The artist and graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, known as ‘El Sexto’ (The Sixth), heard the news of Fidel Castro’s death while he was on Havana’s Malecon. “People kept doing what they were doing, talking, partying, when the police started to show up,” he says, of those first hours after the news. The artist irreverently took advantage of the situation to leave a brief message on a wall: “ Se fue” (He’s gone).
As the sun rose, the graffiti remained defiant and accurate in the eyes of the silent passers-by. “The exterior dictator has died, but the interior dictator still remains inside many Cubans,” Maldonado said in a telephone conversation with 14ymedio.
El Sexto’s graffiti is the first demonstration outside the expressions of mourning organized by officialdom. Calm, caution and silence have spread as more Cubans have heard about the death of the former president.