Wednesday, September 26, 2007

International Solidarity Efforts Underway for the Cuban Five; Detroit Event Planned for Oct. 4

MI Campaign To Free the Cuban Five/Justice for Cuba Coalition
PO Box 39188 - Redford, MI 48239
email: - phone: 313-561-8330

International Month of Solidarity with the Cuban Five
Detroit Forum

Report back from Appeal Hearing
by Judge Claudia Morcom

Plus a 33 min. DVD - "Philip Agee, Cuba, and the CIA," by the producers of "Mission Against Terror," Bernie Dwyer and Roberto Rebo of Two Islands productions
Date: Thursday, Oct. 4
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: International Institute 111 E. Kirby (at John R.)

Once again, in violation of U.S. and International laws and norms Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez were again denied visas to merely visit their imprisoned loved ones and see them with their own eyes.

This meeting is part of the International Days of Solidarity with the Cuban Five from Sept. 12, the anniversary of their false arrest to Oct. 6, the anniversary of the first mid-air bombing of a passenger plane - Cubana 455 as it took off from Barbados - killing all 73 passengers in 1976.

Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch who engineered this violence against Cuban and international civilians walk free in Miami today, while Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández, René González, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labanino, who peacefully monitored the anti-Cuba para-militaries are in prison.

U.S. organizations reiterate support for the Five

NEW YORK, September 25 (PL).— Diverse organizations in the United States have called for the release of the five Cubans imprisoned in that country for fighting terrorism and condemned the violations committed by Washington against the men.

An event that was held within the framework of the International Days of Solidarity with the Five – as they are known throughout the world – saw the participation of Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque and the Reverend Lucius Walker, coordinator of Pastors for Peace.

During the event, participants analyzed the current situation of the men’s case and diverse organizations reaffirmed their commitment to defend justice and the human rights of the relatives of these individuals.

Leonard Weinglass, one the of the Five’s defense lawyers, informed the auditorium about the hearing before the Appeals Court in Atlanta last August 20 and the current legal situation surrounding the case.

During his contribution, the Cuban foreign minister thanked the many organizations that have demonstrated solidarity with the cause of René González, Gerardo Fernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and Ramón Labañino for their growing support.

He likewise urged them to continue fighting until the Five are released and can return to the island.

Pérez Roque also referred to the battle that is being fought by the Cuban people in order to confront the economic blockade imposed by the White House.

The head of Cuban diplomacy highlighted the isolation of the Bush administration in the face of the international community’s generalized support for the resolution condemning the blockade passed every year by the UN General Assembly.

Translated by Granma International

Former assistant to Colin Powell denounces injustices committed against the Cuban Five

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD — Granma International staff writer —

DEEPLY disgusted by the many injustices surrounding the case of the Cuban Five, Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to General Colin Powell, has published an open letter in which he not only denounces the situation of the Five, but calls for public demonstrations in support of the five anti-terrorists locked up by Bush’s government.

Wilkerson, a retired U.S. Army colonel and assistant to former Secretary of State Powell, said he based his courageous stance on the Five largely on his extensive knowledge of the George W. Bush administration.

Wilkerson said that he became convinced that defending the Five was a just cause after attending a Sept. 12 lecture by defense attorney Leonard Weinglass at Howard University Law School.

"I was stunned by what counselor Weinglass revealed," Wilkerson commented.

The former colonel was a right-hand man to Powell for most of 16 years, including while Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and while he was Secretary of State. His other posts include serving as director and deputy director of the U.S. Marine Corps War College at Quantico, Virginia.

After recounting in detail the facts and arguments laid out by Weinglass, Wilkerson commented that on how the case "sort of takes the cake: to punish with life sentences men who came here to determine how and when their country was going to be attacked by people breaking U.S. law.

"These men were unarmed, not intent on any physical damage to the United States, and were motivated to protect their fellow citizens from invasion and repeated attacks by Cuban-Americans living in Florida.

"And we have to ask also, just how is it that we have become a safe haven for alleged terrorists? How is it that we—the United States of America—may rate a place on our own list of states that sponsor terrorism?

"If the facts are as counselor Weinglass reported, this case is truly the bottom of the pit. I had great trouble believing it, but I had nothing with which to refute Mr. Weinglass' superbly delivered presentation. But more than that was my four years inside the Bush Administration. You see, I know the depths to which our government is capable of sinking. Torture. Lies. False intelligence. Tyranny.

"Is the continued failure to resolve fairly this case against the Cuban Five, even though it began in the second Clinton administration, really so unbelievable when cast against the characters of the current administration?" he asked.

Wilkerson concluded his letter by inviting readers to talk about the case with congress members. "This is a travesty," he said, noting that "America has many disastrous actions chalked up to its discredit at the moment...

The retired colonel has harshly criticized U.S. policy since leaving the White House in January 2005.

In an interview with the New York Times, he commented that the decision to speak openly about Bush’s policies during his first mandate were "slow in coming," but encouraged by revelations about Abu Ghraib.

The former advisor to Powell described George W. Bush as an "amateur" managing an administration that is murky, stupid and with a tendency toward disaster, both internally and externally.

Translated by Granma International

Families of the Cuban Five received by Namibian leaders

WINDHOEK, Namibia. Sept. 26(PL) — President Hifikepunye Pohamba and historic Namibian leader Sam Nujoma welcomed relatives of three of the five Cuban anti-terrorists imprisoned in the United States, Prensa Latina reported, quoting a diplomatic source.

Magali Llort, mother of Fernando González; Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo Hernández, and Irma González, daughter of René González, visited that African nation Sept. 21 until Tuesday Sept. 25 as part of the International Solidarity Days to Free the Five. They also had meetings with members of labor unions, religious, youth and women’s organizations and Cuba solidarity groups.

The organizers of the relatives’ visit expected that the three would be heard by legislators from the ruling party, SWAPO (South West African People’s Organization), at the National Assembly in this capital.

The three women arrived in Namibia after a six-day visit to South Africa, where they were warmly welcomed. They have contributed with their presence to highlighting the International Days of Solidarity with the Five, an international campaign that got underway in 115 nations on Sept. 12 and continues until Oct. 8.

Translated by Granma International

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