Only in Castro’s Cuba does painting a name on a pig land you in prison. Hope and Change, baby, Hope and Change…
Cuba’s much ado about two little pigs
Cuba’s questionable human-rights record is on display again over a relatively insignificant act of civil disobedience. But how authorities have handled it, up to now, says volumes.
The brouhaha is over Cuban graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, known as El Sexto, or the Sixth One. Mr. Maldonado has been in jail since Dec. 25, 2014.
His crime: Attempting to put on a performance-art play that included two pigs named Raúl and Fidel. The pigs were appearing in a performance of Revolt in the Farm, an obvious takeoff on George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm.
In Cuba — before and after its renewed political relations with the United States — such irreverence in the guise of contempt for political leaders and the regime has been punishable by law. Clearly, the revolution has little tolerance and no sense of humor about these things.
El Sexto staged a hunger strike for 24 days when authorities announced recently that the artist would be released last Thursday.
That day, according to el Nuevo Herald reporters, the graffiti artist’s relatives gathered outside the Valle Grande prison waiting for him to walk free.
It never happened.
According to Cuban blogger and activist Lia Villares, prison authorities told relatives they had no instructions to release El Sexto.
Then the artist’s mother was notified by State Security that, yes, he had served the time required and would be released before Oct. 21.
Was this all some cruel joke? As this is written, the family sits and waits, as does El Sexto.
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