Robert Kimbrough: Madisonians have chance to learn about Cuban Five
by Robert Kimbrough, guest columnist
Nov. 9, 2007
Reprinted from the (Madison, WI) Capital Times
On Sept. 12, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, for many years the chief aide to Colin Powell and former faculty member at many U.S. military "colleges," attended a lecture at Howard University's Law School (Washington, D.C.). The speaker was Leonard Weinglass; his subject was "The Cuban Five."
Wilkerson had never heard of the Cuban Five. He said he "was stunned by what counselor Weinglass revealed." But he was not surprised. After "four years inside the Bush administration," he knew "the depths to which our government is capable of sinking." He concluded that "this case is truly the bottom of the pit."
If highly placed Wilkerson did not know about the Cuban Five, surely a massive number of Madisonians remain equally uninformed.
Not for long, however.
Leonard Weinglass has been invited by the Free the 5 Madison Committee to come to Madison. He will speak on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. in Room B1, Lowell Hall, 610 Langdon St.. His topic is "The Case of the Cuban Five." The event is free and open to all.
Weinglass is a most accomplished U.S. criminal defense attorney and a pre-eminent civil rights lawyer known for his defense of high-profile political clients. Among those he has defended are Angela Davis, Daniel Ellsberg, the Chicago Seven and Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Weinglass is currently counsel to one of the Cuban Five, Antonio Guerrero, and he is the lead lawyer among the team of all the lawyers working on behalf of each of the Five. We in the United States have not seen such a famous lawyer on the left since Clarence Darrow.
The Cuban Five are Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez, and Fernando Gonzalez. They are in five separate U.S. prisons for simply defending Cuba from acts of terrorism carried out by extremist right-wing groups in Miami. Rene was sentenced to 15 years, Fernando 19 years, Ramon and Antonio for life, and Gerardo two life sentences plus 15 years. On Sept. 12, 2007, they began their 10th year of incarceration.
The Cuban Five never harmed anyone, were not destructive, did not try to gather state secrets, and were never a threat to the security of the United States.
On the other hand, confessed anti-Cuba terrorists walk freely in Miami. For example, Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carilles, longtime CIA agents, openly brag that they masterminded the Oct. 6, 1976, explosion of two bombs planted on a Cuban airline flight from Barbados to Cuba, killing all 73 aboard.
Noam Chomsky has said: "It's an amazing case! Here are Cubans who are infiltrating illegal, terrorist organizations in the U.S. But the infiltrators are arrested, not the terrorists. It's astonishing!"
For complete information and documentation on the Cuban Five: www.freethefive.org.
Robert Kimbrough is a member of the Free the 5 Madison Committee, Veterans for Peace, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Madison Area Peace Coalition, and Socialist Party of Wisconsin.