The Cuban 5
Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:09 PM
Gross was sentenced for providing "info-communication systems out of the control of the authorities, in order to promote destabilizing plans against various social sectors."* i.e. providing satellite phones** to members of the Jewish community. The Cuban 'Big Brother' seeks to maintain strict control over communications.
Posted 13 January 2012 - 04:31 PM
Antonio Guerrero transferred to Oklahoma penitentiary
HAVANA.—María Eugenia (Maruchi), the sister of Antonio Guerrero, one of the five Cuban anti-terrorists incarcerated in the United States, has sent a message to all those in solidarity with the Five and demanding their liberation.
The message, published on the CubaDebate website, says:
Dear friends: My brother was transferred yesterday, Friday, January 6, from Florence FCI and is now in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, possibly in the hole, as has been the case every time he has had to pass through this transit prison.
We do not know how long he will remain there, or his final destination, but you can be sure that in spite of everything he will not lose his inspiration for continuing to create and transmit love to everyone.
As soon as he is able to contact us we will communicate with all of you who accompany us every day in enduring this injustice and maintaining hope for his return. Thank you all for your solidarity. (AIN)
• Letter to supporters from Tony
I am in the prison of my destination, where René's presence of peace, respect, friendship, dedication to study and physical exercise still lingers.
Yes, it is the medium security prison in Mariana, Florida.
A brief summary of my trip:
I left on Thursday the 5th, in the morning from Florence and headed to the airport in Pueblo. To our surprise already waiting for us was the plane from Oklahoma for the first exchange of prisoners, the ones who would stay in that zone of Colorado and those of us who would travel to the Transit Center.
We flew to California. I had never flown so far to the west. I was "close" to Gerardo, because there we picked up those who were leaving Victorville.
Then we had a direct flight of several hours returning to the center of this extensive country, that is to say, to Oklahoma. Nothing new was waiting for me there. I was on the list of the first ones who exited the plane: those of us headed to the "hole."
The authorities there had reserved for me the same cell I had during my last stay there. Yes, the same "solitary place" where various poems of mine were born two years ago.
This time, "the girls" who distribute medications were no one I could recall. There was no time or inspiration for verses. I left Oklahoma this past Tuesday the 10th.
We had another long flight with the destination being Jacksonville. There we were picked up by a bus that took us to the prison in Tallahassee, where we only spent a few hours "sleeping."
At 3 in the morning on the 11th, we were already getting ready to travel by highway to our final destination. It felt to me like an endless trip in a dark morning of heavy rain.
We had not been able to communicate until today the 12th (it always takes 24 hours after arriving to a new prison).
Oh, I almost forgot: this time, finally, there was no "black box".
I have missed you all, although as I said, you have accompanied me and you accompany me always.
Later, I’ll be letting you know about my first impressions here.
Tony Guerrero Rodríguez
January 12, 2012
My new address is:
Quarters: APACHE A
P.O. box 7007
Marianna, FL 32447-7007
Posted 14 January 2012 - 02:45 PM
Jueves, 08 de Diciembre de 2011 09:18 Peruvian Intellectuals Express Solidarity with the Cuban FIve
Lima, Dec 7 (Prensa Latina) The solidarity activity of a Peruvian group of intellectuals for the Five Cuban antiterrorists imprisoned in US was praised today in Peru.
The President of the Peruvian Solidarity Committee with the Cuban Five, Gustavo Espinosa, congratulated artists, writers, musicians and other intellectuals for having supported the campaign "The Five for the Five" this year.
The campaign consists of a solidarity activity on the 5th of each month and the last one was performed this week at the National Association of Journalists.
It was a cultural and artistic activity in which Espinosa and other delegates presented a report on their participation in the 7th Colloquium held in Holguin, Cuban Province, from last November 16 to 17.
The Intellectuals Coordinator Fanny Palacios, who presented the summary of activities in 2011, highlighted the importance of more contributions from writers, poets, narrators, painters, singers and musicians in solidarity acts that reflect the sympathy of Peruvians for the just fight.
She called to redouble solidarity with the Cuban Five in 2012 to achieve their release and return to their homeland and family.
Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:54 PM
More Intrigue Regarding the Cuban Five
By Wayne S. Smith
Stephen Kimber*'s forthcoming book " What Lies Across the Water?" is perhaps the most complete account of the Cuban Five I've yet read – and I came away from reading it with a renewed sense of depression.
