after nine months of detention.

According to the Cuban exile group, the graffiti artist is in “critical condition” in the Cuban prison of Valle Grande, in the province of Mayabeque, along with the activisits Zaqueo Báez, Ismael Bonet Reñé and María Josefa Acón, detained in Havana and also on hunger strike.

The organization explained that Maldonado was arrested in December 2014 for painting the names of the two Castro brothers on the backs of two pigs, before an artistic performance he was going to stage with the animals.

The group called on human rights organizations and the international community to “show solidarity with this cause.”

“No trial has yet been held and the reason is that he simply wanted to stage a performance,” the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance said in a statement today.

The organization said that the three other human rights activists belong to the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) and were arrested on September 20 during Pope Francis's visit to the Island. 

“We call on the international community to support these defenders of human rights whose lives are really at risk,” Antonio Rodiles said in a statement; Rodiles is one of the coordinators of the Forum on the Rights and Freedoms.

After more than five decades of enmity, Cuba and the United States re-established diplomatic relations on July 20.

The White House said this Tuesday that President Barack Obama “reaffirmed” before his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro, his “commitment” to ensure that the Government of the island “does a better job” in protecting the human rights of its citizens, following the participation of both presidents on Monday at the UN General Assembly in New York.

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