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News :: Human Rights
Join the Cuban Five contingents the 17th...
by sended by F Espinoza
12 Mar 2007
Join Cuban 5 contingents in the March 17 & 18 anti-war marches...
Join Cuban 5 contingents in the Mar. 17 & 18 anti-war marches...
On Saturday, March 17, tens of thousands of people will march on the Pentagon to demand an immediate end to the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, for an end to colonial occupation from Palestine to Haiti, to shut down Guantánamo, and for money for jobs, housing, healthcare and education, not for the war machine.
The cause of the Cuban Five will be there!
On March 17 and 18, in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver, and other cities, many supporters of the Cuban Five and Cuba will march in contingents with banners and flags.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, march sponsor, has invited the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five and other supporters to have a Cuban Five speaker at each of the rallies, to assure that the Five Cuban Heroes have an important political presence, and to reach out to a much larger audience.
Leonard Weinglass, attorney for Antonio Guerrero, will speak at the March on the Pentagon.
We will have literature tables with flyers, books, t- shirts, petitions, other vital information on Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René, and more. We will work together with other Cuba solidarity organizations, who will also have banners and Five literature at the marches. For example, we will march with the
http://www.pephost.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8379 in Washington.
Your help is needed!
Volunteer at the marches and tables to help raise the visibility of the Cuban Five heroes! Help us distribute flyers on important upcoming actions in support of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernado González and René González.
Information about the demonstrations:
U.S. Free the Five campaign intensifies...
Mar. 5, 2007
WASHINGTON, March 4 (PL) —. The ANSWER Coalition and the Free the Five Committee say they are stepping up their activities in the United States to spread the truth about the Cuban anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in that country.
Both non-governmental organizations are planning marches and mobilizations to protest Washington’s war in Iraq and the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, the groups said in a press release.
According to ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism), on Saturday, March 17, thousands of people will march in front of the Pentagon and will demand an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the closing of the Guantánamo naval base, installed in Cuba against the will of the Cuban people and government.
Demonstrators will also demand that U.S. authorities spend more funds and resources on jobs, housing, health and education instead of financing the national military machine, the press release says.
The cause of the Cuban Five will also be present in these marches, they say.
In Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Vancouver and other cities around the world, supporters of the Cuban Five and Cuba plan to march in contingents carrying banners and placards, according to ANSWER.
The coalition and the Pro Libertad Committee affirmed that the Cuban Five (Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and René González) will have an important political presence in these mobilizations.
The Five, as they are known internationally, were arrested on September 12, 1998 in the United States while they were working to protect their country from Cuban-born terrorists based in Miami, Florida.
Interview with Olga Salanueva
The Incomplete Photo
An international campaign for the right of Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez to visit their husbands will take place between March 8 and May 14
by Deisy Francis Mexidor
Mar. 8, 2007
The Cuban Five are halfway through their ninth year in prison. Throughout that time, their human rights have been violated, and in particular the one related to family visits.
"It's been a very tortuous path...even for those among the relatives that have been granted visas. They have only been able to make five or six visits, no more in all that time," explains Olga Salanueva Arango, the wife of Rene Gonzalez Sehwerert, one of the five Cuba antiterrorist fighters unjustly serving time in US Federal prisons.
THE US GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN MORE THAN CRUEL WITH FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE CUBAN FIVE.
"I think that in this case they have been exceptionally cruel with the families, especially in the cases of Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo and of Rene," Olga said when commenting on the importance of the campaign for her and Adriana Perez' right to visit their husbands, organized by the International Committee to Free the Cuban Five for March 8 to May 14.
Do you have an appointment date for another interview at the US Interests Section in Havana?
They have fixed the date for the interview on a very special day: September 12, exactly the ninth anniversary of the day the Cuban Five were arrested.
Several of us relatives must wait until that date for an interview and then wait at home for one, two or three months, until they tell you if they have granted the visa. However in my case and Adriana's they have denied the permission to travel on seven occasions.
What are the US authorities' arguments?
They have nothing else to justify the visa denial. Our visa request is for humanitarian reasons. We don't represent any danger to that country.
This is what we are going to state again at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where we will take our demand again this year.
How did you decide on the encounter between Rene and Ivette [their daughter]?
Precisely because of having to deal with this arbitrary situation.
Already Ivette has grown up a bit, she is almost nine-years-old. She was not yet five months old when Rene was detained. After analyzing what would be the best for the girl, and after a long process of persuasion, of understanding, we decided that she would travel with Irma, her elder sister, and not with all the family which is our desire and our right.
We could not continue to delay the encounter between father and daughter. They both needed it. The most logical thing was that Ivette travel with me, her mother, but who knows how long they are going to continue to deny my right?
Our love goes much farther than a couple. We are a family that was created 25 years ago. There are many things to talk about, but they don't even allow us to that. The communication we exchange by mail is very much controlled and reviewed, telephone calls are also supervised and recorded, and that is not normal communication.
What did Rene say to you after seeing Ivette?
He wrote her a very beautiful letter in which he admits to her that he enjoyed his happiest hours lived all along these years. He said he had to take a deep breath before entering into the hall of the prison where he knew he would find Irmita and Ivette. He says that seeing them both together brought on an indescribable feeling, and that he saw our little girl just as he had dreamed.
