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September 12, 2014 - No. 73

No to U.S. Double Standards on Terrorism

10th International Colloquium of
Solidarity with the Cuban Five and
Against Terrorism

Havana, Cuba, September 11, 2014

No to U.S. Double Standards on Terrorism
10th International Colloquium of Solidarity with the Cuban Five and Against Terrorism
Fabio, Forever in Our Thoughts - Granma International
Cuba Confers Friendship Medal on Keith Ellis
South African Parliament Calls on U.S. to Release All Cuban Five Patriots in U.S. Jails

End 16 Years of Unjust Imprisonment of Anti-Terrorist Cuban Patriots
International Campaign Underway
UK Denies Visa to René González
New Report of International Commission of Inquiry - Voices for the Five, Cuban Solidarity Campaign
Cuban Five Granted Nelson Mandela Prize by Philadelphia's Geller Foundation
Coming Events

No to U.S. Double Standards on Terrorism

10th International Colloquium of Solidarity with the
Cuban Five and Against Terrorism

The 10th International Colloquium of Solidarity with the Cuban Five and Against Terrorism is taking place September 11 and 12 in Havana. Some 285 delegates from 48 countries are participating, including a 30-member delegation from Canada. The Cuban Five are Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González. They were unjustly imprisoned by the U.S. in 1998, their only crime: monitoring the activities of anti-Cuba terrorist groups in Florida and reporting this information to U.S. authorities. René and Fernando have now returned to the U.S. after completing their sentences.

ICAP President Kenia Serrano at September 3, 2014 press conference.

The meeting takes place at an important moment in the movement to organize for the freedom of the remaining of the five Cuban political prisoners held in U.S. jails. The international solidarity movement is united in the call "16 years is 16 years too long: Not a single minute more!" in the world campaign that began September 4 and runs until October 6.

At a September 3 press conference, Kenia Serrano, President of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), explained the program. Delegates would include deputies of the Cuban Parliament, parliamentarians from abroad, representatives of organizations making up the Martí Alliance and Cubans living in the U.S., as well as representatives of Cuba solidarity organizations from the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and other countries, she said. Activists that have been participating in important events in Washington, DC and London are also present.

On September 11 at Havana's Convention Centre, delegates were addressed by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark. As well, the documentary "Justice in London," by Cuban film maker Roberto Chile was screened, and relatives of the Five held exchanges with delegates.

Also on September 11, delegates met with members of the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution.

On September 12, participants in the Colloquium are visiting universities and the Association of Cuban Journalists. In the afternoon, they are visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, where a work by Cuban artist Alexis Díaz, "Kcho," is on display -- a reproduction of "the hole" (solitary confinement) where the Five have often been held.

At left, Tonito, son of Antonio and Irma, daughter of René Gonzales.
At far fight, Aili, daughter of Ramon.

(With files from ACN. Photos: CubaDebate)

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Fabio, Forever in Our Thoughts

Commemorative event for Fabio Di Celmo, Cobacabana Hotel, September 4, 2014.

An event to remember, pay tribute and reaffirm revolutionary resolve, took place in the lobby of Hotel Copacabana in Havana on September 4, the 17th anniversary of the death of young Canadian of Italian origin and resident of Montreal, Fabio Di Celmo, marking the start of the International Event for the Freedom of the Cuban Five and Against Terrorism.

During the ceremony, in which a floral wreath was placed by the plaque in remembrance of Fabio, a moment of silence was held by workers and invited guests.

Solidarity and support was offered by all those affected by the tragic and unjust event to Fabrio's father Giustino Di Celmo, who attended the commemoration, together with Decorated Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Fernando González. Also in attendance at the ceremony were Kenia Serrano, President of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP); Mirtha Rodríguez, mother of Antonio Guerrero, and Graciela Ramírez, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, among other personalities.

Since that moment, 17 years ago, the Di Celmo family has become part of Cuba's history. They "add to the 3,477 victims of acts of terrorism," stated Haymel Espinosa, President of the Cuban Committee of the Families of Victims of Terrorism.

"This war unleashed by the United States against the Cuban Revolution as a state policy, has been evidenced throughout history and is fully demonstrable through the multiple, political; military; economic; biological; and diplomatic actions, among many others, which have been carried out against our country," emphasized Espinosa.

She also stated that the Cuban people will never cease in denouncing terrorism and crimes such as those perpetrated in the hotels Tritón, Chateau Miramar and Copacabana in 1997; and much less, abandon the cause of the three anti-terrorists still incarcerated in U.S. prisons.

"Today with us, are René and Fernando, heroes who like our people, continue to work on the difficult task of bringing them [Ramón, Gerardo and Antonio] back." Espinosa highlighted the important role of solidarity organizations in continuing the struggle for the freedom of the Cuban Five.

In addition to the commemoration ceremony, other actions took place all over the country under the banner of Fair Play. Other activities are scheduled to take place in 5,844 sports grounds around the country on the anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of the Five.

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Cuba Confers Friendship Medal on Keith Ellis

Prominent Canadian Intellectual Keith Ellis, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, was honored on September 9 in Havana with the prestigious Medal of Friendship in recognition of his long history of solidarity with Cuba.

The award by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba was granted at the proposal of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). The award was directly conferred by Fernando González, Vice President of ICAP, one of the Five Cuban Heroes unjustly imprisoned by the U.S. government for defending Cuba from terrorism.

Ellis, who was born in Jamaica in 1935, has an extensive history as an essayist, researcher, literary critic and translator. He expressed appreciation for the award and committed to multiplying his efforts in solidarity with Cuba.

"Many of us are dedicated to Cuba. We know why we do so and will continue to do so," he stated.

Professor Ellis's work as an essayist and literary critic encompasses such works as Narrative Art of Francisco Ayala (1964), Critical Approaches to Ruben Dario (1974) and Nicolas Guillen: New Poetry of Love (1994).

In addition, he has translated a substantial part of the poetry of José María Heredia and José Martí.

Ellis travelled to Havana as part of a delegation of more than 30 Canadians participating in the X Colloquium for the Cuban Five and Against terrorism, being held from September 11 to 12.

(Prensa Latina)

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South African Parliament Calls on U.S. to
Release All Cuban Five Patriots in U.S. Jails

On September 9, South Africa's National Assembly passed a resolution calling for the immediate release and freedom of the remaining members of the Cuban Five. It also calls on the U.S. to lift the economic blockade of Cuba and immediately engage Cuba more positively.

The resolution was based on the draft resolution tabled by the African National Congress Chief Whip, which called on the House to:

1. Note that the Cuban Five are five Cuban men who were charged by the United States government of committing espionage and conspiracy against the United States of America, and as such were imprisoned since September 12, 1998;

2. Remember that the Cuban Five's actions were not directed at the United States government, and that they did not engage in, nor plan any conspiracy against the government, but rather that they infiltrated terrorist organizations in Miami who were planning terrorist attacks on Cuba;

3. Further remember that they did not harm anyone nor did they possess or use any weapons on their mission which was simply to protect the people of Cuba from terrorism;

4. Believe that the United States should have worked with the Cuban Five clandestine anti-terrorist operation to prevent criminal acts and to deter terrorism in whatever form and wherever it came from as it is a growing threat to global stability;

5. Welcome the release of René González on October 7, 2011, after completing his sentence and his freedom finally being guaranteed in May 2013, and the release of Fernando González on February 27, 2014; and

6. Call upon the South African government, civil society and all South Africans to join the world in solidarity with the Cuban Five, and actively participate in forums, media, publicity work, marches and petitions geared at demanding the immediate release and freedom of the remaining members of the Cuban Five; and

7. Further call upon the President of the United States of America to lift the blockade immediately and engage Cuba more positively.

The resolution of the House will be sent to both the Cuban and American embassies for the attention of their governments.

(PoliticsWeb (South Africa))

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End 16 Years of Unjust Imprisonment of Anti-Terrorist Cuban Patriots

International Campaign Underway

On September 4, Cuba friendship organizations in 38 countries held actions to support the international campaign for the release of the three members of the Cuban Five who remain unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. going on 16 years. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, along with René Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez (internationally known as the Cuban Five), were arrested by U.S. authorities in 1998, for reporting to them violent actions against Cuba that terrorist groups were planning and executing from U.S. territory.

Of the five, only René González and Fernando González have returned to Cuba after completing their sentences, while the other three, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, remain imprisoned by the U.S., in defiance of world opinion demanding their immediate release and return to Cuba.

Picket outside the Whitehouse, June 7, 2014 during the Five Days for the Five.