No wonder! The case has long befouled the image of the United States as dedicated to justice, honor and fairplay. As Kimber notes, the trial back in 2001 was such a complete farce that it drew massive international criticism – from 10 Nobel Prize winners, from hundreds of jurists, members of parliaments and various other organizations all over the world, many of whom joined 12 amicus briefs asking the Supreme Court to review the case. And for the first time in history, the UN Human Rights Commission condemned a trial in the United States.
Kimber follows the Cubans as they are assigned to the United States as undercover agents, not to work against the U.S. but to gather information on exile terrorist activities against Cuba. The Cuban government then invited representatives of the FBI to come to Havana to receive and discuss the evidence of these terrorist activities and plans gathered by the agents. The meeting took place in June of 1998. The Cubans then waited for the United States to take action against the exile terrorists. But none was taken. The only action, rather, was the arrest of the Cuban Five, they who had provided much of the evidence turned over to the FBI.
At the time, I wrote this off as simply another example of the U.S. government's almost chronic inability to respond rationally to Cuba – and in this case to do what in fact would have served U.S. interests. Having read Kimber's book, however, I now see there may have been more to it than that. We knew about the Havana meeting with the FBI.
But few knew – and I certainly did not – that the meeting had in effect been prompted by Fidel Castro in a message delivered in the White House by Gabriel Garcia Marquez to President Clinton's top Latin American adviser, Thomas Mack McLarty, and three senior NSC officials. The core of the message had been to suggest a joint effort against exile terrorism – especially in light of Cuban information that the exiles were planning new plane bombings – such as those carried out earlier by Luis Posada Carriles. According to Garcia Marquez, the American reaction to the idea of a joint effort had been decidedly positive.
What then had happened? Why the exact opposite of what seems to have been intended? Kimber believes it had to do with the FBI's assignment of a new Agent in Charge, Hector Pesquera, who was close to the hardline Cuban exiles. Kimber writes that "in an interview with a Miami radio station soon after the verdicts, Pesquera claimed he was the one who switched his agents' focus from spying on the spies to filing charges against them." 
And "after the verdict in the Cuban Five trial, Pesquera was quick to claim credit for persuading officials in Washington to OK his plan,.i.e., to go after the Cuban Five rather than the exile terrorists. He told the Miami Herald the case `never would have made it to court' if he hadn't lobbied FBI Director Louis Freeh directly." 
Kimber goes on to write that "at the same time, Pesquera apparently discouraged investigations into exile terrorism. An FBI agent told journalist Annie Bardach, that they'd thought it would be a slam dunk to charge and arrest Luis Posada Carriles. But then they had a meeting with the chief [i.e. Pesquera] who'd said no, that "lots of Folks around here think Posada is a freedom fighter. We were in shock. And then they closed down the whole Posada investigation."
Kimber tried repeatedly to interview Pesquera, but without success. The latter retired from the FBI and then simply stopped responding to Kimber's e-mails.
The outcome, Kimber concludes, was the exact opposite of what had been contemplated at that White House meeting all those years ago. Rather than efforts to halt exile terrorist acts, the United States arrested the Cuban Five – although "tried" is not the right word, for the trial was a sham.
The prosecutors had no real evidence and so fell back to the old standby of trying them for "conspiracy" to commit illegal acts. No evidence, and they were tried in Miami where anti-Castro sentiment had reached such a level with the Elian Gonzalez case that there was no chance of empanelling an impartial jury. Defense lawyers requested a change of venue, but incredibly, it was denied.
Worst of all was the case of Gerardo Hernandez, who was accused of "conspiracy" to commit murder and given two consecutive life sentences, plus fifteen years – this in connection with the shoot down of the two Brothers to the Rescue planes in February of 1996. Never mind that there was no evidence that he was responsible. But there, behind bars, he remains today, mostly in solitary confinement and after all these years not allowed a single visit from his wife.
What may have begun with constructive intentions at that White House meeting all those years ago thus ends – so far – in shame.
 Kimber, "What Lies Across the Water", p. 286.
 Kimber, op. cit., p. 286.
 Kimber, op. cit., p. 286.
