He calls himself El Sexto as a mockery of the Cuban intelligence spies "The Cuban Five." Although the Cuban Five was an anti-American group, El Sexto considers himself the sixth in the group because he's clandestinely spread his message of freedom.
The artist didn’t let the bars of prison trap his free spirit and love for liberty. In fact, his imprisonment was a time where he learned more about the underground world of the Cuban dissident community. He bonded with other dissidents from all over the Cuba who were victims of a system of violence and arbitrary arrests. “Everybody had a common bond of being oppressed by the same regime,” El Sexto recalled.
While prison is a method the Cuban government uses to silence people like El Sexto for speaking out against the dictatorship, the some of the prison guards saw El Sexto as a hero. Because of that, they made sure he received the letters from his mother and they snuck in art utensils so he could still draw. They saw him as a bold and fearless hero and he managed to sneak out about 40 drawings.
El Sexto said that humor and ridicule reveals vulnerability in regimes that take away free speech rights because those regime leaders can’t handle any form of mockery. The way El Sexto sees it, “How can you kill someone without touching them?” He learned to clandestinely spread artwork and watched government officials burn with anger. He saw more value in the government officials’ anger because he knew he was communicating his ideas effectively.
El Sexto will continue to empower people to speak out against the Castro dictatorship. He believes that intelligence will win over brute force. He hopes to see art win.