Cuba: Rapper sentenced to one year in prison

4 February 2015

On 28 January 2015, the rapper El Dkano (real name: Maikel Castillo Perez) was sentenced to a year in prison in Havana. It is generally believed he was targeted for having used music to express his dissenting political opinions.

El Dkano was sentenced under a charge known as ‘peligrosidad predelictiva’ (‘dangerousness that is likely leading to a crime’), which is used to imprison dissidents for long terms. His defense attorney told a reporter from Diario de Cuba that prosecutors wanted the judge to sentence him to five years.

The 31-year-old’s lyrics are known for criticising the Castro regime. He once described his style as that of someone who “doesn’t make concessions with a system full of liars.”

“Unjust charge”
“Cuba over the years has produced and supported many great artists, but it is appalling that the Cuban authorities continue to repress artists, who are adressing serious problems,” said Ole Reitov, Freemuse Executive Director. “A solid state system should not fear but stimulate artistic freedom and live up to international conventions guaranteeing freedom of speech.”

American Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said during a House Foreign Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., that the Castro regime is once again slapping a Cuban rapper with an unjust charge.

As part of the Obama-Castro deal of 17 December 2014, another imprisoned rapper, El Critico (real name: Ángel Yunier Remón) was recently released from prison.

Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado (‘El Sexto’) remains imprisoned since Christmas Day 2014 and is currently in poor health, battling pneumonia in the Valle Grande Prison.

» Local 10 – 4 February 2015:
Miami Republican shows concern for Cuban rappers’ lack of freedom

» AmericaTevé – 29 January 2015:
Condenan a un año de cárcel a rapero contestatario

» Capitol Hill Cubans – 28 January 2015:
Cuban Dissident Rapper Gets One-Year Prison Sentence Today

» Diario de Cuba – 28 January 2015:
Condenan a un año de cárcel al rapero contestatario Maikel Oksobo

» Diario de Cuba – 28 January 2015:
Música contestataria y corrupción judicial

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