The actions, which also oppose U.S. state-terror against Cuba and other countries, run until October 6, the 38th anniversary of the criminal bombing of a Cuban airliner off the coast of Barbados. October 6 is marked in Cuba as the Day to Commemorate the Victims of State Terrorism and honours the memory of not only the 76 people killed in the airline bombing but the thousands of other Cubans killed and injured by U.S.-backed terrorists.

Speaking about the campaign, Kenia Serrano, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), highlighted the contribution from international solidarity groups in this regard.

The coordinator of the International Committee of Solidarity with the Cuban Five, Graciela Ramirez, stated that the campaign will also include a vigil in front of the White House on September 12. Activists will also visit U.S. Congresspeople on Capitol Hill.

"We hope that this vigil to protest the unjust imprisonment of these men will be replicated with rallies in front of the U.S. embassies worldwide," Ramirez said, as she explained the various activities planned to demand the release of those Cubans.

In Havana, an exhibition, "Absueltos por la Solidaridad" (Absolved Through Solidarity), featuring 16 of Antonio Guerrero's watercolour paintings, will open on September 13. As Fernando González explained, the paintings reflect a number of ordeals faced by the Cuban Five.

René González meets Portugal-Cuba Friendship Association, September 4, 2014.

Marches, rallies and other actions will be held throughout Cuba, including a grand cultural gala on September 12 on the steps of the University of Havana.

In Portugal, political leaders and solidarity activists urged the U.S. government to release the anti-terrorist Cubans during a rally at the offices of the Avante newspaper in Lisbon on September 4. On the occasion, Antonio Filipe, a Member of Parliament (Portuguese Communist Party), Vice President of the National Assembly and President of the Portugal-Cuba Parliamentary Friendship Group, recalled the significance of exerting international pressure to solve the case.

Visiting Lisbon, René González said in an interview with Prensa Latina, "We will never renounce to our right to keep denouncing the injustice that has been committed." He spoke of the political nature of the case of the Five and the importance therefore of continuing to put pressure on the U.S. government to secure justice. He also expressed thanks, on behalf of all the Five, to all those supporting the cause and all the displays of solidarity shown around the world and which continue the international solidarity event.

Other activities include a mass Twitter action on September 12 at 10:00 am, aiming for at least 5,844 tweets demanding their release, a figure equivalent to the number of days Gerardo, Antonio and Ramón have spent in prison.

TML calls on everyone to go all out to participate in these actions to spread the word about the injustice against the Five, as part of the work to secure their immediate release and bring an end to the U.S. criminal acts of terrorism against Cuba and all countries and peoples that are forging an independent path.

Youth in Camaguey and in Holguín participate in events initiating the program of actions throughout Cuba demanding the release of the Cuban patriots, September 5, 2014.

(With files from Prensa Latina, Periodico26.cu)

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UK Denies Visa to René González

On August 27, René González was denied a visa to visit the UK for a second time. René, the first of the Cuban Five to be released, was due to speak at meetings in Liverpool and London to mark the 16th anniversary of their arrests. Despite an invitation from 29 British MPs to address a meeting in Parliament and an invitation by the Trades Union Council to address their Congress in Liverpool, the British government has refused three legal appeals to overturn its decision to deny him entry to the country. René is able to travel throughout the EU -- it is only the UK where a ban on his entry is in place. René was in the middle of visits to Portugal and France at the time his visa to the UK was denied.

The first refusal to issue René a visa occurred on the eve of the Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five where he was to appear as chief witness. At that time in March 2014, legal appeals failed to overturn the ruling.

Olga Salanueva attends the Congresss of the British Trades Union Council in Liverpool, September 8, 2014, despite René González being barred entry to the UK.

"Given the international significance of this case, it is vital that René is given every platform available to present the case of the Five and to pursue, world-wide, the case for justice and freedom for the three remaining in U.S. prisons," stated the U.S. Committee to Free the Cuban Five.

Although René has not been allowed to attend the September 10 meeting, the appeal process has not ended. The next stage of the legal process is already underway and activists are working to express ensure that strong opposition to the visa denial is expressed.

Olga Salanueva, René's wife, spoke at emergency meetings from September 8 to 10 in the UK to protest the British government's denial of an entry visa for her husband.


