The Cuban 5 are Free!! We join in the celebration.

Posted: December 17, 2014 in *Celebration*, Solidarity

 

What wonderful news today. The Cuban 5 are Free. The imprisonment of the Cuban 5 for the last 16 years has been a grave injustice. Their freedom has been a focal point for struggle by people around the world who demanded their release.

This blog has long been a supporter along with our sister organization Queers Without Borders of the Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban Five a world wide group of LGBT/Q folks who support freedom for the Cuban 5. To find out more about this queer response see the article, U.S. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans Activists Launch Initiative. written by Leslie Feinberg. Queers Without Borders was one of the initial signers of a statement to Free The Cuban 5 and continues to work for justice around the world. We believe that all issues are our issues simply because we are here, there and everywhere.  We dedicate this day to our Trans Warrior Leslie Feinberg who was instrumental in organizing in the queer community support of the Cuban 5.

The Cuban 5 Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González exposed terrorist activity organized by Cuban exile groups based in Florida. When they reported this activity to the US government, they were arrested, held in solitary confinement for 17 months and then and given sentences of four life terms and 75 years in prison among them for crimes they never committed.

Many problems plagued their trial, including the U.S. government having Miami-based journalists on its payroll covering the case.

Since their sentencing in 2001, René González is free and has returned to Cuba. The others are still fighting for their freedom.

In October 2013 the  Freedom Socialist newspaper had this to say about the case.

At long last, the U.S. State Department has been ordered by a federal district court to turn over secret documents about its criminal conduct in the renowned case of the Cuban Five. Specifically, the U.S. government secretly paid Miami-based journalists who were reporting on the trial to turn the public, including the un-sequestered jury, against the defendants.

Fifteen years ago the FBI arrested five Cuban men on phony espionage charges. The five, two of them U.S. citizens, were expeditiously tried, convicted and sentenced to long terms. Their crime? Infiltrating right-wing Cuban-American exile groups and reporting their planned terror attacks to the FBI. Already more than 3,000 Cubans had been killed. The men expected the FBI to thwart the attacks. Instead it arrested the five.

Their trial in 2000 was a travesty. Defense witnesses were intimidated, and key evidence on the terrorist activities of those the five monitored was excluded. And much of the prosecution evidence was “classified” and is still being kept from the defense.

This recent Sept. 15 court decision, the result of a lawsuit by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, will undoubtedly reinforce the worldwide movement to free the Cuban Five. To help, visit www.freethefive.org.

To listen to this article and others from this issue, click here.

We celebrate this victory as members of the Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban 5. For an article by Leslie Feinberg from the Lavender and Red series see: Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban 5 circles the globe.

 

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