Monday, June 8th
New York City Federal Building
26 Federal Plaza, Manhattan
(4, 5, 6, J, M, Z, R, W to City Hall
or A, C, 1, 2, 3 to Chambers)
Join us on the streets of New York City June 8 to demand that Washington Free the Cuban Five Now! Currently the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether or not to review the case of the Five. A decision is expected in the third week of June.
Since their arrest in Miami in September of 1998, the Five — Fernando González, René González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández, and Ramon Labañino — have been locked up in U.S. prisons. At the time, the Five were in Miami monitoring right-wing Cuban organizations with a long record of organizing violent attacks against Cuba. At the time of the Five's mission there had b een a series of terrorist bombings at Havana hotels organized out of Miami. Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 over 3500 Cubans have died in terrorist attacks organized from organizations based in the United States. Cuban government officials repeatedly urged the Clinton Administration to move against these rightist organizations. Instead Washington arrested and framed up the Cuban Five on unproved and unprovable "espionage" charges.
Lacking hard evidence to support their main charges, the U.S. government charged
them with a series of "conspiracy" charges, including conspiracy to commit espionage. The five were convicted in 2001 in Miami in a blatant political frame-up trial. (Read this recent telephone interview with Gerardo Hernández to get a better feel for what's involved in this case:
June 8th 2009 we will send a strong message to the U.S. government and President Obama to release these five Cuban political prisoners immediately!
This action organized by the July 26th Coalition is part of a call for International Days of Action June 6-8. Protests will be organized across the globe on those days to raise awareness of this case and demand freedom for the five. The call was issued by the Second International Youth Summit in Solidarity with the Cuban Five held in
Havana May 11-12. At that gathering, 145 delegates, representing 42 countries and 86 organizations came together to discuss how to advance this international struggle.
Our voices are also strengthened by a record number of 12 "friend of the court" briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Cuban Five. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Lawyers Guild, National Conference of Black Lawyers, and 12 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates are among the groups that filed briefs. They are very useful reading to get a feel for the legal, civil liberties, and fairness issues at stake in this struggle. All of the briefs are available at:
We will also be demanding immediate visas for the families of the Cuban Five to visit them in U.S. prisons until they are free. Olga Salanueva, wife of Ramon Labañino, and Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo Hernández, have not been allowed the elementary right to visit their husbands in prison for the past ten years. They have been denied visas to enter the United States nine times by the U.S. government. This act of psychological torture is a clear violation of basic human rights and is part a long record of assaults on the rights of the five men, including brutal and arbitrary punishment, by the U.S. authorities aimed at breaking them.
This mobilization is part of our continuing struggle to break the media silence, educate and mobilize around this case. Join us at the Federal Building June 8 and let's expand the campaign to win freedom for the Five.