Cuban graffiti artist Yulier Perez jailed for mural in Centro Havana

HAVANA – Cuban graffiti artist Yulier Perez was arrested and in jail for 36 hours this week after he started working on a mural in Centro Havana.

Perez said he was arrested at an abandoned building in San Lazaro for defacing public property.

Perez's art is known for its whimsical style and dream-like figures, and you'll find them in many places around Havana.

"The most important thing for an individual is art, your thoughts and the love you can have for your country and your identity," Perez told Local 10 News.

Perez said he'll accept whatever consequences in order to defend his way of thinking and his work.

He said he was forced to sign an acknowledgement of the charge and promise to remove hundreds of his murals in several days -- a demand he says is physically impossible.

Perez said he was also told that he's being investigated for being part of the counterintelligence.

Despite it all, he remains defiant and said he will not erase his art.

"I strongly believe that art around the city, especially in destroyed public spaces, is needed, because it creates discussion and reveals a social conscience," Perez said.


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