On 15th anniversary of imprisonment, demand freedom for Cuban Five

Fifteen years ago on Sept. 12, 1998, Miami FBI swat teams arrested five Cuban men in early morning raids. These unarmed Cuban undercover agents had infiltrated Florida-based paramilitary gangs to gather information aimed at preventing further bombings in Havana hotels and restaurants and other acts in the U.S.-based terrorist campaign against Cuba.

The Cuban 5 — Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González — are considered anti-terrorist heroes by the Cuban people and around the world. Yet they are unjustly imprisoned in the U.S., a country which loudly claims to be prosecuting a “war against terror.”

On Sept. 12, international actions will take place to mark the anniversary of their imprisonment and to demand immediate freedom for the remaining four men. René González completed his full prison sentence and has returned to his family in Cuba.

In Washington, D.C., the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 will bring that demand to President Barack Obama on the White House sidewalk at noon on Sept. 12. This action is part of an East Coast tour with journalist Stephen Kimber to present his new book, “What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five.” (www.theCuban5.org)

The tour includes these events:

  • Sept. 11, 6:30 p.m.: Busboys & Poets. 2012-14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Sept. 12, 12 noon: White House sidewalk. 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Sept. 12, 7 p.m.: Owen Brown Community Assn. 6800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, Md.
  • Sept. 13, 8 p.m.: Cultural evening with Kimber and special guest at Bolivarian Hall. 2443 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.
  • Sept. 14, 4 p.m.: BookCourt. 263 Court St., Brooklyn, N.Y. Special guest: Cuban Ambassador to the U.N. Rodolfo Reyes Rodríguez.
  • Sept. 15, 5 p.m.: Center for Cuban Studies/Cuban Art Space. 231 W. 29th St., New York, N.Y. Special guest: attorney Martin Garbus. Opening exhibit: “I will die the way I lived,” art exhibit created by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban 5, for the 15th anniversary.
  • Sept. 16, 7 p.m.: AFSCME DC 37/Local 372 Meeting Room. 125 Barclay St., New York, N.Y.
  • Sept. 17, 6 p.m.: MIT, Room 10-250. 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Mass. Special guest: Noam Chomsky.

Additional U.S. events include:

On Sept. 12:

  • New York City, 5 p.m.: Rally and picket at 26 Federal Plaza.
  • Minneapolis, Minn., 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Pillsbury House, 3501 Chicago Ave. S. Opening reception of exhibit, “I will die the way I lived”: 15 watercolors by Antonio Guerrero. “All these images have one thing in common: they were memories of the unjust and cruel treatment given to us since the very first day of our detention.” See www.minnesotacubacommittee.org.

On Sept 13:

  • Washington, D.C., 6 p.m. University of the District of Columbia Law School, Moot Court Room. A legal panel discusses “the Case of the Cuban Five: Justice or Injustice.” See www.freethefive.org.
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