Committee for the Freedom
of the Cuban 5
Third "5 Days for the Cuban 5" in
Washington D.C. June 4 -11, 2014
The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban
Announces Actions in Solidarity with the Five
in Washington D.C.
has already begun on the 3rd consecutive "5 Days for the Cuban
5" that are to take place in the U.S. Capital June 4 -11. As
was the case in the previous 2 years, there will be a rally in front of
the White House. This year that protest will take place on June 7 at 1 pm to
demand that President Obama end this injustice, now in its 16th
year. Other activities will include a two day conference with
workshops on the case of the Five and U.S. Cuba relations. There will
also be a media push to major networks, cultural events, and two days
of lobbying efforts in Congress.
parliamentarians and activists have already started confirming that
they will be participating in the Third "5 Days for the Cuban
which you can get involved:
- Travel to Washington
D.C. to participate in the 5 days of activities
- Recruit people from
your cities to travel to Washington D.C.
- Participate in the
rally in front of the White House on June 7
- Do volunteer work
during the 5 days
- Help to bring
Parliamentarians from your respective countries
- Make a DONATION
- If you wish to send a wire transfer write to firstname.lastname@example.org and we
will send you the information you need.
We call on the entire movement in solidarity with the
Cuban people and the Cuban 5 in the United States and around the world
to join the Third "5 Days for the Cuban 5" in
TOGETHER WE CAN DO IT!!!
other events of great importance coming up this year:
The International Commission of Inquiry into the
Case of the Five will take place in London March 7 - 8, 2014
The International Commission
of Inquiry in London will hear key witnesses from Cuba and other
countries about the case of the Cuban 5. René Gonzalez, the only member
of the Cuban 5 who has served his entire sentence and is free in Cuba,
will attend the London event.
such as Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, actors Martin Sheen
and Emma Thompson are supporting this important international
The Commission will hear
testimonies from approximately 20 key witnesses, including the defense
lawyer of the Five, Martin Garbus, representatives from Amnesty
International and family members of the Cuban 5 including Olga
Salanueva and Elizabeth Palmeiro.
For more information on how
to attend or endorse, visit:
III World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba
October 27 - 31, 2014 in Havana, Cuba
The Cuban Institute of
Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and the Cuban Chapter in Defense of
Humanity are calling friends of Cuba and the world to participate in
this important solidarity event. For more information go to
Committee for the
of the Cuban 5
YEAR GREETINGS FROM THE CUBAN 5
Here are three letters from the Cuban 5 to their supporters around the
world for Christmas and the approaching New Year. Below there
is a moving video from their families in
Due to the fact that
since December 21 Victorville Penitentiary is once again in one of its
frequent lock downs, Gerardo Hernandez
was unable to send out a solidarity message.
It was twelve years
ago this December when we received from a Miami Judge our long, brutal and
I can remember when
I first came to the penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, in the middle of a
severe winter in 2002. I arrived there carrying a life sentences on my shoulders
and soon learned that some inmates called that prison "a cemetery of
living men". Many of the prisoners that I met there were designated to
either die in that penitentiary or in some other prison of the federal
system. Their chances in a Federal Court of appeals to get a release date
are zero and many of these men had already served long period of time.
Violence was a daily part of the routine inside the walls of Florence USP
and it was really hard just to find somebody there who was a quiet peaceful
person. Almost everyone there had a record of violent acts committed inside
or outside the prison walls. To make it all even worse an abundance of the
prisoners were suffering from some type of mental illness.
I still remember
some of my conversations with the most veteran prisoners in the
penitentiary who told me that when you reach 15 years of time you cross a
line when "prison is prison". They explained that is the time
when physical and psychological problems start to appear.
We now find ourselves
in the 16th year of unjust incarceration and are fortunate that we have no
symptoms of disorientation or depression. On the contrary, each day in
prison we are more positive and creative; we are more serene and supremely
I am taking a risk
to say it, but it is my sense that never has any prisoner received as many
letters as we, the Cuban 5, have, from all around the world during our long
imprisonment. It has been an endless flow of letters full of friendship and
love. These messages of solidarity have never stopped coming since people
learned of our situation back in 2001. This have made the difference and we
know that this stream of support and love will not stop until our many
friends know that we have all arrived safely back home.
The hard life that
one experiences in prison demonstrates to me that an innocent man, with
pure principles, loved by many people will never lose his mind. He will
never let his integrity and moral be compromised or broken, and this
remains true even if that person is placed in the most isolated cell.
As Jose Marti said: "A just principle from
the bottom of a cave is stronger than an army."
To you, our eternal
gratitude for your immense and constant support that makes us continue to
be resistant and makes us taste our inevitable freedom each
Happy New Year 2014!
We wish you health,
happiness and success in your goals.
