Free the Cuban Five

On Saturday 15 September, Rock around the Blockade (RATB) activists held street rallies in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow to mark 14 years of unjust incarceration of the Cuban Five in the US and to demand their release. The Cuban Five’s only crime was attempting to prevent terrorism against the Cuban people launched from the United States and tolerated or assisted by the US government. They were arrested in 1998 after passing information on to the US government about terrorist acts against Cuba planned in Miami by right-wing exile groups. Pointing to the hypocrisy of the so-called War on Terror, RATB activists also highlighted Cuba’s socialist development and welfare as an alternative to the poverty, marginalisation, war and environmental destruction of today’s imperialist dominated world. The persecution of the Five is just part of a continual campaign to destroy the Revolution.

Two of the Five wrote to RATB from their prison cells, with solidarity for our day of action. Extracts from those letters appear below.

... I would like to express the appreciation of the Cuban Five to all our comrades of Rock around the Blockade for your continual support to our struggle for justice. (I always read Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! with most interest and share it with many people here). It’s thanks to the solidarity of brothers and sisters like you that we are confident about our victory.

Hasta la Victoria siempre!

Gerardo Fernandez Nordelo

‘Greetings from the Cuban Five to all of you gathered here today. 12 September marked the 14th year of our unjust incarceration. But it also means 14 years of support and solidarity from so many good friends throughout the United Kingdom. As you get together today to show your commitment to the struggle for our release from prison, we express our gratitude to all of you as well as our decision to withstand any circumstances and remain in the fight for justice for as long as it takes to achieve it. Knowing that we can count on your support and solidarity has been a permanent source of encouragement all these years. Your company in the struggle has also strengthened our confidence that victory will be ours.

Venceremos!

Fernando Gonzalez

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 229 October/November 2012