Cuban Spies “Testify” in Show For Castro Supporters in London Reply

From March 7-8th, an “International Commission” was held in London as part of the “Free the Five” campaign. In a grossly bigoted piece of political theater, alleged expert witnesses, pro-Castro attorneys, and family members of the five spies provided “testimony” before an audience said to number roughly 250 persons. Only claims supporting the immediate release of the failed spies were permitted.

The absurd proceedings included Lawyers for the Cuban 5 parroting their long-running denial that their spy-clients had no connection to the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down. Even more hypocritical was the “testimony” of expelled spies Olga Salanueva, wife of René González, and Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo Hernández. Completing this 3-ring circus was the appearance of senior Cuban Intelligence officer, Roberto Hernández Caballero.

I will give them credit — what regime supporters lack in credibility, they certainly make up for in chutzpah!

The highly entertaining Press Release from “Free the 5” can be read here: International Commission in London calls on Obama to free the Five

Cuba: Rene Gonzalez Eyes Fellow Agent’s US Release 2

HAVANA (AP) — When Fernando Gonzalez walks out of an Arizona prison next week, the “Cuban Five” will be down to three.

Intelligence agents in the employ of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, they were arrested in the United States in 1998 and given terms ranging from 15 years to consecutive life sentences on charges including conspiracy and failure to register as foreign agents. A federal appeals court upheld their convictions but voided three of their sentences, including Gonzalez’s, after finding they had gathered no “top secret” information.

Rene Gonzalez, no relation, was the first of the Cuban Five to go free in 2011. He was ordered to remain in the United States for more than a year after release. But U.S. officials say Fernando Gonzalez will be immediately handed to immigration authorities upon his release for the start of deportation proceedings.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Rene Gonzalez said he hopes his comrade will soon join him in his new role as the public face of Cuba’s campaign to demand the other agents’ release. “I don’t know how he will feel when he comes. Probably he’ll need some rest, but I hope to see him at my side in this battle,” Gonzalez said on a recent morning in Havana, clad in a smart striped shirt and black pants. “I think he will be a good reinforcement.”

Rene Gonzalez was an unknown young pilot in 1990 when he pretended to steal a crop duster and flew to Florida, using cover as a Cuban defector to spy on targets in the United States. Rene and Fernando Gonzalez, along with the others, were convicted in 2001 of being part of a ring known as the “Wasp Network,” given the job by Cuba’s government of spying on U.S. military installations in South Florida, Cuban exile groups and politicians opposed to Castro’s government.

Havana maintains the agents posed no threat to U.S. sovereignty and were only monitoring militant exiles to prevent terror attacks in Cuba, the best known of which was a series of bombings of Havana hotels that killed an Italian tourist in 1997.

In 2013, Rene Gonzalez finally returned to his country of allegiance, if not birth, when a U.S. judge allowed him to renounce his American citizenship and cut short three years’ supervised release.

He is no longer just an anonymous husband and father of two. His and the other agents’ faces grace billboards across Cuba, where they are lionized as heroes for their clandestine monitoring of militant anti-Castro exiles.

“Now everyone recognizes me in the street,” Gonzalez said.

He has spent the last nine months or so living a relatively quiet existence, readjusting to family life with his wife, Olga Salanueva, and their teenage daughter, Ivette, in a small apartment in central Havana. Their other daughter, Irma, has grown up, married and has a child of her own.

But at a Latin American and Caribbean regional summit last month, Gonzalez was firmly in the spotlight talking to visiting foreign media and arguing Cuba’s case to “free the Five.”

Feature continues here: Cuba: Rene Gonzalez Eyes Fellow Agent’s US Release

Editor’s Note: This AP report contains numerous errors, to include the Havana-created myth that the Wasp Network was limited to “spying on U.S. military installations in South Florida, Cuban exile groups and politicians opposed to Castro’s government.” In reality, the Wasp Network was led by a Military Intelligence officer on loan to the Directorate of Intelligence. As such, it targeted US military facilities from the Florida Keys, north through Florida, and then west along the Gulf of Mexico until it reached Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana (home to B-52 long-range bombers).

The Wasp Network also directed several spies against the FBI, the local Chamber of Commerce, and most importantly – was a key participant in “Operation Scorpion,” – the 1996 murder of four Americans flying a Search & Rescue mission in international airspace.

