With U.S. and Cuban teams set to sit down in Washington today for the first round of talks on the subject of human rights, it’s worth noting just how far Cuba has to go before it enters the realm of respectable on the topic.

Case in point: the arrest and detention of grafitti artist Danilo “El Sexto” Maldonado Machado. The artist was arrested in late December and has yet to be released. His crime? “Insulting” the Castros by even thinking about marching these two piglets through a park in central Havana:

Danilo has been the subject of a number of campaigns seeking his release, among them a concert and rally in Havana over the weekend and no end of Twitter efforts and online petitions. All to no avail. Maybe stern words from the State Department will be more effective. Probably not.

As one of his fellow artists, Tania Bruguera (who herself was jailed briefly when she attempted to stage an open-mic performance in a public park in Havana), aptly noted to 14ymedio, “if Cuba were to throw everyone who made a joke about Fidel or Raul in jail, then half the country would be behind bars.”


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