* Stephen Kimber is a Canadian journalist currently writing a book on the Cuban Five. You can read more at his website: cubanfive.ca
Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:18 PM
Lawyers for Cuban agents vows last-ditch appeal
Thomas Goldstein, a Washington-based Supreme Court litigator, said he would take the case all the way to America's highest court if necessary, and that if the appeal fails, it will mean "the end of the road" for the legal process in the case. After that, he said, the only hope would be a political solution. Rene Gonzalez's lawyer, Phil Horowitz, said he would also appeal that probation decision shortly. He said the 55-year-old dual Cuban-American citizen is working as a caretaker at a private home, but would not reveal the location out of concern for his client's security. Read More
New video of Danny Glover in YouTube on the Cuban Five Case.
New video of Danny Glover en YouTube on the case of the Cuban Five. This time the America actor satirizes the silence of the big media on this case. Edited by Saul Landau. With Spanish subtitles.
Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:59 PM
- The Story of the Cuban Five in a French Novel
- Antonio Guerrero Says Goodbye to Sara Gonzalez
- The Cases of Alan Gross and the Cuban Five
- Wayne S. Smith : More Intrigue Regarding the Cuban Five
- The Cuban Five: Heroes who deserve to be Free
In this crucial year for the 5 Cuban Patriots we need to multiply the actions for their freedom, especially in the capital of the United States. The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 is making a call to solidarity organizations and friends in the U.S. and around the world to support "5 consecutive days for the Cuban 5".
These actions will take place from April 17-21 in Washington D.C., and will include:
• Large event with the participation of US and international personalities;
• Lobby and delivery of information to members of Congress and the U.S. Senate;
• Showing of documentaries in universities and other public spaces;
• Media outreach;
• Meeting with religious groups of different denominations; and
• Informational tables and cultural activities.
In addition to the activities mentioned above organizers are planning to place thousands of "Obama Give me Five" posters at key points in the city and publish ads in several media outlets.
GET INVOLVED BY JOINING THIS EFFORT TO BRING AWARENESS ABOUT THE CASE OF THE CUBAN 5 IN WASHINGTON D.C.
Some ways to participate in the actions of 5 days for the Cuban 5:
• Endorse/support the actions by sending the name of your organization to firstname.lastname@example.org;
• Consider coming to Washington D.C. to participate in the actions;
• Make a donation. The success of this project depends on the support of all of you.
Very soon we will send detailed information about each activity.
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
For more information visit www.thecuban5.org
Posted 08 March 2012 - 04:39 PM
Miércoles, 07 de Marzo de 2012 08:16 Geneva: High Commissioner meets with Gerardo's wife
The High Commissioner of the United Nations for Human Rights, Navy Pillay, today received Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo, one of the Cuban Five anti-terrorists, unjustly imprisoned in the United States.
In the meeting, Adriana mentioned the suffering that almost 14 years of prison have represented for the Five and their families, to live separated for so much time and with limitations of all kinds.
Viernes, 02 de Marzo de 2012 09:50 Rene Gonzalez's letter to his brother Roberto
Although you can't see me, you know I'm there, together with yours, who are also mine. You know that this brother, from his strange exile, from the sorrow of forced separation, under the most absurd conditions of supervised freedom, based on the dignity of his status as a Cuban patriot (like you) and on the affection nurtured by the ties of kinship and shared experience that unite us, is and always will be with you.
Posted 10 March 2012 - 05:40 AM
Injustice against Cuban Five Denounced in Geneva
Geneva, Mar 6 (Prensa Latina) Adriana Perez, the wife of one of the five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly held in the United States, denounced on Tuesday before the UN Human Rights Council the illegalities committed in this case.
More images in: PhotosPL
In an intensive dialogue with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Perez recalled that the Group already declared itself against the imprisonment of Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez.
Although almost seven years have passed since the Working Group ruled arbitrary the imprisonment of The Cuban Five, the US government has yet to comply with it, said the wife of Gerardo, whose visa application has been repeatedly refused by Washington.
"I would like this to be the last time I let my voice be heard in this plenary to denounce the violations committed against our relatives and demand their return home," she said.
Fourteen years would have gone by since the start of an unfair, painful proceeding, lacking the least credibility in the US judicial system.
Adriana Perez referred to the situation of Rene Gonzalez, who has been forced to remain in US territory, with great risk for his life, subject to an absurd supervised release regime, despite having served his sentence.
She denounced before the UN Human Rights Council that Rene has been denied temporary permission to visit his brother, seriously ill in Havana.
US President Barack Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has in his hands the release of these five Cubans who have sacrificed the best of their youth for the noble cause of defending life, she added.
She said that a lack of political will and ethics prevents today the Obama Administration from making a humanitarian gesture to put an end to such sorrow, ignoring the demands made by numerous organizations and notables worldwide who have declared themselves for the release of The Cuban Five.
