Cuban Five Solidarity Meeting Wraps Up in Havana
May 1, 2007
Reprinted from Cuban News Agency
Havana, May 1 (acn) More than 450 friends of Cuba from 49 countries gathered in Havana from April 29 to 30 to demand the release of the Cuban Five, imprisoned for nearly nine years in the United States.
Julio Martinez, first secretary of the Young Communist League of Cuba, told the visitors that the recent release in the US of Luis Posada Carriles on bond "demonstrates the real US government's stance on terrorism," reports Granma newspaper.
From his US prison cell Rene Gonzalez sent a message to the meeting on behalf of him and his compatriots. He noted that their cause "has managed to awaken the solidarity of young people like you, and for us that is already enough."
Lucas Alberto Consalvo, an Argentine sociology student studying at the University of Villa Clara, Cuba, said the gathering has been important for him "because it allowed us to meet with others working in solidarity with the Cuban Five, which will facilitate our networking for this cause."
He added that among the concrete actions decided upon at the event was to hold demonstrations in front of the US embassies around the world on August 20, the date set for a new hearing in the Cuban Five appeal process. Lucas said the case of the Cuban Five has gone beyond Cuba and has become a global cause.
Karina Garcia came from New York with her Mexican parents who are suffering today the serious problems that affect millions of undocumented people in the United States. She says she has obtained a social conscious in the struggle for her people's rights and ended up getting involved in the cause of the Cuban Five.
"It was very important for me to come," she said, "the hypocrisy of my government is notorious when they say they are fighting terrorism, but I don't understand how they can protect an individual like Luis Posada Carriles and keep men like the Cuban Five in prison because they tried to impede actions like those planned by Posada himself."
Karina said that on May 11 they will demand that Posada Carriles receive his due. "We will go to El Paso, Texas where the assassin will be tried [only on immigration fraud charges].
Demonstrations are also planned in other cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, New York and Miami." Karina said the solidarity with the Cuban Five will continue to grow until they are freed. "I really admire their incorruptible firmness despite having spent nearly nine years in prison."
Ricardo Alarcon, president of the Cuban parliament, spoke at the close Monday of the youth solidarity gathering. He said the Bush administration took off its mask in the case of Luis Posada Carriles while continuing to ignore the innocence of the Cuban Five.