Alarcon: The White House Backs Miami-based Anti-Cuba Groups
by Leonardo Pupo
HOLGUIN, Cuba, Nov 18 (acn) Cuban Parliament’s President Ricardo Alarcon said on Thursday the imprisonment of the Cuban Five shows Washington’s high level of commitment with anti-Cuba groups of South Florida.
Alarcon told participants in the 6th International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, underway in the eastern city of Holguin, that the American government took advantage of the arrest of Rene Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero, known as the Cuban Five to attack the island and hide the truth about the case.
The Cuban Five —he said— are suffering a double punishment as in addition to being imprisoned, they are held in top security prisons without having committed any crimes, as it has been constantly proved.
Alarcon also made reference to the silence of the U.S. mainstream media on the case. He said such stance is another evidence of the Cuban Five’s innocence because if they had actually threatened the U.S. national security, which they were condemned for, they would have been the object of wide publicity against them. He noted that the mainstream media didn’t give wide coverage to the trial held against the Cuban Five in Miami.
Regarding the place chosen for the trial, Alarcon said it wasn’t chosen by chance, since Miami is controlled by extreme-right wing anti-Cuba groups.
The Court of Appeals of Atlanta ruled the trial illegitimate for having been held in a that city; however, George W. Bush’s administration General Attorney overruled the Court’s call.
Alarcon made a call to all Cuba friends participating at the event to bring their efforts together to spread the truth about the Cuban Five.
Fighting to Free the Cuban Five
Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon addressed participants at the Sixth International Symposium on Freedom for the Five and against Terrorism ongoing in Holguin, Cuba
by Héctor Carballo Hechavarría
HOLGUIN.— Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon addressed participants at the Sixth International Symposium on Freedom for the Five and against Terrorism ongoing in Holguin, Cuba.
Alarcon said that the scandalous media silence regarding the process against the Cuban Five proves their total innocence and reveals the support provided by successive US administrations of terrorists based in the United States.
He said that given the United States long history of targeting Cuba and the Cuban Revolution in media campaigns orchestrated from the US, it is telling that they have barely reported on the longest lasting case in their history. Alarcon added that if the Cuban Five had committed any sort of serious crime that threatened US security their case would have been plastered over the US media.
The misguided arrest of the Cuban Five in 1998 and the subsequent travesty of justice lead to their convictions on multiple unsubstantiated charges in 2001. The Cuban Five were dedicated to uncovering plots by ultra-rightwing Cuban-American organizations based in Miami with a long record of terrorist actions against Cuba and the Cuban people.
In a trial plagued with irregularities and held in a highly biased Miami court, the Cuban Five —Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González— were given harsh sentences ranging from 15 years to consecutive life terms plus 15 years. The five Cubans were working to uncover information about terrorist activities being planned and carried out against Cuba by ultra-rightwing organizations based in southern Florida with a long record of terrorist actions against Cuba and the Cuban people. When they turned their information over to authorities they were arrested and have been in jail ever since.
A UN Working Group reviewing the case determined that the trial did not take place in a climate of objectivity and impartiality, which is required in order to conclude on the observance of the standards of a fair trial. The UN report also charges that the Cuban Five were wrongfully held for seventeen months in solitary confinement after their arrest, and that their lawyers were deprived of the opportunity to examine all of the available evidence before the government invoked the Classified Information Protection Act.
Shortly following the UN ruling, on August 9, 2005, a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of Atlanta issued a 93-page reversal of the initial conviction as well as nullified the sentences. In response to the reversal, the Bush administration and Attorney General Gonzales vehemently pushed for the US Solicitor General to appeal the verdict of the three-judge panel’s decision before all twelve judges of the 11th circuit in Atlanta. This time the court bowed down to pressure from the Bush administration and reversed the previous pro-Cuban Five ruling by a vote of 10-2.
In 2008, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions of all five prisoners, but ruled that the sentences handed down to Labañino, Guerrero, and Fernando Gonzalez were excessive. Subsequently their sentences were slightly reduced.
Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon said that the Cuban Five face a double imprisonment: in US maximum security prisons and as a consequence of the media silence.
Alarcon acknowledged the work of the Cuban Five solidarity groups around the world and asked them to step up their efforts to pressure US President Barack Obama to release them. “US President Barack Obama must order the immediate and unconditional release of the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters who are still unjustly incarcerated in that nation.”
The fact that self-confessed criminals Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch are walking around the streets of Miami and receiving tributes from local authorities is evidence that the sponsorship of terrorism exists in America and that Cuba continues to be subject to terrorist threats, ALarcon added.
During the first day of the event delegates reviewed actions undertaken in support of the Five and confirmed their determination to continue raising awareness about their case.
Relatives of the Cuban Five, including Mirtha Rodríguez and Irma Sehwerert, the mothers of Antonio Guerrero and René González, respectively, and Elizabet Palmeiro, the wife of Ramón Labañino, expressed their thanks for the support received.
This year marks the event’s largest participation since it was first held in 2005. Among the participants are social activists, members of Cuban friendship associations, leaders of national and international committees for freedom for the Cuban Five, political representatives, union and youth leaders, lawyers and other professionals.
Alarcón: la Casa Blanca apoya a grupos anticubanos de Miami
por Leonardo Pupo Pupo
Holguín, 18 nov Ricardo Alarcón, presidente de la Asamblea Nacional del Poder Popular, expresó hoy que el caso de los Cinco Héroes evidencia el apoyo de los gobiernos norteamericanos a los grupos mafiosos de Miami.
En un mensaje difundido este jueves en la oriental ciudad de Holguín, el miembro del Buró Político del Partido recordó que el encarcelamiento de Los Cinco muestra el nivel de compromiso de las sucesivas administraciones de la Casa Blanca con los grupos anticubanos del sur de Florida.
Cuba es objetivo preferido por Washington y esta fue una oportunidad que no desaprovecharon en aras de arremeter contra la Isla y tratar de ocultar la verdad en torno a la injusticia cometida con René González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González y Antonio Guerrero.
Estos antiterroristas, señaló, sufren un doble encierro pues están prisioneros y en cárceles de máxima seguridad sin haber cometido delito alguno, según ha sido probado constantemente.
Añadió que el silencio sobre el caso por parte de los grandes medios estadounidenses es una prueba de la inocencia de Los Cinco, pues de haber atentado contra la seguridad de esa nación, hubieran sido objeto de una gran publicidad en su contra.
El silencio no es casual, afirmó Alarcón, y forma parte de esa campaña mediática como tampoco es casual que el juicio se celebró en Miami, donde jamás debió realizarse pues los anticubanos de la ultraderecha controlan y dominan esa ciudad.
Increíblemente los grandes medios de difusión nunca siguieron el proceso judicial, evidentemente injusto, a pesar de que se trató del más extenso en la historia de Estados Unidos, aclaró.
La corte de apelaciones de Atlanta dictaminó que el juicio fue ilegítimo por haberse desarrollado en Miami, pero, en franca violación de las propias leyes norteamericanas, el fiscal general de la Administración de George W. Bush obligó a esa instancia a dejar sin lugar esa decisión.
Por ello es esencial que día a día los amigos de Cuba en todo el mundo redoblen sus esfuerzos para que se conozca aún más la verdad sobre este caso, expresó Ricardo Alarcón en su mensaje a los delegados del VI Coloquio Internacional por la libertad de Los Cinco, con sede en Holguín.