This weekend, the Toronto City Hall is hosting an International Peoples’ Tribunal and Assembly, which supporters claim will be “a public gathering aimed at raising awareness of the case and initiating an international call for justice.” However, with a logo in which the Cuban flag, a gold star, and number 5 are superimposed on the scales of justice, it’s hard to imagine that this self-proclaimed “People’s Tribunal” has justice on its mind. Or maybe it’s their slogan: “People’s Tribunal & Assembly – Breaking the Silence – Justice for the Five.” Call me a cynic, but I’m thinking their minds are already made up.
Among the predictable collection of Castro apologists schedule to “testify” at the tribunal are filmmaker Saul Landau; Keith Bolender, author of Voices from the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba; and Stephen Kimber, author of What Lies Across the Water. As many readers may recall, Kimber squandered his academic credibility with his implausible statement “there was no credible evidence to connect the Five to the …shooting down of the Brothers to the Rescue planes.”
According to the announcement by University of Toronto graduate student Jeannine M. Pitas: “For Kimber, the issue of the Five is separate from that of solidarity with Cuba. “You can disagree with the actions of the Cuban government in shooting down the Brothers to the Rescue planes — I do — and still believe that the case against the Five is a travesty of justice,” he states.
As for those who would seek to point to human rights abuses within Cuba itself, Kimber firmly believes that this issue must be viewed on its own terms. “But it’s too easy to use that as an excuse to ignore what is clearly also a human rights abuse in the case of the Five.”
Kimber’s goal for the Tribunal? “I really hope we can reach beyond the converted,” he says. “This is a story that needs to get out there. I believe if people understood the case better, they would see this as a cause worth fighting for.”
Read Pitas’ original article here, at “Rabble.ca;” http://rabble.ca/news/2012/09/peoples-tribunal-and-assembly-seeks-justice-cuban-five