Supporters of Cuban Five redouble their efforts
Feb 23, 2006
Cuban Five defense attorneys delivered a solid argument for justice and
freedom on Feb. 14. The full 13-member 11th Circuit Court heard lawyers Leonard
Weinglass and Rich ard Klugh defend the unanimous decision of a three-judge
panel that overturned the unjust convictions of the Five.
Leonard Weinglass, lawyer for
the Cuban Five.
photo: Cheryl LaBash
In August 2005 that ruling found that a fair and impartial trial had been
impossible in the center of the CIA-backed, anti-Cuba mercenaries: Miami,
The U.S. prosecutor, on the other hand, decided to prolong what a United
Nations Commission has termed an “arbitrary detention.” The
prosecution has not abided by the August 2005 decision for a new trial in an
impartial location. Nor has it repatriated the Five to their homes and loved
ones in Cuba. Instead, the Five—Gerardo Hernández, Ramón
Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fer nan do González and René
González —have been imprisoned since 1998 in the United States. They
are unjustly behind bars for working in this country to prevent terrorist
attacks against Cuba.
Following the hearing, the National Committee to Free the Five (NCFF)
organized a media conference and a community meeting at Spelman College. The
events highlighted supporters who had traveled to Atlanta to support the Cuban
Five from across the United States and around the world.
A U.S. media blockade prevents most people in the United States from
learning how Washington protects admitted anti-Cuban terrorists like Luis
Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch. Yet at the same time it persecutes these
five men who merely monitored violent plans against their homeland Cuba.
However, international observers at the hearing demonstrated wide knowledge
and support for freeing the Cuban Five.
Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the NCFF, introduced these distinguished
observers. They included Kurt de Loor, a member of the Flemish Parliament in
Belgium, who is responsible for a new declaration on the violation of human
rights in the case of the Cuban 5. The declaration was signed by 32 Belgian
MPs, the members of the Flemish Parlia ment, the Belgian parliament, the House
of Representatives and the Senate, and one member of the European
Additional international supporters included Eberhard Schultz, who is from
the Berlin Bar Association, the International League of Human Rights in Berlin
and the Republican Lawyers Guild; Edith Flamant, a Belgian attorney; Father
Geoffrey Bottoms, leader of the British Cam paign to Free the Cuban Five, who
is touring the United States with the film “Mission Against
Terror”; Bernie Dwyer, from Ireland, who is co-director of the
documentary; Fabio Marcelli, an Italian attorney representing the International
Associ ation of Democratic Lawyers; Judge Claudia Morcom, a long-time civil
rights activist from Detroit and judge of Wayne County Circuit Court from 1983
to 1998; and Carlos Zamorano, a well-known and distinguished attorney from
Stop terrorism—made in USA!
Speaking at the media conference, Andres Gomez—director of the Antonio
Maceo Brigade in Miami—demanded “the end of U.S. support for
terrorist organizations of the Cuban right wing that, from U.S. soil, have
planned and conducted terrorist attacks against the Cuban people on the island
for the last 47 years, and have also been responsible for assassinations and
other terrorist attacks against those that oppose your methods and political
aims in the United States.”
Gomez also directs Areíto Digital magazine and is one of the leading
activists of the Alianza Martiana, an alliance of Cuban organizations in Miami.
He stated, “The Cubans and Cuban Americans in Miami are the first victims
of terrorism conducted by extreme right-wing organizations. They are unable to
pronounce themselves freely on subjects related to Cuba because of the threat
of violence against them. This is not a supposition. Hundreds of terrorist acts
have been committed by those organizations in the United States, specifically
Free the Five committees—from Los Angeles, New York City, Louis ville
and Detroit—the National Net work on Cuba and the Inter national Action
Center all participated in the Atlanta support actions. Family members of the
Cuban Five expressed their deep gratitude for the solidarity and support.
Leonard Weinglass, attorney for Antonio Guerrero, concluded, “The last
time we argued this case before a panel of this court, three judges in a
unanimous 93-page decision found that the case would have to be reversed
because the case represented a perfect storm of prejudice against the Five
Cubans who were charged.
“I believe that this court will not convert that perfect storm of
prejudice into a bright and sunny day of neutrality in Miami, because anyone
examining the 119 volumes of transcript, in what was the longest trial in the
United States at the time that it occurred, plus the 800 exhibits, over 20,000
pages, will reach the same conclusion.
“This case has been examined not only by three judges of the circuit
who reached that conclusion, but by five judges of the United Nations Work ing
Group on Arbitrary Deten tion. Those five judges in May of this year 
also found that the Five did not receive a fair trial in Miami. In other words,
this case has been reviewed by no fewer than eight judges, three in this
circuit, five in the UN. All eight agreed unanimously that the Five did not
receive a fair trial.
“So as we stand now before 13 judges, which includes two of the
original judges, we feel hopeful and even optimistic, that finally, finally
after seven years, there will be a recognition that the Five did not have a
fair process, and that their convictions will be reversed.”
Organizations are redoubling their efforts to mobilize support to free the
five heroes in the months before the 11th Circuit Court decision. The Five
Freedom Fund is raising $250,000 for a New York Times ad and other publicity to
break the media blockade.
For more information contact: www.freethefive.org, www.antiterroristas.cu, www.freethefiveny.org,