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Free the Cuban Five!

A solidarity statement by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Statement by Committee to Stop FBI Repression |
May 20, 2013
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression

Many of the U.S. government’s recent campaigns of repression, including the September 2010 FBI raids, grand jury subpoenas, and ongoing investigation of anti-war and international solidarity activists known as the Anti-War 23, have been pursued under the guise of investigating “material support of terrorism.” The bankruptcy of this rationale is revealed when we look to another ongoing case of political repression by the U.S. government – this time attacking individuals who were actively working to prevent terrorist attacks – the Cuban 5. The FBI targeted these five men because they were monitoring terrorist groups that the U.S. government supports. They were working to defend the country of Cuba from terrorist attacks.

Since the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, Cuba has been the target of more terrorist attacks than any other country in the world. 3,478 Cuban citizens have been killed in these attacks and 2,099 have been injured. The overwhelming majority of the attacks originated in southern Florida. The attacks were launched by groups who have been sheltered and in some cases financed by the U.S. government. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez, now collectively known as the Cuban Five, were working to monitor the groups who have led and threatened these terrorist attacks. Their work to prevent further acts of terror from being unleashed on the Cuban people led to their arrest by FBI agents in Miami in September 1998.

The U.S. government has kept the Cuban Five imprisoned since September 12, 1998, convicted of “conspiracy to commit espionage.” There is no evidence, nor is there even an accusation, that these men engaged in any actual acts of espionage. They did nothing wrong – they only worked to defend Cuban sovereignty and defend the Cuban people from attacks. Their case has garnered international attention, including from a United Nations working group, which found that the imprisonment of the Five was a case of arbitrary detention and is in violation of Article 14 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Liberties.

The real reason for the imprisonment of the Cuban Five has nothing to do with espionage, just as the more recent acts of repression against international solidarity activists have nothing to do with combating terrorism. These are acts of political repression, plain and simple. Whether for defending Cuban sovereignty and the Cuban people, or for supporting people resisting U.S. wars and occupations in other parts of the world, the Cuban Five and the Anti-War 23 were all targeted for their opposition to the foreign policy aims of the U.S. government.

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression stands in solidarity with the Cuban Five and condemns the ongoing repression against these heroes of the Cuban people. We call for the immediate release of the four of the Cuban Five who remain imprisoned. Defending the Cuban people is not a crime!

Take action for the Cuban 5!

Join the week of action for the Cuban 5 in Washington D.C. from May 30 - June 5, 2013. There will be rally in front of the White House on Saturday, June 1st at 1:00 p.m. Info on the week of actions here:

* One of the five, René Gonzalez, was released from prison on October 7, 2011 but was forced to stay in Southern Florida on probation. He finally won the freedom to return home to Cuba earlier this month.