Local 10 News speaks to 'El Sexto' after release from Cuban prison

Controversial artist says he was blackmailed during incarceration

By Hatzel Vela - Cuba Correspondent

HAVANA - Controversial graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, known as "El Sexto," has been released from a Cuban jail after being incarcerated for two months.

Maldonado told Local 10 News that he was arrested for damaging state property.

He said he did spray paint the words "Se fue (he's gone)" on a wall at the prominent Havana Libre Hotel in Havana after former Cuban President Fidel Castro's death.

Maldonado said police told him that he did not show any respect for what they claimed was the greatest thing to Cuba.

He said he spent 55 days in different prisons.

This was the second arrest for Maldonado, who gained notoriety for painting the Castro brothers' names on pigs.

Maldonado said the time in prison was more emotionally draining because he was moved from prison to prison, and told that he would likely face trial.

He said guards would grab him by the neck and blackmail him with limiting his family visits.

Maldonado lives in the small neighborhood of Arroyo Arena, in the outskirts of Havana.

He said he hopes that he can continue living there and travel to Miami so he can continue his activism.

The ability to travel in and out of the country, some argue, shows that the Cuban government is not threatened by these dissidents.

In the past, the Cuban government has questioned the credibility of activists like El Sexto, because outside groups allegedly pay them to do this kind of work.

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