Cubans Spies Take a Forking Path 2

By Miguel Fernandez

Fernando González, a.k.a. Rubén Campa (Vicky/Oscar), has desisted from his ongoing habeas corpus appeal in order to prevent delay in his release, scheduled for February 2014. On the other hand, Ramón Labañino, a.k.a. Luis Medina (Allan), has made an additional motion that covers the two others incarcerated members of the Wasp Network: Antonio Guerrero (Lorient) and Gerardo Hernández (Giro).

The motion insisted in the denial of due process because of “the threat of government-paid journalists to the integrity of the jury.” Defense lawyer William Norris argues there is an “extremely relevant” thread not discussed by the parties yet. In the Opinion and Memorandum of Law entered on February 16, 2001, the Court found “that not even the most emphatic instruction or the most searching voir dire question can shield the jurors from banner headlines or ex parte statements and conduct by witnesses or counsel that would undoubtedly receive extensive coverage.”

By that time, judge Joan Lenard didn’t know the U.S. government was secretly paying Miami journalists for turning the jurors against the Cuban Five. Thus, this new finding would add up to the previous one for making clear that Labañino is entitled to post-conviction relief.

However, the factual key is still the payments to Miami journalist for their contributions to Radio and TV Marti. By that time, it broadcasted only to Cuba, and it’s hard to swallow that the contributors were not paid for their very contributions to Radio and TV Marti , but for articles in their respective local media against the Cuban Five on behalf of the U.S. government.

Last, but not least, it was a prima face case of espionage and the quixotic defense strategy instructed from Havana —and focused in the “lawful shoot down” with missiles of two fragile Cessna planes— negatively influenced on the juror more than all the Miami media together.

The motion is attached here: Ramon Supplemental Memo 102213

Washington Thanks Havana For Helping Prompt Cuban-Supported Terrorist Group To Free American… 1

Cuba and Norway: Rebels Free American

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombia’s FARC rebels on Sunday freed an American they were holding since June, the governments of Cuba and Norway said.

The statement by the Cuban and Norwegian embassies in Bogota said that rebels have turned over 26-year-old Kevin Scott Sutay to a commission made up of representatives from their countries and the International Committee of the Red Cross in the nation’s south. Sutay was later delivered to U.S. government representatives at the airport in the Colombian capital.

Sutay had been in the country as a tourist when he was taken hostage on June 20 by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Sutay’s release, and said the United States was “profoundly grateful” to the Colombian government for its efforts to secure his freedom.

Kerry also individually thanked Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the governments of Norway and Cuba, as well as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, for pushing for Sutay’s release.

Editor’s Note: Former CIA officer Brian Latell has stated that Cuban Intelligence has strongly supported the FARC since the 1960s, but the “availability of massive amounts of Venezuelan money” during Hugo Chavez’s presidency triggered considerable growth in the depth and bredth of Havana’s support. His assessment is echoed by Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa — the highest ranking intelligence officer to ever defect from Communist-controlled Romania – who claimed that by the mid-1970s, both the Cuban and Romanian foreign intelligence services worked jointly with the FARC.

Cuban Ally’s Dangerous Plunge 1

Bolivia’s Descent Into Rogue State Status

The country is a hub for organized crime and a safe haven for terrorists.

Mary O’Grady, Wall Street Journal

In the years after a brutal 10-year Soviet occupation, Afghanistan became a petri dish in which a culture of organized crime, radical politics and religious fundamentalism festered—and where Osama bin Laden set up operations.

Now something similar may be happening in Bolivia. The government is an advocate for coca growers. The Iranian presence is increasing. And reports from the ground suggest that African extremists are joining the fray.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, who is also the elected president of the coca producers’ confederation, and Vice President Alvaro García Linera, formerly of the Maoist Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army, began building their repressive narco-state when they took office in 2006.

Step one was creating a culture of fear. Scores of intellectuals, technocrats and former government officials were harassed. Many fled.