UK’s “Guardian” Publishes Shameless Propaganda Authored by Cuban Spy 1

Today marks 15 years since the ‘Cuban Five’ arrest, another US injustice

Four Cuban patriots languish in US prisons after a phoney trial. Every day they spend in jail is a mockery of human decency

By Rene Gonzalez [Convicted Spy -- emphasis added]

In August 1962, I was an ordinary Cuban child who had just turned eight years old. I can still remember the commotion all over Havana after someone sailed a boat to within a mile of the city’s coastline and fired a cannon at a hotel. They then turned north and headed for safe haven in Miami.

That experience repeated itself for me and for my four comrades, who are still in US prisons, as I was until recently. The five of us grew up in Cuba, witnessing the kidnapping and assassination of Cuban fishermen, and the culprits would then return to their safe haven in Miami. A gunboat crew attacked and killed the crew of a Spanish freighter off the coast of Cuba and then returned to their safe haven in Miami. In 1976, two terrorists of Cuban origin, after having organized the bombing of a Cubana airliner which killed 73 people, found safe haven back in Miami. Twenty years later, one orchestrated a bombing campaign against Cuban hotels, which cost the life of an Italian citizen.

No wonder all of us agreed to go to Miami in order to infiltrate and monitor the activities of a section of Cuban-Americans who, for over 30 years, had brought death and suffering on the Cuban people through what should be called terrorist activities designed to bring down our government. No wonder, either, that upon landing in Miami, one of the first groups that I joined was headed by the very guy who had fired the canon on the Havana hotel, back when I was an eight-year-old child.

In May 1998, the Cuban government thought the time had come to engage the US government on the fight against terrorism. Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian author and Nobel Prize winner, was the personal liaison sent by Fidel Castro to the White House with the proposition. As a result of this contact, an FBI delegation went to Havana in June of that year. They were given a dossier on the terrorist groups still operating in Miami, and returned to the US after assuring the Cuban side that something would be done about the issue.

Good to their word, on 12 September 1998 something was done: armed officers burst into my home, threatened and cuffed me, traumatised my family, and took me to prison. The FBI raided the houses and arrested the people who had been monitoring the terrorist activities groups, protected by the US government and operating freely from Miami. No wonder the five of us were found guilty of all charges after a phoney trial in Miami. No wonder the prosecutors asked the judge to “incapacitate” the defendants so as to prevent them monitoring the activities of their terrorists in the future. No wonder, on 14 December 2001, the Judge obliged:

Whether terrorism is committed against innocents in the United States or Cuba, Israel or Jordan, Northern Ireland or India, it is evil and it is wrong, but the terrorist acts by others cannot excuse the wrongful and illegal conduct of this defendant or any other.

A further punishment by the US government was inflicted on my wife Olga, who along with Adriana Perez, the wife of Gerardo Hernando, were arbitrarily denied visas to visit us for more than 10 years.

And then, after I had served my 15 year sentence, I was was prevented from returning home, and confined to Florida on supervised release, where the cruel irony was lost on the judge who imposed a clause which would guarantee to the prosecution the incapacitation they had asked for:

As a further special condition of supervised release the defendant is prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals of groups such as terrorists, members of organizations advocating violence, and organized crime figures are known to be or frequent.

What makes some terrorists good guys and some others bad guys? Do the lives of Cuban citizens not deserve to be protected? Is there some international legal instrument which bestows upon the United States judiciary the privilege to serve as a protector of terrorism?

While these and many other questions beg for an answer, four Cuban patriots languish in American prisons for the crime of having sacrificed themselves to protect the lives of others.

Every day they spend in jail is a mockery of human decency.

Rene Gonzalez Recalls his Life as a Cuban State Security Agent 2

Guantanamo’s Venceremos Newspaper –- After making his probably most risky flight on December 8th, 1990, René González Sehwerert, the first of the Five to return to his homeland, got infiltrated into Florida-based terrorist organizations such as Hermanos al Rescate, Movimiento Democracia, Partido Unido Nacional Democrático y la Fundación Nacional Cubano-Americana. In exclusive interview with Escambray newspaper and Radio Sancti Spiritus, the Cuban anti-terrorist fighter recalls his life as Cuban State Security agent, without putting aside his own personal life.

