Mar. 31, 2016 | Press Releases

HRF to Cuba: Stop Harassing El Sexto

NEW YORK (March 31, 2016) — Human Rights Foundation (HRF) strongly condemns the continued harassment and surveillance of Cuban graffiti artist and activist Danilo Maldonado Machado, also known as El Sexto, by Cuban state security agents. El Sexto has been detained three times and held for three to five hours each time since his return to Cuba earlier this month. In every instance he was violently subdued and then arrested while taking part in peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrations in Cuba. Hundreds of activists have been arrested in the last month for demonstrating against the government before and during President Obama’s visit to Cuba.

HRF to Cuba: Stop Harassing El Sexto

“Short-term detentions occur regularly in Cuba, where officials typically arrest activists for a few hours or even days without pressing charges in the hope of both silencing their voices and discouraging others to engage in public displays of dissent,” said HRF president Thor Halvorssen. “El Sexto’s graffiti art is one of the regime elite’s most feared methods of protest because it exposes their true nature. They are old, dictatorial, and they lack a sense of humor,” said Halvorssen.
El Sexto recently returned to Cuba after participating in the College Freedom Forum at UFM in Guatemala City and holding his first art show abroad in Miami, where he heavily criticized the Cuban government for the lack of fundamental rights and freedoms in the country.

Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

Contact: Noemi Gonzalo-Bilbao, (212) 246-8486,