United States: Protests support the Cuban Five

September 13, 2008

Below is an abridged report from http://cubanfive.org. The Cuban Five are five Cuban men in jail in the United States for their role in infiltrating far-right terrorist groups based in Miami, in order to attempt to prevent attacks against Cuban territory and people. For these anti-terrorist activities, the five are currently serving combined jail sentences of 75 years. On September 2, the Atlanta Court of Appeals rejected a request to reconsider their case.

In an action that received significant media attention, on the 10th anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban Five political prisoners, five people were arrested in a civil disobedience action, trying to present 102,000 signatures on petitions that call on US President George Bush to free the five men.

Each of the five arrested represented one of the five in prison, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez.

The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five presented 102,000 signatures from 78 countries.

The action demanded the freeing of the Cuban Five immediately; the granting of entry visas to the five's partners from Cuba; and the extradition of convicted terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela.

The civil disobedience actions followed a successful press conference in front of the White House. Featured speaker at the conference was Wayne Smith, former chief of the US Interests Section in Havana.

There were also special remarks given by Judge Claudia Morcom of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute.

Earlier in the week a letter was also delivered to Bush, signed by Howard Zinn, Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky, Martin Sheen and Ramsey Clark among others.

Simultaneous events are being organised all over the world in solidarity with the Cuban Five. Before the Washington DC action there were also events in Australia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America and more are planned over the next period.

During this critical time, when three of the Cuban Five are awaiting re-sentencing in Miami, and their case heads to the Supreme Court, activists in the US are committed to continuing the struggle.

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