“If you say it could be tonight, I will figure out how to go to Havana”, I anxiously said when I made the telephone call to request an interview with René González Sehwerert. “Call us within 10 days”, he answered himself. Taking into consideration his legal condition at the moment, it was the appropriate thing to do.

The interview was scheduled to take place at the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People (ICAP, in Spanish), where he would later on said that returning to Cuba without his fellow comrades –Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González – was the nightmare of his imprisonment.

After having served a fifteen-year sentence on October 7th, 2011, Rene was required to complete 3 more years of supervised release. But this decision was modified last May 3rd by Judge Joan Lenard, who accepted his permanent stay in Cuba if he renounced to his US citizenship. On May 9th, Gonzalez received the US citizenship renouncement certification.

It is a cloudy afternoon. The noises of the street can be heard from the large ICAP hall, where Rene Gonzalez arrives accompanied by his wife Olga Salanueva. She attentively looks and his eyes and watches his hands, which he constantly crosses while recalling the few years he lived in Chicago, where he was born on August 13th, 1956.

It is just fragments of memories, he says. The family lived near Michigan Lake. He remembers the wooden pier on the lake, and the trip made to Cuba on board the Guadalupe.

It happened after the mercenary invasion to Playa Giron.

“Yes. My parents were members of the Pro justo trato a Cuba committee, so they demonstrated against the invasion. Thus, they faced retaliations, and were even victims of aggressions by right wing-people. After that they decided to come to Cuba. We came here in October 1961.

Rene Gonzalez, better known as “Beaver” within the State Security bodies -according to Brazilian Fernando Morais’s Los últimos soldados de la guerra fría (The last soldiers of the cold war)- returned to US on December 8th, 1990, after highjacking a plane in San Nicolas de Bari, in the present Cuban western province of Mayabeque.

Before departing, you left Olga some money and the lyrics of a song by Pablito Milanes inside a magazine. Was it a coded message?

It is a difficult thing to leave without letting your family knows what you’re going to do. During all these years, I fulfilled the most difficult tasks in Cuba, both of them in San Nicolas de Bari: saying no to the Cuban Communist Party membership process, and highjacking the aircraft. There are things not are not assignments, but where feelings are involved, leaving the family behind is one of them. It is a very hard thing to do. I left Olga the money I had saved, and the song inside a Bohemia magazine.

How many times did you revise the plan to highjack the aircraft that took you to Boca Chica, where you arrived almost without fuel?

It was not possible for me to check anything. I had to wait for the right moment and take advantage of it. And I did so, even when I knew the fuel was barely enough to get there. It was probably the most dangerous and risky flight I’ve ever made.

Upon arrival in Miami, you made a statement to the so-called Radio Marti radio station saying that after seeing Florida Keys, you felt like a real Cristobal Colon. How did you manage to play the traitor character, and convince public opinion?

I asked myself the question since the very moment I was assigned the mission. I don’t think anyone could be trained for that. Besides, I was all the opposite; I have never been a hypocrite person. Then, the key to play such role is the sense of duty, the satisfaction of deceiving someone who wants to inflict harm on my people.

I remember when I first met Félix Rodríguez, the Cat; it was the same day in which Hermanos al Rescate group was created. I had been invited by the head a group called CUPA (Cuban Pilots Association) to attend a press conference in Miami airport in which the group will be announced.

As soon as I arrived in the airport hall, I was introduced to Félix Rodríguez. I remembered some said: “This is the the man who killed Che”. I don’t know what I really felt. I shook hands with him and said: you are the one. I got amazed to myself, how could I have said that? When I left the place I knew I was ready for the task.

Being an intelligence agent might lead to the assumption that you had a comfortable life. How did you survive during the first months from the economic point of view?

I had the help of the many relatives I had there. I didn’t have any extra money, but I had where to live. I was welcomed by my grandmother. I began to work as soon as I arrived there, but it was my purpose to get closer to aviation people. Sometime after, I managed to get involved in Hermanos al Rescate group. I had to spend a lot on licence applications, which is very expensive. So, I had to do several different jobs. I had a modest life, and moving forward as a pilot was always my major goal.

