Post Arrest 3 / El Sexto – Danilo Maldonado Machado


Fear is a role. You play it how you want. [After el Sexto’s t-shirt with Laura Pollan was ripped off him by State Security, he had her face tattooed on his skin, followed by those of other recently deceased heroes of the freedom and democracy movement.]

Faces of the new Cuba. Benedict XVI was in Cuba this week. There, where change is beaten among the Castro reforms and the demands of the famous dissidents, there are also more anonymous people who from their commercial undertakings, their rap music, or their graffiti, modify the face of the island. This is a tour of this new Havana labyrinth.

20 May 2013

El Sexto’s Signature: New on 23rd / Ignacio Estrada Cepero #Cuba

Este es mi Camino Bajando (1)

Este es mi Camino Bajando (2)

Este es mi Camino Bajando (3)

Este es mi Camino Bajando (4)

Este es mi Camino Bajando (5)

Este es mi Camino Bajando (6)

Este es mi Camino Bajando (7)

Este es mi Camino Bajando (8)

By Ignacio Estrada Cepero, Independent Journalist

Havana, Cuba: The Cuban graffiti artist Daniel Maldonado known as “El Sexto” (The Sixth*) has recently plastered his signature in different places along the central 23rd Avenue.

23rd Street in the capital municipality of Plaza, is the site chosen by the Cuban artist recognized for graffiti, to leave his autograph in protest against those who have recently been erasing his work in different public places.

According to recent statements from the artist he is trying to retake the streets again this year and to show that despite government censorship he will continue giving Cuban the gift of a genuine work without government contamination. Recently in a conversation Danilo Maldonado said “…if these little guys keep crossing out my stuff, I will continue crossing out theirs…”

One of the recent signs of El Sexto’s authorship is just a few yards from the central corner of 23rd and L, a writing that reaffirms his will and I quote “…This is my path… Going down…”**

Translator’s notes:
*”El Sexto” takes his moniker — “The Sixth” — as a take off from the “Cuban Five” — five admitted Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. and lionized in Cuba (one of the 5 is now on parole).
*”Este calle es de Fidel!” — This street belongs to Fidel — is a slogan commonly used in Cuba in support of the government; it is often shouted at repudiation rallies against dissidents such as the Ladies in White and others.  El Sexto’s take off is “This street/path/way is mine…”

January 21 2013

El Sexto in Honor of Oswaldo Paya / Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

The graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado Machado EL SEXTO (Phone +53-53798491) is tatooed with the a living tribute on his skin of the image of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñias (1952-2012), leader and founder of the Christian Liberation Movement and author of the Varela Project to reform the Cuban socialist system. The music is from the CD Concepts and Principles by Silvito The Free, son of the singer-songwriter working in the past, Silvio Rodriguez.

September 13 2012

My Passport / El Sexto – Danilo Maldonado Machado

Translator’s note: A passport having no practical use in Cuba if you cannot qualify for the coveted White Card — the exit permit all Cubans need to be able to travel outside their country — El Sexto decided to use his passport as a canvas. And then created this video.

21 May 2012

The Terror of the Controls / Reinaldo Escobar

Since Raul Castro created the position of Comptroller of the Republic a current of panic runs through all the governmental administrative authorities. The cases of corruption, irregularities, diversion of resources and lack of control of state assets emerge like mushrooms after a rain.

However, despite having raised a war against secrecy in the press, the official media does not bring to light either the amount of the damages nor the names of those responsible. Periodically, the rumors, with their quota of inaccuracy or exaggeration, serve to make known the “exploitations,” always accompanied by the little details where we hear of lovers, swimming pools, wine cellars, luxury cars, and all the irresistible temptations — which lead them to perdition — of the old militant Communists, veterans of revolutionary battles, former senior officers, all highly trusted people.

It’s not worth going into the details, especially if they are not confirmed by reliable sources, but it does make sense to ask how is it possible that after half a century of Communist education and countless selective filters, the cadres of different levels continue to have the same appetites enshrined in the old bourgeois morality?

What is wrong? Is it the nature of man himself, or a system based on a profound mistake?

I have the impression that the cases uncovered are not divulged precisely so that citizens do not ask this question; so that they will continue to believe that all is well and that we are on the right path toward higher goals and not will not perceive the swamp nor the fatal attraction that arises from its depths.

22 May 2012