"They are hostages of an absurd, absolutely anachronistic policy applied for over fifty years against our country," she denounced.
Also today, Adriana Perez was received by Gabriela Guzman, Assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, to whom she explained how this injustice is affecting directly The Cuban Fiveâ�Ös mothers, wives, children and other relatives.
Adriana demanded that, in line with her mandate and based on elements of the case, the Rapporteur urge the US government to give a final solution on the granting of visas unconditionally, without any restriction.
She reaffirmed before the UN body the need to intercede with the US government so that Rene is allowed to travel to Cuba temporarily to visit his brother.
sgl/as/rma/rc/ami Modificado el ( martes, 06 de marzo de 2012 )
Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:05 AM
- Cuban 5: Who they are and why they should be free
- The Story of the Cuban Five in a French Novel
- Antonio Guerrero Says Goodbye to Sara Gonzalez
- The Cases of Alan Gross and the Cuban Five
- Wayne S. Smith : More Intrigue Regarding the Cuban Five
Dublin, Ireland, 5th March: To mark the 5th of the month for the Cuban Five, US peace activist Cindy Sheehan read out a letter to President Obama in front of the US Embassy in Dublin this morning , asking him to exercise his executive powers to free the Cuban anti-terrorists fighters incarcerated in prisons in that country since 1998.
She also requested permission from Obama to allow Rene Gonzalez, who was released last October but must carry out three years supervised probation in Miami, to return to his country for at least two weeks to see his dying brother, Roberto.
Members of the Free the Cuban Five Campaign Ireland accompanied Sheehan to the embassy, five of them wearing masks depicting each of the Cuban Five to remind the public and Embassy officials that these five men are human beings suffering inhumane conditions and are forced to stay away from their families and country.
After the action at the US embassy, Sheehan left for Belfast and Derry where she will meet with Irish Peace Nobel laureates, Mairead Maguire and John Hume.
Cindy Sheehan is on a two week visit to Ireland and Sweden to highlight the case of the Cuban Five and is being hosted by the Free the Cuban Five Campaigns in both countries.
Letter from Cindy Sheehan to President Obama:
March 5th 2012
Dear President Obama,
As a citizen of the United States of America whose son, Casey died in Iraq allegedly protecting his country against terrorism in an invasion that was based on lies and destruction, I call on you to free the Five Cuban anti-terrorists, four of whom are still incarcerated in US prisons.
The fifth, René Gonzalez was released last October from Marianna prison in Florida after serving his full unjust sentence having been found guilty on charges of conspiracy based on a legally flawed court hearing in Miami. René is also a citizen of the US and was entitled to a fair trial with an unprejudiced jury, a situation that was impossible for him to have in that city.
Roberto González, René's only sibling and an important member of the Cuban Five's legal team, is gravely ill with cancer in a Havana hospital. Although René has served his unjust sentence of more than 13 years in U.S. prison, as a punitive measure he is being forced to serve a further three years probation in the United States. As a result he is unable to be with his brother at this critical time, unless he receives special permission to do so.
His attorney Phil Horowitz has filed an emergency court petition requesting permission for René to return to Cuba for only two weeks to visit his brother in the hospital. The petition states, "Over the past nearly five months since his release from incarceration, the defendant has faithfully complied with each and every condition of his supervised release." Horowitz says, "The motion that is being filed is not unusual; it is common for a defendant to seek court permission on an emergency basis, to travel internationally for health concerns of a family member."
We urge you, President Obama to immediately allow René to travel Cuba for two weeks as a humanitarian gesture.
René is also suffering the absence of his wife, Olga who he hasn’t seen since he was imprisoned nearly 14 years ago because US immigration will not give Olga a visa to travel to Miami to see him. This is also a tragic situation that needs to be addressed.
You have the power, Mr. President, to grant permission for the Cuban Five to return home to Cuba where they belong. You have the power, Mr. President to make sure that Olga gets a visa to enter the US to see her beloved husband, Rene. You have the power, Mr. President to make sure that René Gonzalez goes to Havana for two weeks to see his dying brother. For the sake of humanity, Mr. President, exercise that power.