Story continues here: Rene Gonzalez Recalls his Life as a Cuban State Security Agent

UN High Commissioner Backs Cuban Five Case Reply

HAVANA, Cuba, Feb 28 (Cuban News Agency) The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, expressed her support of actions in favor of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the United States and said she would do her best to find a solution to the case. Pillay received the spouses of Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez for the third yearly occasion in Geneva.

Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, along Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labanino, known as the Cuban Five, were given extremely long sentences by a Miami court in 2001 after they monitored Florida-based violent organizations that planned terrorist actions against Cuba. Rene Gonzalez, is currently under probation in US territory after having met a 13-year prison term. During the meeting with the High Commissioner, Olga Salanueva said the probation imposed on her husband is absurd since he is denied to return to his country with his family. The two women stressed the importance that the United Nations intercedes in favor of reaching definitive solution to the Cuban Five case.

They also asked for the UN official to help in getting a visa for them so that they can visit their husbands in the United States. The UN High Commissioner admitted that the visa denial by US authorities is a violation of human rights, which should have not been used as an extra punishment. Pillay expressed her support of the case and her intentions to do her best towards a solution, according to a release by the Cuban permanent mission in Geneva.

New York’s Casa de las Américas Spreads Castro Propaganda; Seeks Admittance of Cuban Spy-Wives 2

Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez: State Department of US, Please Grant the Wives Visas

by Casa de las Américas (Casa)

The Department of State is prohibiting entry, from Cuba to the US, to two of the wives of the Cuban Five. These women want to visit their husbands incarcerated in US prisons. Olga Salanueva, wife of Rene Gonzalez, and Adriana Perez, wife of Gerardo Hernandez, are law abiding and productive citizens of Cuba who simply want to visit with their respective husbands. Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez are two of five men referred to as the Cuban Five. They are political prisoners serving two life sentences and 98 years collectively after being railroaded by the FBI in its continued hostility toward Cuba. They were arrested on September 12, 1998. They were falsely charged with espionage conspiracy and were convicted in Miami on June 8, 2001.

These five Cuban men never committed espionage nor did they conspire to do so, their actions were not directed against the US. Instead, their mission was to prevent Cuban exile terrorist organizations in Miami from carrying out attacks on Cuba. They wanted to monitor the activities of violent Cuban exiles that were planning violent actions against innocent people in Cuba. They were trying to prevent further brutal acts against Cuba and save innocent lives.

In 1959, after the US backed Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown; Batista’s repressive police and army torturers took refuge in Miami. With Miami as their staging ground, they organized, planned and carried out numerous sabotage and terrorist acts against the people of Cuba. To date, the attacks have killed 3,478 Cubans. Reports of these acts are not widely publicized in US media.

Anti-Cuban terrorists placed bombs in various hotels ‒ in one instance killing an Italian tourist. A bomb was placed in the Havana airport. Bombs were placed in buses to and from the airport. The Cuban government protested these terrorist activities to the US, but to no avail. They protested to the United Nations, and they recognized that Cuba had the right to defend its sovereignty.

Cuba’s numerous appeals to Washington to stop terrorist attacks from various Miami based groups were repeatedly ignored. This is why a group of concerned Cubans in Miami infiltrated the terrorist organizations: to do what the US government could not do given that these terrorists are connected to and protected by an elite group of extremely wealthy right wing Cubans that live and control the politics of Miami and oppose all attempts between the US and Cuba to normalize their diplomatic relations.

Olga has not seen Rene since August 16, 2000. In April of 2003, the Department of State denied her a visa, invoking section 2112(f) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Repeated requests to obtain a visa to visit her husband have been denied.

Adriana was subjected to cruel and unjustified treatment when she attempted to visit Gerardo on July 25, 2002. Upon Adriana’s arrival at the Houston Airport, she was detained by the FBI for 11 hours, isolated, deprived of her passport, photographed, fingerprinted and illegally interrogated before she was sent back to Cuba without having seen Gerardo. The FBI offered absolutely no explanation to support their decision. Thereafter, time and again, she has been denied a visa from US authorities, to visit her husband.

While the cause for the case of the Cuban Five has inspired a worldwide movement, these men have remained imprisoned for nearly 14 years. In the case of Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernández they have also been denied family visits. Besides the fact that their right to a fair trial was denied because it took place in Miami, their right to have family visits has also been denied.

