America Clamors for Freedom for the Cuban Five

Repost from realcuba

By realcuba

Social movements around the Americas stepped up actions to free five Cubans who have been unjustly held in US prisons for 13 years for their work to stop terrorist attacks against Cuba, being carried out by radical anti-Cuban factions based in the United States.

Canadian solidarity groups met in Lanaudiere, Quebec during the Alternatives 2011-Quebec Gathering 10 years later: Anti-neoliberal Revolutions with the participation of the Social Movements of the Americas. Participants agreed to be present at the launching of the Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States (CELAC) that will take place December 3, 2011.

The new entity will bring together all Latin American and Caribbean countries with the purpose of promoting political dialogue and cooperation for development. CELAC will include the 33 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean.
The organization is defined by Argentine diplomacy as an initiative to address and coordinate the different integration processes and regional development policies. The different organizations participating in CELAC include Mercosur, Aladi, Sela, Caricom and Sica.

James Cockcroft, from the Quebec Citizens Committee 10 years after, told Juventud Rebelde via internet that during the event that took place from August 19 to 21 several important resolutions and agreements were signed to boost citizen struggles to carry out during the second decade of the 21st century.

Cockcroft said that it is time to put an end to the unjust imprisonment of Gerardo Hernández, Ramon Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González, also known as the Cuban Five. The Cuban Five — Gerardo Hernández, Ramon Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González— were given harsh sentences ranging from 15 years to double consecutive life terms plus 15 years in a trial plagued with irregularities and held in a highly biased Miami court.

The five Cubans were working to uncover information about terrorist activities being planned and carried out against Cuba by ultra-rightwing organizations based in southern Florida with a long record of terrorist actions against Cuba and the Cuban people. When they turned their information over to authorities they were arrested and have been in jail ever since.

In May 2005, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention adopted an opinion on the case in which it concluded that US government had failed to guarantee the Cuban five a fair trial under Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a treaty the USA has ratified.

Amnesty International released a special report on the case of the Cuban Five in 2008. The report states that “having reviewed the case extensively over a number of years, [Amnesty International] believes that there are serious doubts about the fairness and impartiality of their trial which have not been resolved on appeal.

The Cuban Five have also received wide-reaching international support of other organizations and individuals. The petition for a Writ of Certiorari (leave to appeal) to the US Supreme Court was supported by amicus curiae briefs submitted on behalf of numerous organizations and individuals, including 10 Nobel prize winners, the bar associations of various countries and other legal bodies, including the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Ibero-American Federation of Ombudsmen, the International Federation of Human Rights and the National Jury Project offices of California, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York. Most of the amicus briefs focused their concerns on the right of criminal defendants to an impartial jury and the prejudicial impact of the trial venue in this regard. Several of the briefs made specific mention of the operation of anti-Cuba groups in Miami in the decade before the trial and the numerous hostile actions and attacks on individuals and organizations seen as pro-Cuban, and to pressures experienced by members of the jury at certain points during the proceedings.

During the Alternatives 2011-Quebec Gathering 10 years later: Anti-neoliberal Revolutions gathering, participants also agreed to attend the Rio+20 Summit to promote actions agreed upon 20 years ago at the Earth Summit in Brazil; and to participate in 2015 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in celebrations for a decade after defeating the Free Trade Area of the Americas Agreement (FTAA).

The group of social organizations also emphasized the importance of adding their voices to those who demand an end of the US blockade of Cuba and that Cuba be taken off the US list of so-called terrorist countries, and to promote the world campaign to gather signature in favor of the liberation of the Cuban Five.




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