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August 2015
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    “El Sexto” in the Clutches of the Castro Beast

    “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
    he pleased.

    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
    and 18th).

    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 –

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