Recently, a conference was held at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC with Danny Glover as the featured guest speaker. The objective of the forum was to bring light to the case of the Cuban Five as well as the inhumane act on the part of the Department of State of denying visas to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez who simply want to visit their husbands. Many well-known celebrities have joined in the efforts of informing the rest of the nation of this great injustice. These include Bonnie Rait, Susan Sarandon, Benicio del Toro, Oliver Stone, Martin Sheen, Pete Seeger, Ry Cooder, Chrissie Hynde, Haskell Wexler, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Ed Asner, Mike Farrell, and others.

It is time to correct this wrong and this great injustice. By signing this petition directed at the Department of State, you join in the effort of allowing Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez to obtain visas for them to visit their husbands incarcerated in US prisons.

Editor’s Note: According to its website, Casa de las Américas (Casa) is a New York-based organization of Cuban emigrants who support the revolution. Beginning in 1955, the July 26 Committee was established in NY for the purpose of supporting the armed struggle that was taking place in Cuba against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Shortly after the triumph of the revolution in 1959, the Committee was renamed Casa Cuba, which later became Casa de las Américas.

OP/ED: Why Does Amnesty International Love Castro’s Spies But Hate Alan Gross? 4

Having previously served as a volunteer Caribbean Specialist with Amnesty International USA, I have great respect for the organization’s work on behalf of human rights. Regrettably, the same cannot be said for the efforts of AI’s London-based headquarters.

On its website, AI professes to toil “to end grave abuses of human rights.  Our vision is for every person to enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. We are independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion…..”(http://www.amnesty.org/en/who-we-are). That is, unless your name is Alan Gross or if you are a Cuban spy who committed espionage against the United States. Despite Gross’ years-long imprisonment by Cuba, AI has proven itself capable of only devoting two sentences to this injustice in its 2012 Annual Report (http://www.amnesty.org/en/ region/ cuba/report-2012).

In contrast, its 2011 Annual Report devoted the paragraph “Unfair Trials” exclusively to convicted Cuban spy-murderer, Gerardo Hernández. Amnesty’s coverage focused on a defense team appeal “based, in part, on evidence that the US government had secretly paid journalists to write prejudicial articles in the media at the time of trial, thereby undermining the defendants’ due process rights. In October, Amnesty International sent a report to the Attorney General outlining the organization’s concerns in the case.” (http://www.amnesty.org/en/region /usa/report-2011).

AI’s bias is even more apparent in its October 13, 2010 press release which called for the US Attorney General to review the case of the five spies (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/ info/AMR51/096/2010/en). This press release accompanied a disturbingly inaccurate, unbalanced and prejudicial 22-page report by the spy-loving London office (http://www.amnesty .org/en/ library/info/AMR51/093/2010/en).

Earlier, on March 25, 2009, AI released an Appeal For Action under the headline:  “Unjust Punishment:  Cuban Wives Denied Visas for Ninth Time” (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library /info/AMR51/041/2009/en). In this plea to its membership, AI falsely claimed “The reasons cited for the denials are based on claims that both women are threats to national security. Yet neither woman has faced charges in connection with such claims, nor has any credible evidence been produced to substantiate the allegation.” The disingenuous appeal was followed on March 26th with the press release:  “Miami Five wives again denied visas to visit their husbands”  (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/miami-five-wives-again-denied-visas-visit-husbands-20090326). Unfortunately for London, this Havana-promoted lie about the two wives had been exposed nine months earlier in the US State Department media release:  “The “Cuban Five: Cuban intelligence operatives often misrepresented as political prisoners” (June 9, 2008) http://www.docstoc.com/docs/14807527 /The-%E2%80%9CCuban-Five%E2%80%9D.

Details about spy-wife Adriana Perez’s espionage training had not yet come to light when AI released its January 17, 2007 public statement, “Unnecessarily punitive — Amnesty International calls for temporary visas to be granted to two wives of the Cuban Five” (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR51/013/2007/en/869da977-d3ba-11dd-a329-2f46302a8cc6/amr510132007en.html).  As a result, we can partially forgive their zealous action. However, René González’s wife — Olga Salanueva, had been “outed” as a Cuban spy years earlier operating under the alias Ida González. Two publicly available sources which Amnesty researchers somehow overlooked were Kirk Nielsen’s February 2001 story, “Inside The Wasp’s Nest,” Miami New Times, http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2001 -02-22/news/inside-the-wasp-s-nest/ and Estrecho de Traicion: La Historia de la Fatidica Union entre Ana Margarita y Juan Pablo Roque, a Spanish-language book published in 1999 by Ana Margarita Martínez with Diana Montané.

