International Campaign for Release of the Cuban Five Intensifies
Nov. 27, 2007
Havana, Nov 27 (acn) British reverend Geoffrey Bottoms said on Monday that international solidarity with the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who remain unjustly imprisoned in the United States continues to grow.
During a meeting at the venue of the Havana-based Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP) with relatives of Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Rene Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero - internationally known as the Cuban Five - Bottoms demanded the release of the five men and explained aspects of the campaign in favor of the Five in Great Britain where they are trying to make people aware of the unjust legal process carried out against these men in the United States.
In this respect, he announced that Leonard Weinglass, Antonio Guerrero's attorney, will soon travel to British territory where he will meet with Parliament members, trade union leaders and non governmental organizations to denounce the violations committed in this case.
Bottoms also noted that the reiterated decision by the US government of denying visas to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez - wives of Rene and Gerardo, respectively - to visit their husbands in prison is an additional punishment for them and their families.
During the meeting at the ICAP venue in the Cuban capital on Monday, Magaly Llort and Mirtha Rodriguez - mothers of Fernando and Antonio, respectively - thanked Rev. Bottoms for his support of the cause of the Cuban Five and called him an honorable representative of peace.
The Cuban Five have been in prison for almost a decade in the United States where they infiltrated anti-Cuba terrorist groups that were planning and carrying out attacks against the island from Southern Florida.
Hear from the heart of Cuba's struggle
Nov. 26, 2007
STEPHEN HALLMARK previews this week's meeting with Leonard Weinglass, attorney of the Miami 5.
THERE are two reasons why an opportunity to hear a speech by civil-rights activist and acclaimed lawyer Leonard Weinglass, who is the attorney for the Miami Five anti-terror fighters, should not be missed.
First, this legal case defines the US twisted logic regarding Cuba and is symbolic of the brutality that it imposes on the Caribbean island.
And second, Weinglass has been at the centre of the civil-rights movement for decades and has defended a string of high-profile activists, including Jane Fonda, Angela Davis and the Chicago Seven. He is, therefore, someone with much to say.
So the chance to hear about the case of the Miami Five from the man at the centre of the ongoing court proceedings is a unique opportunity to get under the skin of US foreign policy and learn about the country's strange relationship with Cuba.
Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez are "guilty" of defending their country against terrorist attacks originating in Miami.
Weinglass says: "The arrest and prosecution of these men for their courageous attempt to stop the terror was not only unjust, it exposes the hypocrisy of America's claim to oppose terrorism wherever it surfaces.
"The mission of the Five was not to obtain US military secrets, as was charged, but rather to monitor the terrorist activities of those mercenaries and report their planned threats back to Cuba."
The men gathered evidence on terrorist cells responsible for atrocities such as the bombing of a Cuban hotel, which resulted in the death of an Italian tourist, and reported those findings to their government. The details were then passed on to the FBI.
But for the US authorities to admit that the Miami Five were indeed fighting terrorist cells would alienate the bitter and vociferous Cuban-exile lobby in Florida, which is a swing state, and be tantamount to an admission that half a century of US foreign policy toward Cuba is that of an imperialistic power sulking over its lost dominion.
The case also shows the brutal face of US policy. The men were jailed on trumped-up charges, separated by thousands of miles in jails across the country and each had to withstand an astonishing 17 months of solitary confinement.
Amnesty International has also condemned the US for refusing visiting rights to Adriana Perez, Gerardo's wife, and Rene's wife Olga Salanueva, on the incredible grounds that they constitute a threat to national security.
Not only that but the case against the men is riddled with holes.
The United Nations has said that the trial was "arbitrary" and politicised because it was held in Miami and Weinglass cites it as one of the biggest miscarriages of justice of recent times.
"By infiltrating the terror network that is allowed to exist in Florida, they demonstrated the hypocrisy of America's claimed opposition to terrorism," he says.
Stephen Hallmark is campaigns manager for the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Leonard Weinglass will be speaking at London on Thursday November 29 from 7pm at the House of Commons, committee room 10 with Father Geoff Bottoms and Ian Gibson MP. Other dates include Saturday December 1 at the Latin America Conference 2007, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London, Monday December 3 from 7.30pm at the Derby Council Chambers, Council House, Corporation St, Derby and Tuesday December 4 from 7.30pm at the Manchester Town Hall, committee room 2, Manchester. For more details, call the Cuba Solidarity Campaign on (020) 7263-6452.
Intensifican campaña internacional por libertad de Los Cinco
27 de noviembre de 2007
La Habana, 26 Nov (AIN) El sacerdote católico británico Geoffrey Dennis Bottons dijo hoy que crece la solidaridad mundial con los Cinco luchadores antiterroristas cubanos presos en Estados Unidos y exigió su puesta en libertad.
En un encuentro efectuado en el Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos con familiares de Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, René González y Antonio Guerrero, el religioso explicó aspectos de la campaña que se impulsa en Gran Bretaña para dar a conocer el injusto proceso judicial contra estos hombres conocidos internacionalmente como Los Cinco.
Precisó que Leonard Wenglass, abogado de Antonio, viajará próximamente a territorio británico a fin de reunirse con parlamentarios, dirigentes sindicales y organizaciones no gubernamentales para denunciar este amañado caso judicial.
También fustigó al Gobierno norteamericano por negarles reiteradamente las visas a Olga Salanueva y Adriana Pérez, esposas de René y Gerardo, en ese orden, lo cual consideró un castigo adicional para ellos y sus familiares.
Magaly Llort y Mirtha Rodríguez, madres de Fernando y Antonio, respectivamente, agradecieron al padre Bottons su respaldo a esta causa, y lo calificaron como un digno representante de la paz.
Los Cinco permanecen arrestados en cárceles estadounidenses desde hace nueve años por infiltrar grupos terroristas de origen cubano, que desde la ciudad de Miami ejecutan acciones violentas y subversivas contra Cuba, con anuencia de las autoridades norteamericanas.
Esos valientes hombres fueron condenados en su conjunto a cuatro cadenas perpetuas más 77 años, en un amañado juicio efectuado en Miami, Florida.