Five big embraces
TIE A YELLOW
Under the rain of
between our two
where light passes
tie a yellow ribbon.
On the balcony of
on the tree on the
on your door that is
tie a yellow ribbon.
For the world to see
like a flower
to the tip of a star
tie a yellow ribbon.
Although I know how
much you love me,
how much your life
is my life;
although I know you
tie a yellow ribbon.
Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez
December 24, 2013
Message from Ramón
Dear sisters and
This year 2013 is
reaching an end and we want to express our gratitude and love to every one
Thanks so much for
your solidarity and support!
solidarity and freedom!
December 21, 2013
Message from Fernando
We have arrived at
the end of another year. It has been a period of enormous effort and
significant results in the fight for our liberation.
This year that is
ending leaves us with the satisfaction of the definitive return of René to
the homeland and the encouragement of what his contribution means to the
campaign for the release of the Five.
There have been
several moments that have marked milestones during this year on the
work of the solidarity with our cause. Let us mention for example, without
diminishing the significance of everyone's efforts, the Second Five days
for the Cuban Five held in the United States capital, the 9th Colloquium in
Holguin, the legal victory obtained when a judge ordered the U.S.
Government to make public information about journalists who received
payments, the publication of the book "What
Lies Across the Water, the true story of the Cuban Five"
and the tour of its author, Stephen Kimber, in several North American
cities. We cannot fail to mention the activities in all parts of the world
to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of our unfair arrests. These are
just a few of the significant moments of your work this year. These efforts
include many countries of the world in each of the continents.
For all of this
outstanding work we are deeply grateful. The case of Cubans 5 imprisoned in
the United States is now public knowledge and has penetrated the circles of
power thanks to the work of you. Pressure on these circles is thanks to the
solidarity of hundreds of thousands of friends around the world.
Let us welcome the
New Year with renewed enthusiasm, with the same spirit of struggle and the
same confidence in the triumph of the truth. We humbly ask you to give your
full support to the convening of the International Commission of Inquiry in
the case of the Cuban Five that will take place in London England at the
beginning of March. Our gratitude for the work of all those European
committees involved in the organizing of this event.
Let us also give our
full support to the activities during the month of June for the "Third
5 Days for the Cuban Five" in Washington, D.C., organized by the
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5. We welcome
enthusiastically the initiatives of the National Committee to Free the
Cuban Five in the United States and of all the committees which operate on
our behalf in almost all countries of the world.
To all of you in any
part of the universe where you are building solidarity through your
activism, accept our infinite gratitude for another year of efforts and
achievements in the fight for our liberation.
To all a Happy New
Year. Let 2014 be another year of victories and advances in the struggle.
FCI Safford, Arizona
December 21, 2013
To support the
projects of the International Committee DONATE
THE CUBAN FIVE DEBATE
a review by law student Pete-Semaj McKnight for Mona Law Society's publication called "Precedent"
The debating teams and executive members of the Mona Law Society pose for a picture with Cuban Ambassador Bernardo Guanche Hernandez.
“Human rights are inalienable, immutable and universal
principles that are incidents of an individual’s humanity”
These were the overarching themes pervading Lecture Theatre Room
2 during the Cuban Five debate that was held on October 3, 2013 at the
University of West Indies Law Faculty.
The Cuban Five are five Cuban Intelligence Officers said to be
unfairly imprisoned in the United States. They were convicted of conspiracy to
commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder acting as an agent of the foreign
government and related charges. The men, who were imprisoned in the late
1990’s, contended that their actions were not directed to the U.S government.
Their defense was that they were there on a government mission in Miami, to
monitor a terrorist based group, in order to prevent them from continuing their
attacks on Cuba. The men also argued that their right to a fair trial had been
infringed due to the lack of evidence the US had against them as well as the inevitable
bias that jury members would have against them since they resided in a florida
community with strong anti-cuba sentiments. Even the United Nations Commission
on Human Rights noted that “the trial did not take place in a climate of
objectivity and impartiality that is required in order to conform to the
standards of a fair trial.” It was an evening poised with fluidity, expression, and cultural integration with our Cuban neighbors. The debate was scheduled to begin at 5:30pm, and so it did with a brilliant rendition of Redemption Song by Jheavaughn Leon, reiterating the concept of freedom while awaiting the arrival of the Cuban Ambassador Senor Bernardo Guanche Hernandez. Ms. Rowana Kay Campbell the Legal Educations Officer, with her Committee, orchestrated the entire event and opened the proceedings. The Moot presented before us was: "Be it resolved that the Cuban Five were unjustly and unfairly prosecuted and convicted in the United States of America?"