Human rights are an important issue:  one not to be undermined by sloppy research and ideologues. Amnesty International members have worked too long and too hard for its global efforts to be damaged by well-intentioned but misguided and dishonest Castro apologists in London. Headquarters should admit its error and immediately remove all its “Cuban Five” materials from the internet. Additionally, London should follow the lead of other human rights organizations and finally become an advocate for the release of Alan Gross.

Lone Peruvian Official Met with Cuban Spy Reply

Multiple Cuban media outlets report that Humberto Acuna, the regional governor of Lambayeque, met yesterday with Adriana Perez, wife of convicted Cuban spy Gerardo Hernandez.   Havana’s Prensa Latina stated that the governor received Perez, Cuban ambassador Juana Martinez, and a third individual.

The trio had earlier attended the 13th Solidarity with Cuba Forum in Chiclayo, the region’s capital city.  During their visit with Acuna, they presented the Castro regime’s perspective on the jailed spies.  Additionally, they noted how the Forum pledged to “maintain the struggle” to free the Cuban Five.  More specifically, the Cubans highlighted the group’s demand for the immediate return of the five and the denouncement of the US refusal to allow Perez and fellow spy-wife Olga Salanueva (wife of Rene Gonzalez) to visit their husbands.

During the meeting, Acuna and Martinez also “addressed opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the fields of education, health, sports.”

Wife of Jailed Cuban Spy-Master to Visit Bolivia Reply

Adriana Perez, wife of convicted Wasp Network ringleader Gerardo Hernández, is travelling to Bolivia this month to lobby support for the Cuban Five.  According to the Cuban News Agency (ACN), she will arrive in Bolivia on August 21 after a three-day stay in Peru.  She will then meet with members of the Bolivia-Cuba solidarity movement, legislators and government officials.  As it has for years, Cuban media used the media opportunity to criticize the United States’ repeated refusal to issue Adriana Perez a visa to visit her husband in jail.  Gerardo Hernández is serving two life terms plus 15 years.

Editor’s Note:  Following the arrests of 10 members of the Wasp Network, Adriana Pérez O’Connor was identified as a Cuban intelligence agent.  Her mission was to courier messages and material between Havana and Miami.  Still in training as a Directorate of Intelligence (DI) asset when the spy ring was beheaded in September 1998, she and her children were deported and permanently banned re-entry visas.  

Like Perez, Olga Salanueva (wife of Cuban 5 spy René González) has also been barred re-entry into the US.  Unlike Perez however, Salanueva was a fully trained spy and actively engaged in espionage against the United States when the  1998 arrests occurred. 

The U.S. allows family members of the other three spies almost limitless visas.  In addition to the long and frequent family visits, Cuban government officials also often enjoy visits with all five inmates. 

Cuban Media: More Solidarity with the Cuban Five 1

Havana, Aug 5 (Prensa Latina) More than 140 activists from seven Latin American and Caribbean countries ratified today in this capital the importance of the international solidarity and support to the cause of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unfairly held in US prisons since 1998.

In a meeting with the families of the Cuban fighters, who were arrested when trying to avoid terrorist actions against the Caribbean country by violent groups in Florida, the activists expressed their willingness of contributing to the fight in favor of justice in the case.  The meeting participants, who are members of the 19th Latin American and Caribbean Brigade of Voluntary Work and Solidarity with Cuba, highlighted the lack of confidence in the US courts and the judicial twists which have prolonged the case.  Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, and Fernando Gonzalez were condemned to long sentences, including double life sentence plus 15 years in prison, in a process that has been internationally condemned due to its many irregularities.

Olga Salanueva, who is Rene’s wife, highlighted the importance of the international committees of friendship for the fight in the Cuban five’s cause and recalled that they realized in Antonio Guerrero’s trial the importance of the solidarity after the case’s prosecutor admitted the international pressure in the cause of the Cuban five.