Sunday, June 21, 2015

South Africa Honored To Host The Five Cuban Heroes
17 June 2015

The African National Congress takes great pleasure in announcing the visit of the Five Cuban Heroes (Cuban 5) to South Africa from the 21st June to the 3rd July 2015. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon LabaƱino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez are five Cuban nationals who were arrested in Miami, Florida, on September 1998 and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage. In a highly irregular trial in 2001, they were found guilty, even though no evidence was ever produced to prove that they had actually carried out espionage or conspiracy to commit murder, which was a later charge, or that they had conspired in any way to act against the U.S. government or the people of the United States. One of them was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences; two were condemned to one life sentence, and two to sentences of 15 and 17 years, respectively. Four of the sentences were later reduced, not the two consecutive life sentences. Because of the nature of their dangerous mission, of their selfless sacrifice for their nation and because of the injustices to which they were subjected, they were declared Heroes of the Republic of Cuba.

South Africa has the immeasurable honour of being the first country to host the Cuban Five under the theme "Cuban Five Heroes: Tribute to International Solidarity". The visit, initiated by the Alliance, is intended to be a celebration of the triumph of international solidarity which led to release from unjust imprisonment of the Cuban 5. It is further intended to convey and strengthen fraternal solidarity between South Africa and Cuba and the peoples of these countries.

As part of the buildup to the arrival of the five Cuban Heroes on South African soil, the ANC led alliance will lead a march to the USA embassy in Pretoria on Friday, 19 June 2015. The march forms part of our ongoing campaign for lifting of the unjust economic blockade against Cuba and intends to intensify calls for this demand.

Activity: March to the US Embassy
Date: Friday, 19 June 2015
Time: 09h30
Departure Point: Pretoria Art Gallery, Cnr. Schoeman and Francis Baard Streets, Tshwane

Heroes Welcome
Date: Sunday, 21 June 2015
Time: 10h00
Venue: OR Tambo International Airport

Wreath Laying in honour of OR Tambo
Date: Sunday, 21 June 2015
Time: 11h00
Venue: OR Tambo Cemetery, Wattville

Presentation of the Cuban Heroes to Media & South Africa (Media Briefing)
Date: Sunday, 21 June 2015
Time: 11h30
Venue: OR  Tambo Cemetery Precinct, Wattville

During this historic visit, the Cuban Five will visit the following five (5) Provinces: Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Free State Province. Further details on day-to-day activities will be communicated in due course.

Issued by the African National Congress
Enquiries Khusela Sangoni (072 854 5707) or Keith Khoza (082 823 9672)

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