This daunting task was accepted by Yanique Wilson and Jared
Wright, first and second year students respectively, who comprised the
proposing team. The opposing team members were third years Jameila Simpson and
Jermaine Campbell. Dr. Biholar, currently Lecturer of International Human
Rights Law, and Mr. Osvaldo Cardenas were members of the reviewing panel. The
procedures were clearly instructed, setting the stage for an entertaining
The proposition elucidated points stating that the United States
government was abrogating components of Public International Law, such as, Use
of Force, State Responsibility, State Immunity and the Law of Treaties .
Inevitably they identified that Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law
of Treaties was not being fulfilled because the US government failed to observe
the right to a fair trial outlined in Article 10 in the Universal
Declarations of Human rights. They then proceeded to identify the
impropriety and unfair treatment the U.S government subjected the Cuban Five
to, reaffirming that it was unconstitutional. Finally they purported that it
should have been dealt with as an international matter, instead of a domestic
one. Their counterparts, the opposition, argued the position of the U.S.
prosecutors with vigor and passion stating that the US government fairly tried
and prosecuted the Cuban five. This was substantiated by stating the intended
purpose for each indictment, such as it would prevent terrorism and that it was
beyond a reasonable doubt that the Cuban Five were prima facie guilty. After
the dust settled, the reviewing panel concluded in the propositions favor,
awarding them the victor of the debate. Dr. Biholar commented that their
argument was more detailed, organized and deeply rooted in legal principles.
Albeit the opposition did a valiant job to debunk in the minds
of especially the Cuban delegates that this was just and fair under the law.
Each speaker brought to the fore their own, individuality, but it was the
first Speaker of the proposition Ms .Wilson who captivated the audience. She
eloquently argued her points, earning her several commendations. Positive
remarks on the debate were given by Senor Osvaldo Cardenas President of the
Cuban Jamaican Association.However, it was ultimately the Cuban Ambassador who
had the final word. He addressed the patrons, thanked everyone that attended,
commended the proposition and gave greater incite to the case. There was then a
In hindsight the Cuban Five debate was excellently executed and
a huge a success for the Mona Law Society and the entire law faculty.
YESCUBA ON THE 15th ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNJUST ARREST OF THE CUBAN FIVE
the 15th anniversary of the
unjust arrest and incarceration of our brave Cuban brothers Ramon, Antonio,
Fernando, Gerardo and Rene. It is no comfort to us that Fernando will be
released in February next year because he should not have been imprisoned in
the first place. The fact that Rene is home in the arms of his family and the
Cuban people instead of completing a 3-year parole, which further compounded
the injustice against him, is an indication of the strength of the global
solidarity movement for the freedom of the 5 Cuban Heroes. It proves the mantra
of the global progressive movement that the people united can never be defeated
or as we say in Spanish “El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido.” It encourages us
to continue to fight for the freedom of the remaining 4 and to continue to
demand that all 5 be exonerated of the charges against them.
of yellow ribbons must really warm the heart Ramon, Antonio, Fernando and
Gerardo, to think that after so many years the energy of the struggle for their
freedom has not waned but grows stronger and more creative day by day.
We’d like to
take this opportunity to announce that on October 3, UWI law students will hold
a debate on the case of the 5 heroes. We are heartened by the positive response
of the Mona Law Society from the moment we approached them with the idea and we
look forward to this idea finally coming to fruition. So we are asking you to
note the date because we would like a good turnout to the event.
In closing we would
like to welcome to the new Cuban ambassador, His Excellency Bernardo Guanche
Hernandez and his family. We wish him a successful tour of duty. We’d like to
assure him that he can count on our continued solidarity and support.
FROM THE FREE THE FIVE HEROES RALLY ORGANISED BY THE JAMAICA CUBA FRIENDSHIP
ASSOCIATION IN COLLABORATION WITH THE ENTIRE JAMAICA CUBA SOLIDARITY NETWORK
KINGSTON, JAMAICA, JUNE 5 2013
who are gathered here today as part of
the “Five Days for the Five” global campaign, in solidarity with the Five Cuban
Heroes, four of whom are still unjustly incarcerated in the United States,
demand that President Obama act now to
free these five anti-terrorists of all charges and return Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González to their
homeland. We further call on President Obama to immediately terminate the criminal
blockade against Cuba.
Pictures of the Free the Five march in Washington DC in 2013
Press Conference in Washington at the beginning of Five Days for The Five in 2013
What do Marcus Garvey and the Cuban Five have in common?
They were jailed on spurious charges because of their noble stand for just causes.
Marcus Garvey struggled to restore the dignity and respect of the black race. He was imprisoned for mail fraud to the tune of US$25 in June 1923, and after spending two years and nine months in an Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, was deported from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jamaica on a ship. The Barack Obama-led US administration has flatly rejected a request for a presidential pardon for Jamaica's national hero, the Right Honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. Just think, the efforts of Marcus Garvey helped to create the possibility for Barack to become President of the United States at this juncture in history. How will history view Barack Obama?
