NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO FREE THE CUBAN FIVE
Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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Leonard Weinglass Passed Away in New York

Mar. 24, 2011
Reprinted from CubaDebate

Leonard Weinglass, was a restless fighter for the cause of five Cubans who have been in US prisons since 1998, internationally known as the Cuban Five. He died on the same day he was born back in 1933.

Weinglass would have turned 78 today, since he died on the same day he was born back in 1933.

The outstanding lawyer graduated from Yale´s Law School in 1958. Some of his cases are still being studied in all American law schools at present.

He became a renowned law professional because he has represented defendants in the most spectacular judicial processes in the United States, from the Chicago Eight to Jane Fonda, from Angela Davis to the kidnappers of Patty Hearst, from Daniel Ellsberg to Amy Carter.

Weinglass became a well known lawyer after the trial of the Chicago Eight, demonstrators against the Vietnam War who were arrested during protests at the Convention of the Democratic Party in 1968 and were charged with conspiracy, inciting to riot and other charges. Among his clients were Abbie Hoffman; Tom Hayden, a political activist, and other civil rights activists.

Weinglass also defended Daniel Ellsberg, a man who, in 1971, leaked some Pentagon documents about the secret history of the Vietnam War to the press. The documents served as an instrument to force President Nixon to step down from power. The case is compared to Wikileaks.

In an interview granted by Weinglass to cubadebate, the lawyer explained why he accepted to defend Antonio Guerrero and support the cause of the five Cubans held in US jails.

He said “I had never worked as a lawyer with the aim of making money, or in litigations for money…Since I studied at the university and we were taught that being a lawyer entails a commitment to justice, I assumed it as such, with absolute passion. Since that point in time I have been involved in cases where justice has been denied, or in cases with political nature because I understand politics—a commitment to those whom are denied justice everyday-. I have also been in processes that have acquired international character in the United States. In this particular case, these three elements are combined, though there is something else: we are representing five exceptional human beings. For me Antonio is not just another defendant. Being his lawyer is more than that. It simply is an honor.

 

 

     
Murió Leonard Weinglass, el extraordinario luchador por la causa de los Cinco

24 de marzo de 2011
Tomado de CubaDebate

El abogado norteamericano Leonard Weinglass, representante legal de Antonio Guerrero e incansable luchador por la causa de los Cinco, murió esta tarde en Nueva York, confirmaron a Cubadebate personas allegadas a él.

Weinglass, que no logró recuperarse de una operación para extirparle un cáncer, nació el 27 de agosto de 1933. Tenía 77 años.

Se graduó como abogado en 1958 en la Escuela de Leyes de Yale, y algunos de sus casos se estudian hoy en todas las facultades de Derecho de los EEUU.

La razón de su celebridad es que desde los Ocho de Chicago (luego se conocerían como los Chicago Seven o los Siete de Chicago), hasta Jane Fonda, de Angela Davis a los secuestradores de Patty Hearst, de Daniel Ellsberg a Amy Carter, Weinglass ha representado a los acusados en muchos de los más espectaculares procesos judiciales de Estados Unidos.

Fue el juicio a los Ocho de Chicago, los manifestantes contra la Guerra de Vietnam arrestados durante las protestas en la convención del Partido Demócrata en 1968, el que lanzó a Weinglass al primer plano legal. Entre sus defendidos se encontraban Abbie “Steal This Book” Hoffman; Tom Hayden, un activista politico, entre otros célebres luchadores por los derechos civiles.

l juicio es el tema de una proyectada película de Steven Spielberg, The Trial of the Chicago 7. Unos años después, Weinglas se encontró defendiendo a Daniel Ellsberg, el hombre, que en 1971, filtró a la prensa los documentos del Pentágono acerca de la historia secreta de la Guerra de Vietnam, que sirvieron de instrumento para el derrumbe del Presidente Nixon. Este caso de filtración es comparado con el de Wikileaks.

En una entrevista realiza por Cubadebate en el 2004, Weinglass explicó sin rodeos por qué aceptó ser el abogado de Antonio Guerrero, y apoyar la causa de los Cinco cubanos presos en los Estados Unidos. Sus palabras lo retratan:

“Nunca he ejercido como abogado para obtener dinero o en litigios de dinero, donde alguien desea sacar provecho de otro. Desde que estudié en la universidad y nos enseñaron que ser abogado era un compromiso de justicia, lo asumí como tal, con absoluta pasión. Desde entonces me he involucrado en casos donde se dirime la justicia, o tienen un carácter político tal y como yo entiendo la política -un compromiso con aquellos a quienes se les niega cotidianamente la justicia-. Y, también, en procesos que, a veces, adquieren dentro de Estados Unidos una trascendencia internacional. En este caso se han entrelazado esos tres elementos, pero hay algo más: representamos a cinco seres humanos excepcionales. Antonio para mí no es cualquier defendido. Ser su abogado es más que eso. Es, sencillamente, un honor.”

Cubadebate se une al dolor de sus familiares y amigos, de nuestros Cinco compañeros y de todos los cubanos y norteamericanos que lo admiran y que saben que su muerte es una pérdida dolorosa que comparten ambos pueblos.

 

 

 

Watch a short video to listen to Leonard speak here

Other video and audio material featuring Leonard Weinglass:

  • Oct. 13, 2009: ]Interviewed by the press following the resentencing of Antonio Guerrero (4:11)
  • May 17, 2009: CBC News broadcasts a segment on the Cuban Five, with a focus on René González, including interviews with Olga Salanueva, Irma González, and Leonard Weinglass (13:24)
  • Sept. 2, 2008: Speaking at the Universidad Central de Chile (8:20)
  • Nov. 9, 2007: Speaking (audio) at the public program of the Breaking the Silence conference, Toronto, Canada
  • Aug. 29, 2007: CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer covers the case of the Cuban Five, featuring attorney Leonard Weinglass (part 1part 2)
  • Aug. 23, 2007: Democracy Now! interview following the appeals hearing, conducted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez
  • Aug. 19, 2007: Speaking (audio) at a reception prior to the appeals hearing for the Cuban Five before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.
  • August 1, 2007: Interviewed (audio) by Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, about the upcoming (August 20) appeals hearing (29:32)
 

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