Women's delegation meets Cuban 5's relatives
Members of the U.S. delegation to the 14th Congress of the Women’s International Democratic Federation had the opportunity to meet with Irma Sehwerert, mother of René González, and Rosa Aurora Freijanes, wife of Fernando González. The following are excerpts from their remarks.
The Congress was held from April 9-13 in Caracas, Venezuela.
April 26 2007
Reprinted from Workers World
When we arrived in Venezuela, the first thing we did was ask when the U.S. delegation would arrive. We believe that the people of the United States are most important to the case of the Five.
Oral appeals will be held in the case of the Five in August, and we are urging you to contact the press, the State Department and the prosecutor to let them know that the world has its eyes on this case.
The worst problem with the case is that more people in the United States do not know about the case. We should ask the press, if there were five people who knew in advance about the World Trade Center attacks, wouldn’t they be regarded as heroes?
This is a purely political case, and news of it is being silenced because the U.S. government cannot explain to the people of the United States how, if they are fighting the “war on terror,” they could have imprisoned five men who are fighting terror, and then released known terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.
We know the sentiment of the people of the United States, and know that they will defend our cause.
The case is now in appeals, but the U.S. government is going to try to drag it out and make it endless. Only a political struggle will free the Five.
Meanwhile, the relatives of the Five have been denied visas to the United States—preventing them from visiting their loved ones—and told they are a threat to U.S. security.
To the mothers in the United States who have lost their children to the unjust war in Iraq, we stand in solidarity. Their children have not died for a just cause, and it is very sad. We too have suffered, like them, the loss of our children.
To all political prisoners—anybody who is in prison because of their defense of a cause—and their relatives in the United States, we say that the mode of force and ideology is accompanying them. Don’t give up. The truth will prevail and all just struggles will win and grow forces. A big hug from Cuba! We love you.
Rosa Aurora Freijanes
We have to continue the legal process in support of the Five, but we know that the fight won’t be won in the courts.
This is not a short struggle. The Five have now been imprisoned for almost nine years. We must strengthen as well as speed up the campaign for public recognition of the case. We need to multiply the number of solidarity groups in the United States.
When the U.S. government says they are launching a “war against terror,” they speak of an unjust, double morality. The same goes for their version of “human rights”—what about the human rights of Olga [Salanueva, spouse of René González], Adriana [Pérez, spouse of Gerardo Hernández], René and Gerardo?
We are asking the movement in the United States: regardless of the campaign you are working on, please have the case of the Cuban Five present.
The Five, by attempting to prevent deaths in Cuba, were also attempting to prevent deaths in the United States. The same Miami terrorists involved in attacks against Cuba have also been involved in crimes against people in the United States.
When the Five were imprisoned, they made a call of solidarity to the people of the United States. For this, they were put in solitary confinement, where they remained for 17 months. When the appeals process began, they were also kept in solitary so they couldn’t talk to their lawyers. They are now integrated in these high security prisons, which have had several bloody incidents.
Regardless, the Five stay firm in their principles and the cause for which they have already given years of their lives.