Seventy-five-year-old José Maria Bakovic, a former World Bank infrastructure specialist, was targeted but refused to yield. As president of the highway commission from 2001-06, he had developed a bidding system for road construction to reduce corruption. This stymied Mr. Morales. Bakovic was twice imprisoned and appeared in court more than 250 times for alleged administrative crimes, according to people familiar with his case.
Nothing was ever proven.

In early October, prosecutors summoned Bakovic to La Paz for another grilling. Cardiologists said the high altitude would kill him. The government overrode their objections, effectively issuing a death warrant. He went to La Paz on Oct. 11, had a heart attack and died the next day in Cochabamba.

With the opposition cowed, President Morales has turned Bolivia into an international hub of organized crime and a safe haven for terrorists. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has been expelled. United Nations data show that cocaine production is up in Bolivia since 2006 and unconfirmed reports say that Mexican, Russian and Colombian toughs are showing up to get a piece of the action. So are militants looking to raise cash and operate in the Western Hemisphere.

The Tehran connection is no secret. Iran is a nonvoting member of the “Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas” ( ALBA ). Its voting members are Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

In testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security in July, global security specialist Joseph Humire described Iran’s interest in ALBA: “Iran understood that the wave of authoritarian populism known as ’21st Century Socialism’ that was sweeping through the region offered the Islamic Republic a permissive environment to carry out its global agenda against the West.” Bolivia is fertile ground.

Iran may have put up some or all of the money to build a new ALBA military training facility outside of Santa Cruz. According to Mr. Humire, the Iranian Embassy in La Paz is “reported to contain at least 145 registered Iranian officials.” There is also Bolivian support for radical Islamic converts like the Argentine Santiago Paz Bullrich, a disciple of Iranian cleric Mohsen Rabbani and the co-founder of the first Shia Islamic association in La Paz.

Iran may be using its Bolivian network to smuggle strategic minerals like tantalum (used to coat missiles), Mr. Humire told Congress. It may even be smuggling people. Unconfirmed but credible reports describe high officials ordering the issuance of I.D. cards and passports to numerous young, fit “turks”—a slang term in South America for Middle Easterners. One witness told a Bolivian source of mine (who asked to remain anonymous for reasons of safety) that the foreigners were Iranians but not diplomats.

In late September, according to the Bolivian daily La Razón, Bolivia’s prospective consul to Lebanon was detained by Bolivian officials for allegedly trying to smuggle 392 kilos of cocaine to Ghana.

Thanks to steady cocaine demand, the Bolivian economy is awash in cash. Africa lies on the major transit route for European-bound cocaine. That may explain the increased sightings of Somalis, Ethiopians and South Africans in Santa Cruz, an unlikely place for African migration. In April, the partially burned body of a mutilated black man was found near the Brazilian border, suggesting a drug deal gone bad. An unusual marking was carved on the victim’s right thigh, as if villains wanted to be sure to get credit for the brutality.

Within days the Spanish daily ABC reported on a Spaniard, also tortured with a carving on his leg, found in the same area. I learned from a source who did not want to be identified that the victim allegedly told police that the black man who had died was his friend and was African. According to my source, a witness said the dying man also murmured the words “al-Shabaab,” the name of the Somali terrorist group.

One Bolivian I know claims that at Mr. Morales’s 2006 inauguration he saw Mohamed Abdelaziz, secretary general of the separatist Polisario Front, which has carried on a long conflict with Morocco.

North Africa is becoming a hotbed of violence. There are rumors of insurgent and terrorist alliances. If Mr. Abdelaziz was indeed in La Paz, it raises further questions about Bolivia’s foreign policy.

Write to O’

Journalists in The Service of Reds: Engineers of Human Souls 4

Exiles from totalitarian regimes have always been a potential and real threat to the credibility, durability and legitimacy of dictatorships, particularly the Communist variety. These regimes sought to quash exile effectiveness through a round-the-clock dispatch of intelligence assets in aggressive defamation and elimination operations.

By Tania C. Mastrapa

In the United States, we metaphorically abide by the double-edged sword. While America is a haven for those who seek freedom from repressive regimes, we simultaneously provide a forum for supporters of those regimes. Stephen Kimber, an award winning journalist and currently a professor of journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, represents the latter.

As a writer, Comrade Kimber is what Soviet dictator Josef Stalin called an engineer of human souls – endowed with the power to remold the ideological mentality of his readers. Kimber recently wrote, What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five – a book that justifies agent insertion into the United States by the Cuban regime and (of course) slanders anti-Communist Cuban exiles.

The Washington Post published an Op-Ed by Kimber where he defends the Cuban Five – spies who, among many other illegal acts, were instrumental in the 1996 downing of two Brothers to the Rescue planes over the Florida Straits. The American light aircraft were shot down over international waters by Cuban MiGs firing air-to-air missiles that killed four on board. The Cuban Five were subsequently convicted by a federal jury that did not include any Cuban exiles.

South Florida’s WLRN General Manager John Labonia defended the station’s decision to also provide a platform to Kimber. To not do so would apparently have been dumb and intolerant. He nodded to the sensitivity of the matter and stated, “…the local conversation about Cuba has evolved and become more broad-minded…and that it can accommodate opinions today that might have been too uncomfortable to engage a generation ago.” Have broad-mindedness, objectivity and tolerance ever been demanded of other victims of totalitarianism, such as Jews under the Nazi regime and those who toppled Adolf Hitler? No, because these standards are solely exacted on victims of Communism and the underlying reality is that their lives are allotted a low value, if any at all.

The unbridled statements by journalists and others about Communism’s exiles are certainly beneficial to the oppressors. Thus, those subjected to property confiscation, political arrests and torture are somehow unable to accurately address their homeland’s ills as opposed to those who regurgitate the content of Communist State publications. For example, journalists describe Vietnamese exiles, ad nauseum, as “right-wing” and an “extreme anti-Communist bloc,” whose younger generations are more open-minded. The loved ones of the 16,000 Cambodians who died on orders of Kaing Guek Eav, a.k.a. “Duch,” ought not have had a say in his sentencing, according to international judge Sylvia Cartwright because of the need for objectivity and balance as opposed to victims’ “mob rule.” A group or government that attempts, by any means necessary, to bring freedom to a country is generally lauded as heroic – so long as that country is not under the yoke of Communism. Laotian anti-Communists have been subjected to arrests, bombardments, re-education camps and shootings; but an effort by exiles and sympathizers, labeled by the U.S. government as “mercenaries,” to liberate the country resulted in arrest for many in the United States.

So how did the double standard originate?

Feature continues here: Journalists in the Service of Reds: Engineers of Human Souls

Exclusive: René González, Lone Cuban 5 Member Freed From U.S. Prison, Speaks Out From Havana Reply

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, the only freed member of the Cuban Five, René González, speaks out after a 13-year imprisonment in the United States. The five Cuban intelligence agents were arrested in the United States in 1998 and convicted of espionage. They say they were not spying on the United States, but rather trying to monitor violent right-wing Cuban exile groups responsible for attacks inside Cuba. In Cuba, the five are seen as national heroes. González was released in October 2011 and returned to Cuba in April. Joining us from Havana, González discusses why he came to the United States to spy on Cuban exiles, his arrest, and the four other members of the Cuban Five who remain in jail.

U.S. Invasion of Grenada, 30 Years Later 4


As U.S. and Cuban troops fought in the tiny island of Grenada 30 years ago, Havana’s official news media reported that Cuba’s “glorious combatants” were “at this moment immolating themselves for the homeland, wrapped in the Cuban flag.”

That was not true. But that apparently was the order that Havana had given to the detachment of more than 700 Cuban “soldier-bricklayers” building an airport on Grenada.

A U.S military unit monitoring radio traffic overheard a Havana transmission ordering the Cubans to “fight to the last man,” said Chris Simmons, then an Army lieutenant who landed in Grenada on the first day of combat — Oct. 25, 1983.

The U.S. monitors were supporting another American unit tasked with capturing leaders of the Cuban detachment, Simmons said. But the Cubans managed to seek asylum in the Soviet Union’s embassy.

Cuban ruler Fidel Castro was not pleased.

His top commander in Grenada, Col. Pedro Tortoló Comas, was sent to Angola and was last confirmed driving a taxi in Havana. And his ambassador to the former British colony, Julian Torres Rizo, now lists himself as a Havana tourist guide.

The invasion, Operation Urgent Fury, now is largely remembered as the only time when U.S. and Cuban troops fought each other directly, despite more than 50 years of hostile relations – 30 of them during the Cold War.

Planning for Urgent Fury began after Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, a close Cuba ally, and 10 followers were murdered during an Oct. 19 coup by his hard-line Marxist deputy, Bernard Coard, and Gen. Hudson Austin, head of the 1,500-member PRA.

President Ronald Reagan ordered the invasion, saying he was worried about the safety of 600 U.S. medical students on Grenada. But he clearly was concerned about Cuba’s construction of a military-capable airport on the former British colony of 100,000 off the coast of Venezuela.

In brief, sharp clashes, 19 U.S. soldiers were killed, including four members of SEAL Team 6 – the same team that killed Osama Bin Laden.

Twenty-five Cubans were killed fighting and another 638 were captured, including 86 who surrendered after Navy A-7 Corsair jets blasted the Cuban detachment’s headquarters, marked in U.S. military maps as “Little Havana.”

Also killed were 24 civilians and 45 Grenadians in the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA).

Sporadic combat continued for four days as 7,300 U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force troops, plus 330 soldiers from a Caribbean coalition quickly swept over the 133-square mile island, despite crude maps and deadly communications snags.

Simmons’ platoon, part of the 82nd Airborne, was involved the last major firefight of the invasion, a 10-minute clash that left seven PRA fighters dead. Another U.S. unit trying to support his platoon caused a friendly-fire incident, in which one U.S. Ranger captain was killed.

The last of the U.S. forces left Grenada on Dec. 12. But the saga continued.

About 1,000 U.S. citizens on Grenada, including the medical students, were evacuated safely.

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., deputy commander of the invasion, went on to command Operation Desert Storm to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait in 1991.

Simmons achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel and an assignment as the top Cuba counterintelligence specialist at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, where he helped track down Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes in 2001. He retired in 2010.

And the more than 600 Cubans who surrendered were greeted as heroes when they returned home a few weeks later. They marched near the front of the May Day parade in 1984, carrying a banner reading ’’Heroes of Grenada.”

The remains of Bishop and the others who were massacred were never found. The Cuban-built Point Salines International Airport was renamed in his honor.

After almost 26 years in prison, Coard and six others convicted in Bishop’s murder were freed in 2009.

Grenada now celebrates each Oct. 25 as Thanksgiving Day.

Two of the Cubans who played key roles in Grenada did not fare well, with Castro publicly criticizing Torres for failing to properly report on the mayhem that sparked the U.S. attack and punishing Tortoló for the embarrassing surrenders.

Torres had been an up-and-coming officer in the Foreign Ministry, serving as first secretary of Cuba’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations for two years before he was sent to Grenada in 1979. A Cuban intelligence defector later identified him as an intelligence agent in charge of contacts with the Venceremos Brigade, founded in the 1960s by U.S. citizens who favored the Castro revolution.

After returning to Havana, he disappeared from public sight and was reported to have been posted to a backroom job in the Foreign Ministry or even demoted to cane field worker.

Now about 70, Torres did not reply to El Nuevo Herald’s requests for an interview sent to his LinkedIn account, which lists him as a Havana tourist guide.

His Chicago-born wife, Gail Reed, a journalist and Venceremos Brigade member who served as press attaché in the Cuban embassy in Grenada, returned to Havana and was reported to have freelanced for Business Week and NBC News in the 1990s.

She now works as international director of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, a California non-profit that promotes public health exchanges. Now about 65, Reed did not reply to an El Nuevo Herald request for an interview.

