International Solidarity Week Kicked off in Vancouver
Nov. 14, 2006
by Noah Fine
VANCOUVER, BC - Two weeks of international action began on Dec 12th 2006 marking the 5th anniversary of the unjust trial and sentencing of the 5 Cuban Heroes. Events are taking place around the world from December 12th-27th to raise awareness about the case of the 5. The Free the Cuban 5 Committee- Vancouver opened these two exciting weeks of action with a forum on Dec 12th held at the SFU Harbor center in downtown Vancouver. Over 60 people came out to learn about the Cuban 5, to hear poetry written by the 5, and to discuss what can be done to free these 5 great heroes.
To open the forum a film produced by International ANSWER in the U.S. called "Extradite Luis Posada Carriles!" gave a short history of U.S. backed attacks against Cuba- focusing on Anti-Cuban Terrorist Louis Posada Carriles, and his involvement in planning the criminal bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 that murdered all 73 people on board.
After the short film, MC Nita Palmer opened the forum and introduced former Vancouver City Councilor, lawyer, and long time fighter for the freedom of the Cuban 5, Tim Louis. Tim gave a perspective on the cruel blockade created by the U.S. government to make sure the 5 do not receive a fair trial. Following Tim was a slide show of images that carried the crowd through the story of the Cuban 5 and the international solidarity that embraces their struggle.
Wilson Munoz, the coordinator of the Social Justice committee of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver gave a fiery talk, defending Cuba and its great gains in healthcare, education and international solidarity.
Poetry written by the 5 was next, read by organizer with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee and student at Capilano College, Sara Alwel. This moving addition to the program brought tears as everyone was reminded of the human dignity and moral of the 5 Cuban Heroes and their longing for family, life and freedom.
Sophie Ziner, an organizer with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee spoke next, explaining the bankruptcy of the Cuban 5's case and trial, as well, gave a background on the motivation of the US government to attack Cuba. The panel of speakers was rounded off with committee coordinator, Noah Fine who stated, "Unfortunately the 5 were not able to complete their heroic task, and their mission was silenced." Fine continued, "It is our job to help complete their work exposing U.S. terrorism and demanding immediate freedom for the Cuban 5."
Following this dynamic program of speakers and art, discussion was brought up by many in the room who asked questions about the 5 and the what can be done to strengthen world wide initiatives to free them starting at home in Vancouver.
Please continue to check back at our website for upcoming actions to Free the 5 Cuban Heroes!