Solidarity needed to free the Cuban 5

The Cuban 5 are Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez. They were convicted in 2001 by a Miami jury, in a hostile anti-Cuban environment, on charges ranging from spying to conspiracy to commit murder and endangering the security of the US. They are guilty of nothing more than peacefully trying to protect Cuba against terrorism. All their successful appeals have subsequently been overturned – the US will not permit a fair trial which would expose its funding and harbouring of real terrorists.

In October 2011, after over 13 years of incarceration, much of it in solitary confinement, Rene Gonzalez walked out of prison on supervised release. As his lawyer Philip Horowitz says, ‘prison was bad but supervised liberty is insulting’. There are real fears for Rene’s safety as he is forced to live in an area where the US-funded terrorist groups that the five were monitoring are based.

Rene’s wife, Olga Salanueva, has been denied entry to the US to visit him. Rene himself is being subjected to the most stringent of conditions to visit his brother Roberto, who is terminally ill in hospital in Havana, and must return to supervised release in the US within two weeks from his date of departure.

With legal avenues nearly exhausted, everyone in Cuba is demanding justice, from six-year-old Pioneers to the veterans of Playa Giron. Around the world there are committees and solidarity groups in 152 countries calling for justice for the Cuban 5. Gerardo Hernandez refers to this international solidarity as a ‘jury of millions’.

Kenia Serrano, president of ICAP, told us that ‘solidarity is the only thing that will free the five’. Join us in the battle for justice for the Cuban 5!

Hannah Caller

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism 226 April/May 2012

 

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