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New Report of International Commission of Inquiry

London, UK, March 6, 2014

"This report will help impress upon the US authorities that legal opinion amongst some of the world's most distinguished judges considers that the only just resolution of our case is for a complete and unconditional release of our three brothers remaining in prison."
- René González, first of Cuban Five to be released

The report of the proceedings of the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban (Miami) Five, held at the Law Society in London in March 2014, is now available in a new publication.

The two Commission Coordinators, Sara Chandler, chair of the Law Society Human Rights Committee and leading barrister Elizabeth Woodcraft launched the report at a packed meeting at the House of Commons in London on 10 September, hosted by Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn and Baroness Angela Smith.

Olga Salanueva, wife of René González, the featured speaker at the London meeting, recounted the latest visa denial by the British Government banning her husband from entering the country.

In a 44-page magazine format, written in English and Spanish, the outstanding success of the Commission and its associated events is recorded. It presents the concluding statements of the three presiding judges Yogesh Sabharwal, Zak Yacoob, and Philippe Texier, who, after hearing two days of testimony from witnesses, called upon President Barack Obama to grant "unconditional pardons" to the Five and to release "immediately and unconditionally" the three who remain in prison.

The report also records highlights from the Commission proceedings with special mention of the testimony from Amnesty International that focussed on the unfairness of the trial and, recognising the urgency of the case, pledged to continue to appeal for justice.

A section of the Commission report recounts how the British government refused key witness René González entry into the UK. The launch events were due to be attended by René González but he has again been banned from entering the UK.

Rob Miller, Director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and one of the organisers of the Commission said

"It is ridiculous that René is able to attend events in Portugal and France this week but has again been banned and is not allowed a visa to come here to meet with MPs and help with the launch of this report. Britain looks destined to become the only European country to which René is denied entry. We will continue to campaign vehemently against this extra `unilateral' punishment to René as well as to campaign for justice for the Five."

The report is illustrated with numerous photographs bringing to mind the intensity of these days of concerted activity -- from the concert and dramatic readings performed at London's prestigious Barbican Centre in front of an audience of 2,000, two panel discussions, an exhibition of the paintings of Miami 5 prisoner Antonio Guerrero, as well as the closing dinner. Also featured are words from special guests such as novelist Alice Walker, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and former President of the Cuban parliament, Ricardo Alarcón.

The success of the Commission would not have been possible without the broad support it enjoyed, more than evident in a list of the internationally renowned personalities drawn from many countries who endorsed this initiative including actor Emma Thompson, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, international fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and writers such as John Le Carré, Günther Grass and Fernando Morais.

Report and full testimonies of all the witnesses available at the website Voices for the Five which was instrumental in organising the Commission of Inquiry:


Please circulate the report to raise awareness around the campaign for justice for the Five.

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Cuban Five Granted Nelson Mandela Prize by Philadelphia's Geller Foundation

Philadelphia's Geller Foundation granted its Nelson Mandela Prize to the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who were given unfair prison sentences in the U.S. after they infiltrated U.S.-based violent organizations that planned terrorist actions against the Cuban people.

The Geller Foundation in Philadelphia is led by two members of the Center for Cuban Studies. When Nelson Mandela passed away they established the annual prize to be granted to those who best embody the human qualities of the South African leader.

The prize, granted for the first time by the foundation, was given to relatives of the five Cubans by the director of the New York-based Center for Cuban Studies, Sandra Levinson, during a meeting in Havana with 25 members of the center at the headquarters of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) on July 30.

(ACN, www.periodico26.cu)

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Coming Events

Mass Twitter Action for the Cuban Five
Friday, September 12 -- Starts at 10:00 am

Hashtag: #FreetheFive

Cuba is organizing a "Tuitazo" (a Twitter action) on the issue of the Cuban Five and terrorism. Join in to create a global impact on the issue of the Five and of the consequences of terrorism against Cuba.

Friday, September 12 -- 5:30 pm
Courthouse, across from U.S. Consulate (north of University & Queen)
For information:ccfatoronto.ca

Saturday, September 13 -- 2:00 pm
 Film, Guest Speakers, Discussion, Cultural activities
Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, 800 E Broadway (near Fraser St.)
For information: Facebook

107th Monthly Picket for the Five on the 38th Anniversary of Bombing of
Air Cubana Flight by Terrorist Luis Posada Carriles
Sunday, October 5 -- 3:30- 5:00 pm
U.S. Consulate, 1075 W. Pender St. @ Thurlow St
For information: freethefivevancouver.ca

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