'Obama could free Cuban Five if he wanted to'

June 13, 2009

The recent freeing of two Israeli spies shows that, if the US government really wanted to, it could also free the Cuban Five, noted Annalucia Vermunt, a participant in the recent international youth gathering in Cuba in support of the five Cuban men held in US prisons on trumped-up charges.

Together with Paul McAleer, assistant branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (Sydney), who spoke about the trade union delegation that went to Cuba for May Day, the two addressed a May 30 meeting organised by the Australia Cuba Friendship Society and the Sydney Free the Cuban Five Committee.

The five men — Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five — were arrested more than 10 years ago for the "crime" of infiltrating extremist groups in South Florida who were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against Cuba. More than 3000 Cuban lives have already been lost as a result of terrorist attacks.

Rather than arresting the terrorists, the US authorities arrested the five Cubans for committing espionage, conspiracy against the US, and other related charges.

An unprecedented number of briefs have been filed with the Supreme Court by national and international personalities, included 10 Nobel prize winners, requesting an appeal for the Cuban Five. However, the US government decided on June 2 to drop charges against two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee of conspiring to obtain classified information for an Israeli diplomat.

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