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Issue #1643      June 18, 2014

Cuban 5 event great success

Delegates from 31 countries including the Australia and the United States rallied for the Cuban Five in Washington DC from 4-10 June.

The closing ceremony of the Washington meeting.

More than 500 people attending a rally in front of the White House demanded the freedom of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero, known internationally as the Cuban Five. Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez have fulfilled every last minute of their sentences and are now back in Cuba with their families.

The Cuban Five were detained in 1998 facing the longest trial in the history of the US. A farce of a trial delivered a miscarriage of justice with very long prison terms from 15 up to double life + 15 years.

The highly political and biased case was held in Miami where there was no chance of a fair trial. Documents recently released under freedom of information showed that the US government also interfered in the trial, paying local journalists to publish biased articles against the Cuban Five during their trial to influence the jury.

Despite the 9th Circuit of the Court of Appeals in Atlanta reordering there be a new trial outside Miami, political interference appealed the Atlanta’s decision and there was no new trial.

Antonio Guerrero is due for release in 2017 but because he is a US citizen the Court threatens to imposed a five year supervised release as was done to Rene Gonzalez on his release and during that time he endured the deaths of his brother and father. Ramon Labanino is due for release in 2024. Gerardo Hernandez faces no legal avenue to fight his double life imprisonment plus 15 years. His access to justice must come from millions of people around the world putting enough political pressure on President Obama to use the power he has to pardon them and send them back home.

The US has imposed a hostile policy on Cuba aiming at regime change for more than 50 years. Many people in the US are calling for new US-Cuba relations where both countries and their people can mutually benefit and share their potential.

A first step in this process is the release of the Five Cuban anti-terrorists to reunite with their families in Cuba. President Obama has the power under the United States Constitution to use the key at his disposal and do this.

During the Five Days for the Five there were two days lobbying members of the US Congress by Parliamentarians from Latin America and Europe, members of the community from some 31 countries and trade unionists from Australia, in the hope of bringing the case into focus and to encourage them to explore avenues for their freedom of the Five.

We encourage trade unions and their members to stand by the Cuban Five as they are innocent and should be released immediately.

Australian unionists joined the protestors at the White House and the Capitol in the global demand for justice and to remedy the miscarriage of justice.

Next article – Whitehaven forced to halt clearing

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