PIGS! / Mario Lleonart

Drawing by El Sexto (Danilo Maldonado) of the piglets he intended to release in a street performance in Havana.

Mario Lleonart, 18 October 2015 — For the second time they have lied about a release date for prisoner-of-conscience (so designated by Amnesty International) Danilo Maldonado, better known by his artistic name “El Sexto” (The Sixth). First they announced his release for August 24. Then for September 15. But now we know they lied disgracefully on both occasions.

The regime’s own behavior regarding this prisoner of conscience shows the relevance of the performance that he intended to put on when they arrested him last December: “Animal Farm.” They behaved like pigs, just as he thought. His crime was to have the courage to label them with exactly that description: PIGS! There is something Biblical about this!

When Christ cast out the legion of demons in Gadara, they took over a herd of pigs that rushed into the sea, and there could not be a better judgment against the Roman Empire. Jesus himself called Herod “FOX!” The theological symbolism in the sacred texts whenever pigs are mentioned, with their classification as unclean animals, is well known.

The young graffiti artist El Sexto, detached, and sometimes even rejected from self-righteous church circles, has dared to do what all Christians should have done a long time ago—shout prophetically! But he has given new meaning to Christ’s words: if you are silent, the stones will cry out.

God bless all those who in an upcoming round of the #TodosMarchamos campaign will raise their voices for all political prisoners or prisoners of conscience who like El Sexto are victims of all kinds of harassment in Cuban prisons. God bless even more those like Danilo who dare to shout “pigs” at the tyrants. God have mercy on those who are silent and become accomplices by their silence.