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September 12-October 6: A period of international awareness in support of the Cuban Five

The president of the Cuban Parliament, Ricardo Alarcón, has urged that a period starting September 12 and ending October 6, 2006 be used to break down the silence surrounding the case of the Cuban Five as well as to condemn all terrorism and demand justice for its victims.

The struggle for the release of five Cubans unjustly imprisoned in the United States represents a battle against terrorism and for the truth, said Alarcón before an auditorium composed of representatives from some 70 countries on the last day of the Universidad 2006 conference in Havana.

On September 12, the Cuban Five will have spent eight years behind bars for fighting terrorism. The period suggested by the Cuban Parliament’s president includes two other key dates: September 21 and October 6, which represent the thirtieth anniversaries of the assassination of the former Chilean foreign minister, Orlando Letelier and the sabotage of a Cuban civilian airliner off the coast of Barbados, which cost the lives of all 73 innocents on board.

Documents recently declassified by the us authorities prove that not only did two terrorists—Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles—participate in these terrible acts, but that Washington has since covered up and protected the murderers.

Alarcón called for a massive international mobilisation to condemn the fallacy of the current anti-terrorism crusade that emanates from Washington, and to call for an end to the impunity enjoyed by Posada Carriles and Bosch and other internationally known criminals, as well as to demand the immediate release of the five Cubans.

He pointed out that the defence of the Five is above all the work they performed against terrorism—acts that today take priority in a world afflicted by wars carried out for this purpose.

Thus, he added, theirs is an example whereby the truth and the manipulation of information about their case have been constantly hidden—especially within the United States.

He said that this fight is over a basic right: that of people getting to know the truth.

Alarcón pointed out that the situation of the Five continued in spite of the fact that two prestigious organisations had determined the illegality of their trial.

On May 27, 2005 the United Nations Human Rights Commission Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions declared that the imprisonment of Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and René González was arbitrary and insisted that the government of the United States adopt measures to resolve the situation.

Then on August 9, 2005, a three-judge panel from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta unanimously overruled the sentences of the Cuban Five and ordered a new trial. The court recognised the right of the five Cubans to be impartially judged in a non-hostile environment as laid out by the us Constitution.

Ricardo Alarcón said that both rulings sought the release of the Five, but that their recommendations had been ignored by the Bush administration, above all because it had managed to keep the public misinformed.

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