Events in the U.S. to denounce continued imprisonment of Cuban anti-terrorists, 15 years after their arrest

WASHINGTON.— At least eight public events will take place September 11-17 in Washington, D.C., New York and Boston to denounce the imprisonment of the Cuban Five, 15 years after their arrest.

A vigil in front of the White House; the launching of a tour by Canadian author Stephen Kimber to promote his book What Lies Across the Water; disseminating the true story of the Cuban Five and lobbying Congress are all part of the scheduled program.

The activities were organized to put pressure on the U.S. government to end this injustice, according to the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, as Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Fernando González Llort and René González Sehwerert are known.

September 12 is the 15th anniversary of their arrest and protests will take place around the world in front of U.S. embassies, the solidarity group reported.

The White House vigil will begin at 12 noon this day, to demand that President Barack Obama immediately release Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando, who remain in federal prisons.

Joining the International Committee’s call in the United States are the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, African Awareness Association, ANSWER Coalition, Code Pink, DC Metro Coalition to Free the Cuban Five, DC Labor Chorus, International Action Center, Institute for Policy Studies, Socialist Workers Party and Takoma Park Committee to Free the Cuban Five, among others.

In addition to other activities in New York, Antonio’s Guerrero’s exposition Yo me muero como viví (I Will Die As I Have Lived) is opening.

The show includes 15 watercolors representing the 17 months the Five spent in solitary confinement, after their arrest during the dawn hours of September 15, 1998.

Gerardo Hernández was sentenced to double life plus 15 years in a maximum security prison in California; Ramon Labañino, 30 years; Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, 21 years, 10 months and five years on parole; and Fernando González, 17 years and nine months, which he will complete in February, 2014.

The fifth member of the group, René González, completed his 15-year sentence in 2011 and was released under conditions of supervised liberty. After renouncing his U.S. citizenship, he was allowed to remain definitively in Cuba.

The Five had as their mission warning their country of violent attacks being planned and financed in South Florida by groups functioning with impunity there for more than 50 years.

In May of 2005, a panel of United Nations experts defined the arrest of these men as arbitrary and called for their release, but the United States government continues to ignore this demand. (PL)



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