Cindy Lee Sheehan
Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:04 PM
Maximum security prison, turn left after "Hooters" Sign
Danny Glover and Saul Landau
April 12, 2012
Highway 15 connects California’s Inland Empire with Las Vegas – accounting for the relative thickness of Saturday morning traffic. So we don’t stare too long at signs advertising Gentleman’s Clubs – showing no gentlemen, but rather attractive young women. Did you get it? If not you will. A few miles ahead the road ascends into the high desert. A billboard descends to Super Hooters (appropriately clad females presenting their gifts).
We drive past cactus littered with plastic bags and empty tract houses. Then another desert eyesore confronts us: the US Penitentiary. We calculate it has enough barbed wire to fence the US-Mexico border, with three brooding towers sheltering unseen guards with rifles. We park outside the maximum security unit.
We fill out and sign forms, wait, get called, then, remove our belts and shoes, and empty our pockets into a tray. We place coins – to buy junk food sold in the visiting room vending machines – and get our bodies X-rayed.
Saul asks a guard if he gets lonely doing "tower duty." He shrugs. "You learn to cope. We’re in prison just like the inmates here," he says. "Difference is we get to go home at night. Welcome to Paradise."
A guard stamps our wrists with an invisible imprint, and we sit and wait, staring at wall photographs of President Obama, Attorney General Holder, the prison chief of California and the Victorville Warden, all men of color. Beneath the portraits sits a hand drawn sign with a bunny advertising an Easter egg hunt for prison staff. Another poster advertises National Women’s Week.
A guard escorts visitors into the fluorescent-lit visiting room laden with miniature grey plastic chairs. We wait for Gerardo Hernandez, sentenced in 2001 to two consecutive life terms for conspiracy to commit espionage and murder.
He was conxxxxxer of Cuban intelligence agents who infiltrated Miami-based Cuban exile groups that plotted violence against Cuban targets. In 1997, these groups planted bombs at heavily populated tourist sites in Havana. A tourist died in one bombing.
The agents also infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue, originally formed in the early 1990’s to help rescue rafters leaving Cuba. After Washington and Havana signed an immigration accord, the rafter epidemic stopped. The Brothers designed new task: drop provocative leaflets over Havana. The Cuban intelligence agents discovered that the Brothers’ leader also planned to drop serious weapons from subsequent flights.
On February 24, 1996, after the Cuba had delivered in vain numerous warnings to Washington to control these unauthorized flights, Cuban MIGs shot down two planes. The pilots and co-pilots died. Cuba maintains the incident took place over its airspace, meaning the alleged crime for which Gerardo is serving time didn’t occur.
In September 1998, the FBI Bureau Chief ignored activities of certain Saudis training for their mission in the Miami area, which they realized on 9/11. Instead, Hector Pesquera, closely allied with right wing Cuban exiles, arrested the men now known as the Cuban 5. Havana had recycled their information to the FBI who had then seized illegal arms and explosives caches.
In 2001, at Gerardo’s trial, the federal prosecutor summoned as an expert witness, General James R. Clapper, Jr., (Now Director of National Intelligence). Clapper had read the material the government had seized from Hernandez. On cross examination, Paul McKenna, Gerardo’s attorney, asked if Clapper had "come across any secret national defense information that was transmitted (to Cuba)?"
"Not that I recognized, no."
Agreeing with other expert witnesses like retired Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, and Army Major General Edwards Breed Atkinson, Clapper could not testify to any material seized that demonstrated espionage.
McKenna: "Would you agree on saying that having access to public information is not an act of espionage?"
McKenna: "Would you, with your experience in intelligence matters, describe Cuba as a military threat for the United States?"
Clapper: "Absolutely not. Cuba does not represent a threat."
McKenna: "Did you find any evidence indicating that
Gerardo Hernandez was trying to obtain secret information?"
Clapper: "No, not that I remember."
Without evidence an intimidated Miami jury convicted the Cuban Five.
Almost eleven years later, we see Gerardo bouncing across the room to hug us. His smile conveyed spiritual energy we found hard to imagine living in Victorville’s "Paradise."
"I’m serving two consecutive life sentences for conspiracy to commit espionage and murder, a longer sentence than those real spies who transmitted highly secret information to foreign powers. We didn’t deal with anything even remotely resembling classified material," he explained.
Gerardo spoke of the recent Israeli exchange — one sergeant for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners – and how the Israeli public supported the move. Two plus years ago, Cuba arrested and convicted Alan Gross for having illegally imported prohibited technology to create impenetrable satellite communication systems. Gross received almost $600,000 as an AID subcontractor to establish a secret communication network as part of a plan for regime change. (Desmond Butler AP, February 13, 2012)
Gross has served two plus years of a fifteen-year sentence in Cuba, Gerardo, thirteen plus. Diplomatic sources indicated – not confirmed — that Cuba had offered to free Gross if President Obama releases the Cuban Five. With pressure from Gross’ family and the Jewish community these reciprocal humanitarian gestures could become reality – after November, of course.
We hugged goodbye, Gerardo smiled and fisted a salute. Having imbibed another dose of the American experience, we reversed our journey without looking back at the Hooters sign. (Taken from www.thecuban5.org)
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Posted 17 April 2012 - 04:06 PM
December 28th, 2011Call in U.S. to Eliminate Subversive Programs against Cuba
Washington's failed programs for subversion in Cuba have a problematic heritage, including embezzlement, mismanagement and systemic politicization, so they should be removed, said Fulton Armstrong, an adviser to the Foreign Relations Committee United States Senate.
The assertion is contained in an article written by him, entitled ‘It's time to clean up programs that promote a regime change in Cuba’, published by The Miami Herald and referred to today by the digital site www.cubadebate.cu.
For his criticisms of the projects of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Armstrong draws on his experience of three years as principal investigator for the Committee on Foreign Relations on the political operations of these two entities for the island and Latin America.
The writer, who worked on the issue of Cuba in the National Security Council under Clinton’s administrations (1993-1997 and 1997-2001), holds that the blockbusters of the program, at a cost of millions of dollars, were exaggerated and even fabricated, such as the creation of a network of independent libraries.
He explained that the mandate of the Monitoring Committee was to try to ensure that funds-about $ 20 million a year, but up to 45 million in 2009 - were used effectively and in accordance with U.S. law.
The work of the Commission was obstructed by the State Department and its subordinate agency, USAID, who refused to give information about the programs, which are signs of a covert intelligence operation from its secrecy, use of encryption technologies and concealment the role of government, says the article.
In his argument, Armstrong refers to Phillip Alan Gross, a USAID contractor, who was arrested in December 2009 in Havana and sentenced in March 2011 to 15 years in prison for subversive covert operations on the island.
When an operation of such Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) goes wrong and a clandestine officer is jailed, Washington uses a strategy to negotiate his release, but as a USAID covert contractor is detained, their political rhetoric is pressed, more money is given to the promised program, and they refuse to comment, he says.
We did not know who Gross was (born in Maryland, USA), and in fact, after his arrest on the island, the State Department denied it furiously, and even some of our diplomats in Havana thought he worked for the CIA, the advisor exposed.
Gross, convicted of the crime of Acts against the Independence and Territorial Integrity of the State, was sentenced to 15 years in prison last March, after it was demonstrated that he illegally introduced into Cuba, info-communications media to create internal networks of a work program aimed at destabilizing and subverting the constitutional order.
In fulfilling his 585,000 dollars contract, Gross made five visits to Cuba, said Armstrong, who points out that the contractor said that U.S. officials had misled him. (AIN)
Posted 19 April 2012 - 07:39 AM
Havana. April 18, 2012
A message to my people
April 14, 2012
"Year 54 of the Revolution"
Returning to the world of the absurd after a very brief visit to the homeland which has led to the most diverse ramblings – some at a level of insanity only possible for the detractors of our society – it’s time for me to pay a debt I owe to my people with these words. They are not directed to those who were hoping to criticize us, anticipating that my stay in Cuba would become a political event and are now doing so because it was so discreet. Nor are these words directed to those who predicted I would not return and are now seeking the most diverse rationalizations to explain what I did. This is about an elemental responsibility I have to a people who felt as their own the respite offered by my brief visit, many of whom hoped to follow my visit in a spirit of solidarity and generosity. I owe these words only to this last group.
As has been reported, my request to travel to Cuba was of a humanitarian nature, within the letter and spirit of the legal framework established for my supervised release. It did not represent a favor or a political demand, but rather a situation which had been foreseen within the law, which was resolved strictly adhering to the legal stipulations. In this same spirit of respect for the law which has guided us from the beginning of this process, it was absolutely necessary that my stay in the homeland not include anything which did not conform to the nature of my request. We had given our word and the moral authority, which the Five have won over the years throughout this story, was in the balance.
This was the reason for the lack of exposure given my visit, which may have seemed surprising to some. I’m sure that this explanation will be understood by all who love us and who saw my visit as an opportunity for public demonstrations of joy and happiness. The limitations imposed by the nature of my trip made this impossible, beyond that which occurred spontaneously in a few places where my presence was required given the obligation to express my gratitude or shared experiences, in addition to the limitations on my time which was devoted to the reunion with my family and visiting my ill brother, the concrete reason for my trip.
I have returned with unforgettable memories of the brief moments I walked along our streets and the spontaneous contact with some of our people, which are a source of inspiration and give me strength. I received during these days, from Cubans in all walks of life, open and sincere affection, always respectful of the conditions under which my visit took place and with the discretion required, in the most diverse expressions. I knew that by way of everyone of these compatriots, I was receiving the affection of millions who would have liked to have known about my stay. To all – those who I had the privilege of meeting and those I did not – I would like to express my most profound gratitude, be it for your generous demonstrations of respect, your expressions of solidarity or best wishes for my brother.
Returning to the world of the absurd, I will devote myself to continuing this long battle for justice. It was absolutely necessary that my behavior in Cuba be extremely cautious. It was absolutely necessary that I return. I carry in my heart the intense experiences of those beautiful 14 days with my people, with whom I will some day celebrate the return of the Five.
For now, to all of you, in the name of my family and my own, I send you our most profound gratitude.
And in the name of the Five, I reiterate that we will not fail you and will always strive to be worthy of your support.
A firm embrace.
René González Sehwerert
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Posted 01 May 2012 - 01:53 PM
5 Days for the Cuban
5 in Washington D.C.
Nuria BaRbosa León
The Friday evening and Saturday demonstrations during the five days of action for the Five in Washington D.C. were covered by television channels that included C-SPAN, Hispan, Univisión, Russia Today and Telesur.
Demonstrators in front of
the White House.
The event organized in the U.S. capitol by the International Committee for the Release of the Cuban Five ended Saturday, 21st April, with a day full of action, events and planning workshops.
At 10 am a group of religious from different denominations held a brain storming session to work out strategies for future action. The Reverend Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, former Secretary General of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and the Reverend Dora Arca from the Cuban Pastoral Platform were among those advocating further action for justice for the Cuban Five.
A peaceful demonstration supporting the release of the Cuban Five was held outside the White House beginning at 1:00 pm on Saturday. The large numbers already in D.C. were boosted by the arrival of four buses of supporters from New York and other U.S. cities.
The hundreds of activists carried banners, placards and posters all demanding that Obama release the imprisoned Cubans immediately.
A letter of appreciation and support in the name of the Five from Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Five who is serving two life sentences and fifteen years on trumped-up charges, was read out and received enthusiastically by those present.
Representatives from different solidarity organizations across the U.S. and other parts of the world followed Gerardo’s message with others from individuals and committees promising to continue the struggle until the Cuban Five are free and with their families in Cuba.
Cindy Sheehan brought the five days of action to a close at a meeting held in the Bolivarian Room of the Venezuelan embassy. In a moving and sincere manner Cindy explained her reasons for becoming involved with the case of the Five and expressed her admiration and fondness for the mothers of the incarcerated men.
According to Alicia Jrapko "The 5 days have been for me the best action or project we have ever done. From many angles it is the best. We have reached out to many people. We had an event with panelists of the most diverse ideas and ways of thinking. We were able to bring together a number of organizations that usually don’t work together."
"It was super important and, yes, we are very tired but happy."
Activities in numerous countries
In London’s Trafalgar Square hundreds gathered to demand the immediate release of the Five and unfurl a giant 15-meter banner on the initiative of the Cuba solidarity organization, Rock around the Blockade. Actions were planned in Glasgow, Scotland and in London an exhibition of graphic works by Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernández, is continuing.
In Mexico City, supporters of the Five assembled in front of the U.S. embassy to chant slogans calling for their freedom, while in Russia, the Venceremos movement issued a statement calling on Obama to free the prisoners and right the injustice.
In Managua, the Nicaraguan Parliament approved a resolution demanding that the U.S. government free the anti-terrorist Cubans.
In the Dominican Republic, the television program Rebeldes, on the Tierra América 12 channel, was devoted to the issue.
In Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Spain, Italy, Peru, Turkey, Sweden and Ukraine events were held in solidarity with the Five. While in Cuba, representatives from the brigades of more than 2,000 youth from 83 countries who are studying in the province of Villa Clara, organized a public event describing the tortuous legal process and demanding justice.
- MIAMI 5
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