Bearing the brunt of Castro’s ire was Tortoló, then 38, who had served as chief of staff for one of Cuba’s three military regions — a top post within the Revolutionary Armed Forces — and finished a stint as military adviser in Grenada in May of 1983.

One day before the invasion, Castro had sent Tortoló and Communist Party operative Carlos Diaz to Grenada on a Cubana de Aviacion AN-26 plane carrying tons of weapons to organize the “soldier-bricklayers” resistance.

Diaz was killed in combat but Tortoló sought asylum in the Soviet embassy. A Havana joke at the time had him suffering a “combat injury” – a broken thumb from ringing the doorbell at the Soviet mission.

The colonel was court martialed and busted to private. In a videotaped ceremony, then-Defense Minister Raúl Castro ripped his rank insignia from his epaulettes and sent him to the war in Angola — along with 25-40 other Cubans viewed as having surrendered too easily.

Although Tortoló was widely reported to have been killed in Angola, Miami Cubans who claim to know him said he returned home, was given a low-profile government job, and, at some point in 1999 or 2000, was selling shoes. They declined to provide his current contact information, saying he wanted to put Grenada behind him.

Miami journalist Camilo Loret de Mola said he met Tortoló in 2003 when the former colonel was working as a taxi driver in Havana with his personal LADA, a Soviet-era copy of a Fiat awarded to top government officials in the 1970s and 1980s.

Editor’s Note: On March 11, 1979, a group of 40 men with Maurice Bishop’s New Jewel Movement (NJM) overthrew the government of Sir Eric Gairy. Prior to the coup, Havana assured the NJM that if they took power, Cuba would come to its aid. Castro fulfilled his vow.

Cuban participation in the overthrow of the Gairy government has been alleged, but never substantiated. Cuban influence and foreknowledge, however, was provided through America Department (DA) officer Oscar Cardenas Junquera, who worked with the NJM prior to the coup. The America Department was the name used by the intelligence wing of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party from 1974 to the late 1980s or early 1990s. The DA was heavily involved in supporting revolutionaries and terrorists.

Three days after the takeover, Grenada opened diplomatic relations with Cuba and Cuban Ambassador and senior DA officer Julian Enrique Torres Rizo arrived on island. Full diplomatic relations were established on April 14, 1979.

In addition to Ambassador Torres, two other DA officers Carlos Andres Diaz Larranaga and 1st Secretary Gaston Diaz Evarista — served in Grenada. Diaz Larranaga was later killed during the US invasion. At 41 years of age, Diaz Larranaga was the most senior member of Torres’ 18-man staff. As the DA’s Caribbean Section Chief, he was also a highly experienced intelligence officer. New York Times correspondent Joseph Treaster reported that some claimed Prime Minister Bishop consulted with Ambassador Torres “…on most important decisions.”

On a related note, Russia opened an Embassy in October 1982. Its first ambassador was Major General Gennadiy Sazhenev, an experienced military intelligence officer. The Embassy opened with a staff of 26.

Cuban Spy Communications Intercepted Yesterday 3

A shortwave radio (High Frequency) enthusiast recorded this “Numbers Station” broadcast yesterday. Thirty-two seconds into the video, you will hear distinct tones before the automated female voice begins the broadcast.

In the past, a “Numbers Station” broadcast would always consist of 150 five-number groups. Over time, Havana migrated to this hybrid broadcast, consisting of sporadic voice laced together with the digital transmission of compressed data. This evolution both lessens the possibility of errors made by the receiving spy and allows for the transfer of infinitely more information. The Cuban spy will use a cipher program to automatically decrypt and decompress the recorded digital signal.

Other recent intercepts:

October 1, 2013
Cuban Numbers Station HM01 @10715 kHz SW AM
Recorded in Hamina, Finland

September 28, 2013
Overlapping messages from the Cuban Numbers Station
Location unknown

September 26, 2013
Cuban Numbers Station HM01 @10715 kHz SW AM
Recorded in Hamina, Finland

August 31, 2013-10-24
Cuban Numbers Station HM01 @17480 kHz at 2209 UTC
Recorded in Northeast Ohio, USA

Cuban Dissidents Plant a Hoax to Trap Government Spies 2

By Juan O. Tamayo,

Cuban blogger Ernesto Vera Rodriguez thought he had a scoop: Exiles in Miami had cut off funds to the island’s most active opposition group in recent months, the Cuban Patriotic Union, UNPACU.

But the report was a fake, concocted by UNPACU leaders in a rare effort to unmask government agents infiltrated into the ranks of the opposition. And Vera, who claims to be a dissident, was the first to publish it. But he insists that he has no connection with State Security.

“It was a hook, to see who would bite,” said Luis Enrique Ferrer, UNPACU’s Miami representative and brother of José Daniel Ferrer, who heads the opposition group from his home in the eastern Cuban town of Palmarito de Cauto.

More importantly, Luis Enrique Ferrer added, the fishing expedition was also an attempt to hit back at State Security, the branch of the Interior Ministry that monitors, harasses, intimidates and arrests dissidents.

State Security agents have repeatedly infiltrated and at times even created opposition groups to disrupt their plans, embarrass their leaders and sow mistrust.

Infiltrators “cause more damage within the opposition than even the active repression,” said Luis Enrique Ferrer. “They are more damaging because they create mistrust and discredit the opposition inside the country.”

The Ferrer brothers’ scam was revealed Friday by Cuban journalist Michel Suarez in Diario de Cuba (Cuba Diary), a Web page based in Spain.

El Nuevo Herald spoke to the people involved and confirmed the details in Suarez’s story.

Luis Enrique Ferrer told El Nuevo that he and his brother arranged the sting using secret email accounts and a code they developed when they were held in separate prisons from 2003 to 2010.

Then in mid-September they talked about the fake report over a telephone line. It went like this: The Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) had stopped its financial support for UNPACU in favor of the dissident Ladies in White.

They were certain that State Security agents would listen in on all of their conversations.

About three days later, on Sept. 17, Vera posted the report on his eponymous blog. “It is not a rumor; it is not a joke. This information was confirmed by various people, all of them human rights activists with access to CANF leaders,” he wrote.

Vera, who lives in Santiago de Cuba, near Palmarito de Cauto, insists he obtained his “completely true” report from “reliable sources.”

“I don’t have any type of link with State Security,” he told El Nuevo Herald Friday by phone from Cuba.

At the same time Vera published his “scoop,” State Security Maj. Luis Plutín, in charge of the Santiago region, began telling area dissidents that CANF would no longer provide them with assistance, said José Daniel 0Ferrer.

Omar Lopez Montenegro, who handles human rights issues for CANF, said there was no truth at all to Vera’s report. “He got that information from the intelligence services of Cuba,” Lopez said. “The assistance is being maintained.”

The Ferrers were not surprised that Vera, a lawyer in his early 30s, bit on their bait because they have denounced him as an infiltrator many times over the past year or so.
Although he sometimes criticizes the government, the vast majority of Vera’s blog posts attack UNPACU, José Daniel Ferrer and the Ladies in White.

Luis Enrique Ferrer also noted there were others who echoed Vero’s report.

Percy Alvarado Godoy, confirmed by the Cuban government as an intelligence agent who infiltrated CANF in the 1990s, wrote in his blog on Sept. 20 that Vero’s report showed the “terrorist” CANF had broken with the “delinquent” José Daniel Ferrer.

In Miami, Edmundo Garcia, who runs the pro-Castro blog La Tarde se Mueve (The Afternoon Moves) also repeated the Vera report. So did Aldo Rosado-Tuero, of the blog Nueva Accion (New Action). He is a harsh critic of both the Cuban government and dissidents.

“It was like they were in the same orchestra, playing the same rhythm,” said Luis Enrique Ferrer.

UNPACU, currently the most visible and pugnacious of Cuba’s dissident movements, has been targeted for several destabilization efforts by government agents in recent months.

Sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2003, José Daniel Ferrer was freed in 2011 following talks between Cuban President Raúl Castro and Cardinal Jaime Ortega. While most of the more than 100 other political prisoners freed at that time, including his brother, went directly from prison to exile in Spain, Ferrer stayed in Cuba and founded UNPACU.

Havana Scores Big Propaganda Win With Forthcoming Appearance at the University of North Carolina! 3

US Institution Organizes Forum in Solidarity with the Cuban Five

Havana (Cuban News Agency – ACN) The Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of North Caroline (sic), in Chapel Hill, will host two forums October 24 in solidarity with the four Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in US jails since 1998. The corrupt behavior of US justice with respect to the case of the Cuban anti-terrorists is the main topic on the agenda of the meetings.

Some of the lecturers include actor and activist Danny Glover, Miami-based lawyer William Norris, Professor Jane Kirtley from the University of Minnesota, the director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at the University of North Caroline (sic) Louis Perez, Law professor at that higher education center Deborah Weissman and the coordinator of the Solidarity Committee with the Cuban Five Gloria La Riva.

Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez and Ramon Labanino, internationally known as the Cuban Five, were arrested in 1998 after they monitored Miami-based terrorist organizations. Rene Gonzalez served a 13-year prison sentence and achieved the modification of his parole in exchange for the renouncing of his US citizenship and returned to Cuba. The other four men are still held in US prisons.

Freed Spy René González to Head New “Free the Five” Group Reply

First Meeting of the Jose Marti Club for the Liberation of the Cuban Five

Havana (Cubarte) — René González, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and Honorary president of the Jose Marti Club for the Liberation of the Five Cuban Heroes created last September 20, took part in its first executive meeting celebrated at the Jose Marti Cultural Society Center in Havana city. René directed the coordination meeting with Wilmer Rodríguez and Tomás Valdés Becerra, Club´s president and executive secretary respectively, and they defined the actions the group will develop during the year´s last three months.

There were also present several members of the Club that gathers artists, intellectuals, personalities of the Cuban culture, who will all cooperate “from the individual creation with the common goal to fight for the freedom of the Five”, as affirmed Wilmer.

It is essential to highlight there are also represented institutions, organizations and working centers as the Havana Harbor, so important considering all the activities the harbor workers can develop for the campaign.

One of the first proposals of the meeting was to preserve the yellow ribbon initiative given that many people individually and without being advised to do it, have kept it. In this sense, Rene said it is important to keep the ribbon to the Five heroes’ image and that this could be used in the actions conducted every Day 5 with a previous promotion from the Jose Marti Clubs.

The first activity will take place next October 12: the climb to the Pan de Matanzas hill of a group members of the Club lead by Rene. The Club´s five points yellow flag that will lead the group will be design by the visual artist Kamil Bullaydi—he has a close relation with the Jose Marti Cultural Society Center because of his vast work with the Jose Marti image.

Wilmer explained the 320th anniversary of the foundation of Matanzas city is celebrated that day and university students, martial arts athletes, troubadours and improviser poets of that territory will take part in climbing its highest geographical point.

It was announced that for the three months it is expected the visits of three North American delegations invited by the Jose Marti Cultural Society Center and the Jose Marti Center of Studies. There will be meetings and exchanges in which they will provide information about the Cuban Five to increase the campaign in the United States.

During November, representatives of the Club will join in the Jornada 5 por los 5 celebrated every month at the Latin American Medicine School where there are 36 North American students who coordinate each month activity.

They also debate about carrying out arts exhibits and community visual actions and the relationship with the Cuban Sports and Recreation Institute (INDER, in Spanish) to associate marathons, competitions and other mass sport activities to the campaign. They also highlighted the importance to strengthen the relations with the Jose Marti Clubs existing in the different communication media and they agree to work intensively in university centers to add the youth´s creativity, energy and sensitiveness to this general struggle in which the citizen participation has a decisive role.

Translation: Liana Fleitas (Cubarte)