And what has Ivette said?
When she returned she said her father was very affectionate and very good, that he looked like grandfather Candido. She also said that she had talked a lot with her father, that she gave him a detailed explanation of what was happening at home, in school, of her friends and neighbors. They immediately established a beautiful and fluid conversation.
She wants to see him again because, above all, she wants for him to return home, because even Ivette's drawings she draws him as if he were at home. She doesn't want to see her father anymore in posters, billboards or signs demanding his freedom.
Anything new in the legal process?
No there is no news. Time continues to pass. Nobody is certain as to when this process will end. Perhaps as we talk there is only months to go or maybe years, which has occurred to date. It makes no sense that besides Adriana and Gerardo, like Rene and I, having to suffer this separation, we can't even see each other.
They say that Luis Posada Carriles will only be tried for immigration charges...
This is the best example of US hypocrisy on the issue of fighting terrorism. They say he will only be tried on immigration charges. Only in the United States could Posada Carriles' long record of terrorist activity be ignored. We are witnessing a huge farce, just like the case put together from the beginning against the Cuban Five.
A shameful injustice
Cuba's 50-year defiance of US attempts to isolate it is an inspiration to Latin America's people
by Philip Agee
Mar. 10, 2007
There is a wave of progressive change sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean after the many lonely years in which Cuba held high the torch, with free universal healthcare and education, and world-class cultural, sports and scientific achievements. Although you won't find a Cuban today who says things are perfect - far from it - probably all would agree that compared with pre-revolutionary Cuba, there is a world of improvement.
George Bush, the antithesis of this process, is now in Brazil at the start of a mission to lure five countries away from regional economic integration. However, the many thousands in the streets demonstrate the region's vast repudiation of Bush and what he stands for, something polls reflect unanimously.
All Cuba's achievements have been in defiance of US efforts to isolate Cuba; every dirty method has been used, including infiltration, sabotage, terrorism, assassination, economic and biological warfare and incessant lies in the media of many countries. I know these methods too well, having been a CIA officer in Latin America in the 1960s. Altogether nearly 3,500 Cubans have died from terrorist acts, and more than 2,000 are permanently disabled. No country has suffered terrorism as long and consistently as Cuba.
The Cuban revolution has always needed intelligence capabilities in the US for defence purposes, even before it took power in 1959. Such was the fully justified mission of the Cuban Five, who have been in jail since 1998 after being convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage in Miami, where they had no chance of a fair trial. Their sights were set exclusively on terrorist operations against Cuba - activities ignored by the FBI - and they neither sought nor received any classified government information. Their cases are still on appeal, and will be for years, but their biased convictions rank with the legal lynching in the 1920s of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the anarchist immigrants, among the most shameful injustices in US history.
Current US policy can be found in the 2004 report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (updated last year with a secret annexe). A fundamental goal - the same, I remember, as in 1959 - is the isolation of Cuba to stop this bad example spreading. If successful, this would mean no less than annexation by, and complete dependence on, the US, in fact if not in law. Other goals still intact are to foment an internal political opposition and economic hardship, leading to hunger and despair.
Yet nearly 50 years of US economic warfare hasn't worked, even though Cubans estimate the cost to them at more than $80bn. After the freefall in the early 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the economy began to recover in 1995. By 2005 growth was 11.8% and in 2006 12.5%, the highest in Latin America. Exports of services, nickel and pharmaceutical and other products are booming, and the US has not been able to stop this.
In the end efforts to isolate Cuba have failed. Last September Cuba was elected, for the second time, to lead the Non-Aligned Movement of 118 countries, and two months later the UN voted for the 15th consecutive year to condemn the US embargo, by 183 to 4. In 2007 Cuba has diplomatic or consular relations with 182 countries, and Havana hosts seemingly endless international conferences. In recent years Cuba's resorts have been attracting more than 2 million tourists annually. Far from isolating Cuba, the US has isolated itself.
More than 30,000 Cuban doctors and health workers are saving lives in 69 countries, many in difficult areas. Meanwhile 30,000 young people from dozens of countries are studying medicine in Cuba on full scholarships. All come from areas lacking doctors.
Cuba's literacy programme, known as "Yes I can", has been adopted in nearly 30 countries, with thousands of Cuban volunteers teaching. The scheme, conducted in Spanish, Portuguese, English, Creole, Quechua and Aymara, has helped some 2 million people to read and write, most of whom continue their education afterwards.
Thanks to this international assistance, Cuban prestige and influence - and international solidarity with Cuba, - have never been greater. It was to defend these worthy programmes that the Cuban Five, unjustly convicted, went to Miami in the 1990s. Freedom for them should be the cause of everyone for whom human rights and justice are important, both in the US and around the world; and that cause can be supported in 300 Free the Five solidarity committees in 90 countries. Philip Agee, a former CIA secret operations officer, is author of Inside the Company: CIA Diary. He travels in Cuba and Latin America as a campaigner, and manages an online travel service to Cuba.
- "Misión contra el terror", acerca de los Cinco héroes cubanos prisioneros en cárceles del imperio:
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