Miami Five - Act now for families' right to visit
Feb. 8, 2008
Reprinted from UNISON
08/02/08) — The Miami Five, Cuban nationals imprisoned in the United States after reporting terrorist plots against Cuba, are being denied visits by their familes. As part of Cuba Solidarity Campaign's demand for their release, UNISON supports the petition requesting visiting rights for members of their families. Add your name to the petition!
René González, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and Gerardo Hernández – known as the Miami Five - are all serving lengthy jail sentences in the US, but are only ‘guilty’ of trying to stop further terrorist attacks against their country.
Following a series of bombings on Cuban hotels during which an Italian tourist was killed (in 1997), the Cuban government sent the men to infiltrate terrorist groups based in Miami who were planning further attacks.
The information they gathered was passed onto the Cuban authorities, who in turn passed the information to the US authorities so that they could take action. Two weeks later the FBI – rather than arresting those named as planning attacks – arrested the five Cubans.
Last year, on the ninth anniversary of the five’s incarceration, the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) organised a vigil in the men’s honour outside the US embassy, in London.
The vigil was firmly backed by the British trade union movement and representatives from UNISON and other unions called for the demonstration to become an annual event until the Cubans are exonerated.
Keith Sonnet, UNISON’s deputy general secretary called for the immediate release of the Miami Five. He said: 'Cuba has a tremendous record in promoting the well being of its people, especially in education and the health service. It is ironic that the US should criticise Cuba for human rights abuses, abuses are indeed taking place in Cuba, but in the US-run Guantanamo Bay.'
This year CSC has successfully broken the wall of media silence which has enveloped the Miami Five. The campaign has just hosted a tour by acclaimed civil rights lawyer Leonard Weinglass, lead defence attorney for the Cubans.
About UNISON: UNISON is Britain and Europe's biggest public sector union with more than 1.3 million members. Our members are people working in the public services, for private contractors providing public services and in the essential utilities. They include frontline staff and managers working full or part time in local authorities, the NHS, the police service, colleges and schools, the electricity, gas and water industries, transport and the voluntary sector. Last year UNISON recruited 137,000 new members - 375 per day.