FREE THE CUBAN FIVE!
Come protest at the Federal Building at 12noon to Free The Cuban Five! Sat. 30 2006
Who Are the Cuban Five?
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are in U.S. prison, serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related charges.
But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
The Five's actions were never directed at the U.S. government. They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any weapons while in the United States.
The Cuban Five's mission was to stop terrorism
For more than 40 years, anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based in Miami have engaged in countless terrorist activities against Cuba, and against anyone who advocates a normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. More than 3,000 Cubans have died as a result of these terrorists' attacks.
Terrorist Miami groups like Comandos F4 and Brothers to the Rescue operate with complete impunity from within the United States to attack Cuba—with the knowledge and support of the FBI and CIA.
Therefore, Cuba made the careful and necessary decision to send the Five Cubans to Miami to monitor the terrorists. The Cuban Five infiltrated the terrorist organizations in Miami to inform Cuba of imminent attacks.
The aim of such a clandestine operation by the Cuban Five—at great personal risk—was to prevent criminal acts, and thus protect the lives of Cubans and other people.
But instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI arrested the Cuban Five ANTI-terrorists on September 12, 1998. The Five were illegally held in solidarity confinement for 17 months in Miami jail.
The trial began in November 2000. With the seven-month trial based in Miami, a virtual witchhunt atmosphere existed. Defense attorneys' motions for a change of venue were denied five times by the judge, although it was obvious that a fair trial was impossible in that city.
In a blow to justice, the Cuban Five were convicted June 8, 2001 and sentenced to four life terms and 75 years in December, 2001.
A victory in appeals, then a surprise reversal
On August 9, 2005, after seven years of unjust imprisonment, the Cuban Five won an unprecedented victory on appeal. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions of the Cuban Five and ordered a new trial outside of Miami.
(The Aug. 9 court decision can be read here (PDF file)
However, in an unexpected reversal on Oct. 31, the 11th Circuit Court agreed to hear the U.S. prosecutors' appeal. Therefore the opinion overturning the Cuban Five's convictions has been set aside while a new appeal is heard.
Your support is more important than ever
The year 2006 will be critical for the struggle to win freedom for the Cuban Five. The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five asks all people who believe in justice to join in this national campaign.
Please make a donation. Organize a public event, or a house meeting for your friends and neighbors. Help get the word about. Read more about the Five on our website: www.freethefive.org or at: www.Antiterroristas.cu Call us at 415-821-6545 or write us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Are 5 Cuban Political Prisoners Behind Bars in the U.S.A.?
A General Analysis of the Trial of the Cuban Five
courtesy antiterroristas.cus, updated Jan. 2003
May Day 2002 - Havana, Cuba photo: Gloria La Riva
They are five Cubans who were trying to stop the ultra-right terrorist groups in Miami from carrying out violent actions against the people of Cuba.
Since 1959, these organizations have conducted bombings, assassinations and other sabotage, killing hundreds of innocent Cuban civilians. Groups like Alpha 66, Omega 7, Brothers to the Rescue, and Cuban American National Foundation have terrorized the Cuban people for years with impunity.
The Cuban people have been targets of U.S. policy, including a 43-year economic blockade designed to punish a whole people who have chosen a different road for building their society. They have been victims of terror attacks by the Miami-based mafia, many of whom came from the wealthy class that left Cuba after the popular overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista. Others of the ultra-right in Miami were police thugs for the Batista regime.
Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, René González and Fernando González, acting in defense of their people, were living in Miami, monitoring these terrorist groups to prevent future violence.
But because the U.S. government - through the CIA - has played the principal role in funding, training and arming the ultra-right Miami mafia, the FBI targeted the five Cubans instead of arresting the terrorists.
This is the only reason that the five Cubans are in prison. They were framed up in a political witchhunt and railroaded by the U.S. in a 7-month trial in Miami, where it was impossible for them to have an impartial and fair trial.
Falsely charged with espionage on the U.S., in reality, the five brothers' mission was to follow the activities of the right-wing to prevent harm to innocent people. After their arrest by the FBI in September 1998, they were convicted June 8, 2001 and sentenced December 2001.
The months-long struggle to free Elián González from the Miami right-wing showed the U.S. people the true nature of these Mafia-type groups in Miami, who so cruelly tried to deny a father and his son their right to live together in their own country, simply because that country is Cuba.
Terrorists like José Basulto and Ramón Saúl Sánchez, who have been convicted of criminal acts, actually became "spokesmen" for the Miami family. They vowed never to let Elián return home and put him at tremendous risk for their political aims.
To all justice-loving people in the U.S. and around the world, we appeal to you to join the struggle to free Fernando, René, Antonio, Ramón and Gerardo. Help us in outreach, education and organizing, because once people know the facts of the case, we are sure they will call for their freedom as well.
Full transcript courtesy of Radio Havana Cuba listener Michael Semon.
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