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Victory for the Cuban 5: René González returns to Cuba after 13+ years in U.S. prison system

Struggle continues to free Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando
By staff |
May 8, 2013
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Miami, FL - On May 3, René González, one of the Cuban 5, finally won his freedom from the U.S. prison system when a judge ruled that he could move back to Cuba. González had already served an unjust sentence of more than 13 years in U.S. prisons. He was then was forced to stay in Miami another year and a half on parole. González was greeted as a hero on his return to Cuba, which has waged a determined campaign to win freedom for the Cuban 5.

The Cuban 5 are five Cuban heroes - Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González - who were unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. after being arrested by the FBI on Sept. 12, 1998. They were convicted in a U.S. federal court in Miami in 2001, in a political prosecution by the U.S. government.

René González was the first of the five to be released from U.S. prison, on Oct. 7, 2011. But the court, in a punitive measure, denied him the right to return to Cuba to his family, and instead required him to serve an additional three-year probation sentence in the U.S.

The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage conspiracy against the U.S., and other related charges. The Five never engaged in, nor planned any, conspiracy against the U.S. government. As the Cuban Five pointed out in their defense, they were on a mission in Miami, beginning in 1990, to monitor the actions of Miami-based right-wing anti-communist groups in order to prevent those groups from carrying out attacks on their country of Cuba. Over the years such groups, based in Miami, have carried out many violent attacks against socialist Cuba. The Cuban 5 never harmed anyone, nor ever possessed, nor used any weapons on their mission. Their objective was simply protecting the Cuban people from the very real threat of the Miami-based anti-communists.

A statement released by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five said, “We are extremely happy for René, who has, along with his Cuban Five brothers, been unduly punished for being a proud defender of his people, his homeland and the Cuban Revolution. This development must give all the Cuban Five supporters great inspiration to continue the fight so that Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando can return home immediately!”

There will be a week of action to continue the struggle to free all of the Cuban 5 in Washington D.C. from May 30 to June 5, including a national protest in front of the White House on June 1. More info at: