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Cuba 5 Appeal to the UN Human Rights Commission

by Ileana Gadea |
June 1, 2005
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The Miami 5, Cuban political prisoners held in the U.S.
The Cuban Five. Clockwise, from top left: René González, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández (with spouse Adriana Pérez O'Connor) and Ramon Labañino (Fight Back News!/Staff)

On Mar. 9, the five Cubans - Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, René González, and Fernando González - unjustly imprisoned in various federal prisons across the United States on charges of terrorism and espionage, challenged the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to break the wall of silence that surrounds their case.

“It has been a year since, in this forum dedicated to the defense of human rights, we denounced the attack perpetrated against ourselves and our families, by a government who will not forgive the fact that we would protect our own people from the terrorism which such government and allies have subjected us for 46 years,” stated the letter read on behalf of the Cuban Five by Olga Salanueva, wife of René González.

Although no evidence of espionage was introduced at the trial held in Miami, the Cuban Five were given sentences ranging from 15 years to two life terms for defending their country from terrorist acts by right-wing groups of Cubans based in the United States. The 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta has not yet made a decision regarding the appeal presented by the defense in March of last year for a change of venue and a new trial. In the meantime, the Cuban Five and their families continue being, “victims and hostages of the injustices of the great empire,” according to Salanueva. For the past seven years, the U.S. government has denied visas to travel to the United States to Adriana Pérez O’Connor, wife of Gerado Hernández. Five-year old Ivette González - a U.S. citizen and the daughter of René González and Salanueva, was also denied a visa. The denial is based on ‘national security grounds.’

In contrast to the silence in mainstream U.S. media, the case of the Cuban Five continues receiving support from a total of 242 committees for their liberation in 80 countries. Prominent intellectuals and activists such as James Petras have proposed that the Five be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because they, “risked their freedom for the principles of the United Nations Charter, the right of a country to self-determination, the right of the people to decide their own form of government, and the universal right to defend themselves against external aggressors who want to impose their government by force and terror.”

For more information about the case of the Cuban Five visit www.antiterroristas.cu and www.ain.cubaweb.cu

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