‘Free the Cuban 5!’

Freedom for the Cuban 5 — Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González now in their fifteenth year of unjust U.S. imprisonment — is demanded on the fifth day of every month. Meetings, picketlines at U.S. embassies, banner drops, messages to President Barack Obama via postcard, fax, email or tweet — are all creative or routine methods to arouse and inform the public about this injustice.

Free the Cuban 5 — Vancouver, Canada, marked Jan. 5 with their 86th monthly protest for the Cuban 5 — a sidewalk exhibit, with music, talks and an onsite computer to send emails or tweets to President Obama.

On Jan. 5, singers Barbara Dane and Pablo Menendez (Grupo Mexcla) performed at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, Calif., to raise fund for Cuba’s Hurricane Sandy relief. Information about and solidarity with the Cuban 5 were part of the program.

On Jan. 5, the Detroit Workers World Party branch joined the “tweetazo” part of the campaign to send tweets, emails, call and faxes to President Obama calling for him to Free the Cuban 5. The dramatic and emotionally moving 1964 film “I Am Cuba” sparked much discussion about the brutal, racist and degrading conditions that led to the 1959 socialist revolution.

On Jan. 6, the ProLibertad Freedom Campaign and Casa de las Americas in New York City dedicated their cultural/political evening to the freedom of the Cuban 5 and the Puerto Rican political prisoners. They celebrated the 54th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and the 70th birthday of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera. The standing-room-only crowd heard a keynote address by the new Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations as well as music and poetry.

On Jan. 7, the Baltimore Branch of WWP viewed Saul Landau’s “Fidel.” The program also included efforts to free the Cuban 5, with a focus on Washington, D.C., this spring.