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Cuban Five

Marxist economist Claudio Katz on the Cuban Revolution and its economic reforms

Small businesses in Havana, 2014.

By Claudio Katz, introduction by Richard Fidler

December 29, 2014 -- Life on the Left, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with the author's permission -- The release December 17 of the remaining three of five Cubans held for 15 years in US prisons is an historic victory for the Cuban people, their government and supporters around the world.

Ramon Labañino, Geraldo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero joined Fernando González and René González, released earlier, in an emotional reception in Havana with President Raúl Castro.

The five were arrested in 1998 while working in Miami to uncover terrorist plots against the people of Cuba being masterminded by anticommunist extremists in Florida. In a 2001 report to the United Nations, the Cuban government catalogued 3,478 deaths on the island as a result of terrorism, aggression, acts of piracy and other actions. Many of these actions were attributed to operatives of the CIA.

For background information on the case of the Cuban Five, see http://www.freethefive.org/.

Cuban Five now all free! Will the US blockade of Cuba now end?

Click HERE for background on the Cuban Five.

By Julie Webb-Pullman

December 18, 2014 -- Scoop -- Cubans and many others around the world are jubilantly celebrating the return to Cuba on December 17 of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, the final three members of the Cuban Five to be released from US prisons, in a prisoner swap for US spy Alan Gross.

Cuba's President Raul Castro said in Havana that the release of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters was the culmination of a respectful and reciprocal dialogue, without detriment to Cuba's national independence and sovereignty.

In a simultaneous address in the United States, President Barack Obama announced the release of Alan Gross, who arrived back in the United States on December 17 morning with his wife.

At the same time, both leaders announced a normalisation of relations, including re-establishment of diplomatic relations and an easing of US economic and travel restrictions on Cuba.

However, the complete lifting of the 50-year blockade requires US Congress approval.

In his announcement, Obama said that isolation has not worked, and it is time to try a new approach.

Cuban Five: Judge issues cruel and bizarre ruling

Judge Lenard order's René González to live in Miami on supervised release

[Below the article is a model protest letter; please adapt and send. For more background to the cases of the Cuban Five, click HERE.]

By Jose Pertierra

September 19, 2011 -- Counterpunch via the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society -- On September 16, a US federal district court judge made a bizarre ruling concerning one of the Cuban Five defendants who completes his jail sentence on October 7. Judge Joan Lenard ruled that René Gonzalez, who has already served 13 years in a federal penitentiary for being an unregistered agent of the Cuban government, will be forced for the next three years to live in Miami on what is called “supervised release”.

Gonzalez had asked the court to allow him to return home to Cuba to be with his wife, Olga, and his two daughters, Ivette and Irma. Several years ago, the US Department of State decided to permanently bar Olga from getting a visa to come to the United States. She has been able to visit her husband only once during the last 13 years. A cruel and unusual punishment for any prisoner.

Leonard Weinglass (1933-2011)

By John Mage

March 25, 2011 -- Leonard Weinglass, a leading leftwing lawyer in the United States with an international perspective, died in the early evening on March 23, 2011. Len, who died on his 78th birthday, fell ill in late January while in Cuba. In the first days of February exploratory surgery at Montefiore Hospital discovered that he had inoperable cancer of the pancreas.

Lenny, a 1958 graduate of Yale Law School, became active in the US left lawyers' organisation, the National Lawyers Guild, in the course of the civil rights movements of the 1960s. He rose to fame as co-counsel with Bill Kunstler in the Chicago Seven (originally Chicago Eight) conspiracy trial of 1969-70. The seven defendants -- Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines and Lee Weiner -- were charged with conspiracy, inciting to riot and other charges arising from the mass protests in Chicago, Illinois at the time of the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Weinglass (sixth from left) with the Chigago Seven.

Washington's war of terror against Cuba

By Jane Franklin

September 25, 2010 -- janefranklin.info -- On September 19, 1960, Fidel Castro and Malcolm X had an historic meeting in Harlem’s Hotel Theresa. Fifty years later people packed a meeting hall in the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building across 125th Street to commemorate that meeting. Among them were Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla and Cuban ambassador to the United Nations Pedro Núñez Mosquera.

What a different kind of commemoration we could have had if such important leaders as Malcolm X, Patrice Lumumba, Martin Luther King, Jr., Fred Hampton and countless others had not been assassinated. When Malcolm X met with Fidel Castro they talked about Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, a leader whose importance for Africa and all of us was globally recognised. Only five days earlier, Lumumba had been overthrown by Colonel Joseph Mobutu with the support of the CIA. Four months later Lumumba was executed. And in less than five years assassination took away the life of Malcolm X himself.

Justice in Wonderland: The untold story of the Cuban Five

By Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba’s National Assemby

I. Remember Elian?

“It takes all the running you can do,
to keep in the same place” -- Through the Looking Glass

May 29, 2010 -- The case of Elian González, a six-year-old boy abducted by his unknown-to-him great-uncles and against the will of his father, in clear defiance of US law and decency, was widely reported by the media around the world. Miami, the place of the kidnapping, became a kind of secessionist city in North America when the mayor, the chief of police, the politicians, every newspaper and local radio and TV broadcasters, together with religious and business institutions, joined notorious terrorist and violent groups in opposing court and government orders to free the boy.

It was necessary for a special forces team sent from Washington DC to launch a surreptitious and swift operation to occupy several houses, disarm the heavily armed individuals hidden there and in the neighbourhood to save the child and restore law.

Everybody followed that story. Day in and day out.

But practically nobody knew that, at the very same time, in exactly the same city, Miami, five other young Cubans were arbitrary deprived from their freedom and subjected to a gross miscarriage of justice.

Audio: Attorney Leonard Weinglass on the Cuban Five

Steal This Radio -- Attorney Leonard Weinglass discusses the case of the Cuban Five with Mitchel Cohen. The show first aired on August 11, 2009.

Hypocrisy over Cuba’s `political prisoners'

By Tim Anderson

September 13, 2009 -- Political prisoners and Cuba can be a confusing mix, in our times of mass propaganda. Three groups have attracted international attention, over the past decade.

The first group, 70 or so (the ``dissidents''), were arrested in March 2003 by the Cuban government and charged with taking money from a US program which aims to overthrow the Cuban constitution. Amnesty International and many European states, along with the US government, immediately declared them ``prisoners of conscience''. A number have since been released.

The second group of several hundred (``enemy combatants'') were collected by the US government in Afghanistan and Pakistan over 2001-2002 and held for many years in concentration camps at a US military base carved out of the island of Cuba. International protest built up more slowly, and eight years on many are still held without charge or trial.

The third group of five men (``the Cuban Five'’) were arrested in the US in 1998 and accused of being spies, for passing on information about groups in south Florida that were preparing terrorist attacks on Cuba. The US courts have rubber-stamped their convictions. On September 12, 2009, they completed 11 years in US jails.

Chronicle of an injustice: Summary of the case of the Cuban Five (+ video)

By Leonard Weinglass, attorney for the defence

September 23, 2008 -- After decades of enduring attacks within Cuba’s own borders (acts of arson, sabotage, assassinations and the use of biological weapons) perpetrated by anti-Cuban terrorist groups based in southern Florida that enjoy the support and consent of the US government, and after the United States repeatedly refused to implement measures to prevent such attacks, a group of unarmed men travelled from Cuba to the United States to monitor the activities of mercenary groups responsible for those attacks and organisations that support them and to warn Cuba of their aggressive intentions.

* * *

September 12, 2008, protest in Washington DC to mark the tenth anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban 5

 

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