The Cuban Five risked their lives to expose terrorist plots that would have wantonly massacred human lives and threatened the sovereignty of Cuba. Instead of congratulating them for their efforts which also spared American lives, the American authorities arrested Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and *René González on false charges and imprisoned them without a fair trial. President Obama can use his executive powers to free these men but he has not moved a muscle to sign such an order.
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are unjustly imprisoned in the United States after being arrested by the FBI on Sept. 12, 1998 and convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami in 2001, in a political prosecution by the U.S. government.
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.
The Five’s actions were never directed at the U.S. government. They never engaged in nor planned any conspiracy against the government.
As the Cuban Five pointed out in their defense, they were on a mission in Miami, beginning in 1990, to monitor the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent those groups from carrying out attacks on their country of Cuba.
They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any weapons on their mission. Their objective was simply protecting people from terrorism.
For more than 40 years, anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based in Miami have engaged in hundreds of terrorist activities against Cuba, and against anyone who advocates a normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. A total of 3,478 Cubans have died as a result of terrorist violence, and 2,099 have been injured.
Avowedly violent organizations like Comandos F-4, Brothers to the Rescue, Cuban American National Foundation’s armed wing, and individuals like Luis Posada Carriles, have operated with complete impunity from within the United States to attack Cuba—with the knowledge and support of the FBI and CIA.
The U.S. government refused to act to arrest or prosecute well-known, notorious terrorists in Miami, despite overwhelming evidence of their crimes.
The Cuban Five infiltrated the terrorist organizations in Miami to inform Cuba of imminent attack and to thwart the terrorists’ plots.
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 solitary confinement for 17 months in Miami prison. The seven-month trial began in November 2000, and at the time of the trial was the longest trial in the United States.
With the trial based in Miami, a virtual witch-hunt atmosphere existed, in which defendants identified as supportive of Cuba could not hope to receive an impartial trial. Defense attorneys’ motions for a change of venue were denied several times by Judge Joan Lenard.
The Cuban Five were convicted June 8, 2001 and sentenced to four life terms and 75 years in December, 2001.
A major victory in appeals, then a reversal
On August 9, 2005, after seven years of unjust imprisonment, the Cuban Five won an unprecedented victory on appeal. In a unanimous 93-page decision, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions of the Cuban Five and ordered a new trial. The court called their prosecution “a perfect storm” of pervasive community prejudice, government misconduct and extensive negative publicity before and during the trial.
However, the Bush administration appealed, and exactly one year after the favorable ruling granting the Five a new trial, the full panel of the 11th Circuit Court ruled to reverse their victory. Their convictions were reinstated, although later court decisions reduced the sentences of three of the Five, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, in October and December 2009.
* (René González was released on Oct. 7, 2011 after completing his sentence, but the court, in a punitive measure, is denying him the right to return to Cuba to his family, and instead requiring him to serve a 3-year probation sentence in the United States).
Public support for their freedom is critical
This case is a political case and the Cuban Five are political prisoners.
Their freedom will depend not only on the arduous work of the defense team but just as importantly, on the public support that can be organized. Over 350 committees have been established in the United States and around the world, demanding immediate freedom for Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René.
Important declarations have been made by hundreds of parliamentarians in Britain, Italy, and the European and Latin American Parliaments. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, composed of five judges, ruled in May 2005 that there were irregularities in the Five’s trial and arrest, effectively denying them a fair trial. The Working Group — in its only decision regarding a trial in the United States — calls on the U.S. government to remedy this injustice.
In the United States, the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five is working very hard to build broad support for these anti-terrorist heroes, with forums and video showings, media and publicity work, marches, petitions and other publicity.
The year 2012 will be critical for the struggle to win freedom for the Cuban Five. Call or write us! Find out how you can do your part to win justice for five men who dedicated their lives to save others.
Extradite CIA AssasSin Luis Posada Carriles
Wanted for terrorism in Venezuela, Cuba, and Central America;
Living in Miami, protected by the U.S. Government
Luis Posada Carriles is the most notorious of the many Miami-based terrorists who the Cuban Five were monitoring and preventing from carrying out further acts of terrorism against the people of Cuba and others around the world. His most notorious crime was masterminding the mid-air explosion of Cubana Flight 455 in 1976, killing all 73 people on board. He is wanted in Venezuela on 73 counts of murder, and the U.S. government has been studiously ignoring the Venezuelan government's extradition request.
Gerardo Hernández • René González • Antonio Guerrero • Ramon Labañino • Fernando González
Free the Cuban Five Heroes Unjustly Held in U.S. Prisons!