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Free the Five!

An Urgent Call to Organizations and Individuals to Join
"Free the Five!" National Committee to Free the U.S.-Held Cuban Political Prisoners

WHO ARE THE FIVE?

They are Cuban men, Rene Gonzalez Sehwerert, Ramon Labanino Salazar, Fernando Gonzalez Llort, Antonio Guerrero Rodriguez, and Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo, who were convicted June 2001, and face possible life sentences in U.S. federal prison, for defending their country of Cuba from terrorists based in Miami. They spent 17 months in solitary confinement. After conviction, they were placed into Security Housing Units in total isolation, where they remain.

The five were convicted after a politically-charged trial, in which the U.S. government claimed they were engaging in espionage against U.S. military bases and threatening "national security."

As the Five maintained in their defense, they were strictly involved in monitoring the actions of the Miami-based right-wing groups. In fact, they shared information with U.S. officials when dangerous actions were planned by the terrorist groups they infiltrated.

JUSTIFIED DEFENSE OF CUBA AGAINST U.S.-BASED TERRORIST ACTIONS

For more than 40 years, Cuban right-wing groups based in Miami have engaged in numerous terrorist activities against Cuba. Also against Cuban-Americans and other people who advocate a normalization of relations between the two countries and an end to the blockade. These actions - by groups like Alpha 66, Brigada 2506, Omega 7, Brothers to the Rescue, and Comandos F4- have caused the death and injury of hundreds of individuals.

Because neo-fascist, anti-Cuba organizations continue to operate with impunity from within the US. - with the full knowledge and support of the FBI and CIA - the Cuban government made a decision to send Cuban security agents to Florida, to monitor the activities of the terrorists. They infiltrated the terrorist organizations to inform the island of imminent attacks.

The aim of such a clandestine operation by the Cuban security at great risk for the Cuban agents who infiltrated was to prevent criminal acts that would endanger the lives of Cubans and others.

For example, a series of bombings were carried out in Cuba in 1997. Bombs were planted in hotel lobbies to intimidate tourists from traveling to the island. An Italian tourist was killed by one of the bombs. The Salvadoran terrorist, Raul Ernesto Cruz Leon, convicted for the Italian's murder, confessed he was paid $3,000 for each bomb he planted by the Cuban American National Fund (CANF) (N.Y. Times 7/12/97).

Just this April, 2001, three members of Alpha 66, from Miami, Ihosvani Suris de la Torre, Santiago Padron Quintero and Maximo Padrera Valdes, were caught by Cuban authorities trying to land by boat on Cuban soil. They were carrying four AK-47 assault rifles, one M-3 rifle with a silencer, three Makarov pistols, night goggles, and communications equipment.

Their mission? To kill Cubans indiscriminately and try to sow terror on the island.

A FAIR TRIAL WAS IMPOSSIBLE IN MIAMI, CENTER OF THE CIA-BACKED ANTI- CUBA FORCES

With the trial based in Miami, a virtual witchhunt atmosphere existed. Defense attorneys' motions for a change of venue were denied, although it is clear that intense pressure and intimidation by the Miami Cuban right-wing groups would make a fair trial impossible.

The judge, prosecution and U.S. government officials also conspired to force witnesses from testifying for the defense, and to refuse key defense evidence.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard denied a request by defense attorneys to use as evidence, information from the Justice Department that summarized terrorist acts by Orlando Bosch, a Cuban fascist living in Miami, responsible for the bombing-murder of 73 passengers on a Cubana jetliner, in October 1976. Bosch spent 11 years in a Venezuela prison for those murders. Today he resides freely in Miami. One of the Cuban defendants, Fernando Gonzalez was assigned to follow Bosch's activities in Miami in 1994, as Bosch is considered capable of continued terrorist actions. Yet Gonzalez was not allowed to enter Bosch's history as evidence.

A NATIONAL MOVEMENT IN THE U.S. HAS BEEN LAUNCHED TO DEMAND THEIR FREEDOM

The International Action Center is initiating the "Free the Five!" National Committee to Free the U.S.-held Cuban Political Prisoners, as an urgent call to demand their freedom.

Not only were the five Cubans justified in carrying out their duty of defense to the country, future terrorist actions from Miami are bound to continue if their convictions are upheld. They are not the ones who belong in prison.

How can Orlando Bosch, who boasts of his role in the deaths of numerous Cubans and other people, be allowed to walk free in Miami, while those who were monitoring his activity are charged, convicted and imprisoned?

In the struggle to return Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba, the Miami right-wing forces revealed their threatening and terrorist nature to millions of Americans, who saw what they would do to keep even a 6-year-old boy from joining his father. It is important to understand the case of the Cuban Five for what it is, U.S. persecution of Cubans who acted honorably and justifiably to defend their people from aggression by proven terrorists.

GET INVOLVED! HELP BUILD A CAMPAIGN TO FREE THE 5 CUBAN POLITICAL PRISONERS. ADD YOUR ORGANIZATION'S OR YOUR NAME TO THE CALL:

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