Published on 17 December 2014 by www.revolutionarycommunist.org

free the five with flag f cadena agramonte

After 16 unjust years of imprisonment, on 17 December 2014, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero, the three remaining members of the Cuban 5, returned to Cuba following their release from US gaols. This is a defeat for the corrupt US justice system and massive victory for Cuba, particularly for anti-terrorist Gerardo Hernandez who was serving two life sentences plus 15 years.

The five Cuban heroes were arrested in 1998 and tried in Miami in 2001, in the midst of a hostile media storm whipped up by journalists in the pay of the US government. Denied a fair trial, they were found guilty of charges ranging from spying to conspiracy to commit murder and endangering the security of the United States. These men had been working to foil the persistent attempts by right-wing counter-revolutionary groups in the United States to commit acts of sabotage and terrorism against Socialist Cuba. These attacks included 78 bombings, 61 hijackings of planes and boats, biological attacks of dengue and swine fever, and 58 attacks from the sea, killing at least 3,478 people in total. The Cuban 5 were guilty of nothing more than peacefully trying to protect their country against terrorism. Their case Illustrates the hypocrisy of the US ‘War on Terror’.

Wednesday 17 December will be recognised for decades to come as a crucial date for Cuban history when, following years of campaigning, the Cuban 5 were finally free. Ramon, Gerardo and Antonio now join Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Hernandez, who served their full sentences and were released in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

Read more...

raul alocuAt 1pm on 17 December 2014, Cuba President Raul Castro announced the release of the remaining Cuban 5 in return for an unnamed US agent and the humanitarian release of USAID contractor Alan Gross. Below is the transcript of this historic announcement:

From Prensa Latina:

 

Fellow countrymen, 

Since my election as President of the State Council and Council of Ministers I have reiterated in many occasions our willingness to hold a respectful dialogue with the United States on the basis of sovereign equality, in order to deal reciprocally with a wide variety of topics without detriment to the national independence and self-determination of our people.

This stance was conveyed to the US Government both publicly and privately by Comrade Fidel on several occasions during our long standing struggle, stating the willingness to discuss and solve our differences without renouncing any of our principles.

The heroic Cuban people, in the wake of serious dangers, aggressions, adversities and sacrifices has proven to be faithful and will continue to be faithful to our ideals of independence and social justice. Strongly united throughout these 56 years of Revolution, we have kept our unswerving loyalty to those who died in defense of our principles since the beginning of our independence wars in 1868.

Today, despite the difficulties, we have embarked on the task of updating our economic model in order to build a prosperous and sustainable Socialism.

As a result of a dialogue at the highest level, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway in the solution of some topics of mutual interest for both nations.

As Fidel promised on June 2001, when he said: "They shall return!" Gerardo, Ramon, and Antonio have arrived today to our homeland.

Read more...

Rock Around the Blockade, ‘Justice for the Cuban 5’ solidarity brigade to Cuba
Photo taken during the last brigade to Cuba ‘Justice for the Cuban 5’ solidarity brigade – February 2012.
Click the link to see more photos and report.

Lift the blockade of Cuba!

The 13th solidarity brigade of the British campaign Rock around the Blockade will travel to Cuba between late April and early May 2015. The group is collecting funds now to buy material aid for Cuban youth – this time they will take ballet shoes and boxing gloves to training schools. While breaking the US blockade, the donation will contribute towards Cuba’s remarkable achievements in promoting and democratising sport and culture.  

Hosted by the Union of Young Communists, the brigadistas will visit a variety of cen­tres, institutions and organisations, meeting political and student lead­ers and doing agricultural work. They will visit maternity and old peoples’ homes, youth, neighbourhood and cultural groups and research institutes. They will learn about the daily impact of the US blockade, which prevents the Cuban government from buying medicine, food, technology, equipment and resources in every sector, and which has been condemned for 23 consecutive years by the UN General Assembly.

For 55 years, Cuba has maintained and increased its free social provision despite the impact of the US blockade. This presents a contrast with the austerity measures implemented by the British government which are attacking public services, jobs and benefits and causing a return to the poverty, inequality and destitution of the pre-welfare state era. Such differences are also seen in Cuba’s response to the Ebola epidemic. While most of the world tightens border controls and the United States sends 4,000 troops, Cuba is sending nearly 500 medics to West Africa to treat the sick and help stop the disease spreading. Cuba’s medical contribution is greater than the rest of the world’s put together – just as it was in response to the 2010 earthquake which devastated Haiti, when Cuba’s medical contingent treated 40% of the victims. The Cuban Ebola-trained specialists will join some 50,000 Cuban-trained health workers in nearly 70 countries today.

How can a small, blockaded island have such a global impact? Why are Cubans so prepared to assist others around the world? Is this a product of a socialist society? What is socialism like in practice? What about the changes underway in Cuba today?

Through this fraternal exchange, activists on the Cuba Vive brigade will study the achievements and challenges of the Cuban Revolution and socialist construction. What they learn will be discussed with people back in Britain through report back meetings to be organised around the country. 

Please contribute towards the Cuba Vive 2015 brigade.

Contact us to be a brigade sponsor or to organise educational or fundraising activities and report back meetings in your area. Facebook: www.facebook.com/ratb.cuba

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please donate generously via PayPal or by sending cheques or postal orders payable to:
Rock Around The Blockade at RATB BCM Box 5909, London, WC1N 3XX.

 

Free the Cuban 5 rally Trafalgar sqThe sun was out in London as members of Rock around the Blockade (RATB) were joined by activists, writers, musicians and academics from around the world to demand freedom for the Cuban Five and to show solidarity with socialist Cuba. The rally was held in support of the International Committee of Inquiry into the Case of the Cuban Five, which took place in London over the previous two days.

Supporting organisations included the US National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver, The Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP),  London Guantánamo Campaign, Cubainformación TV, Marcha Patriotica (Colombia), Cuba Solidarity (Barcelona, Dublin, and Copenhagen), Revolutionary Communist Group, Hands Off Venezuela, Cubanos en UK, Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), MERU Verdadero, Communist League, Movimento Micaela Bastidas (UK), Coordinadora de Cubanos Residentes en Francia, Colectivo entre Amigos (Francia).

Read more...

211

On the 16th anniversary of their incarceration in the imperialist gaols of the USA, members and supporters of Rock around the Blockade celebrate the Cuban Revolution and demand the freedom of all the Cuban 5, heroes of the revolution. 

 For a brief and brilliant introduction to the case of the Cuban 5, watch and share this video produced by Discover the five

The Cuban 5 are five Cuban men unjustly imprisoned in US gaols since 1998. Falsely accused of espionage and in one case murder, they are in fact guilty of nothing more than peacefully trying to prevent terrorist attacks against Cuba being planned from within the US.

During the early 1990s Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, René González, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González came to Miami from Cuba to monitor right-wing Cuban exile groups.  They compiled evidence of attacks against Cuba being planned by these groups. The Cuban authorities gave this information to the FBI, urging them to take action. But instead of arresting those planning the attacks, the five Cuban agents were themselves arrested on 12 September 1998. They were charged with conspiracy to commit espionage and Gerardo Hernandez was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder. In July 2001, after a biased six-month trial in Miami, the Cuban 5 were convicted and sentenced to a combined four life sentences plus 77 years.

Read more...

RATB hosts international rally in London

bwd  Set 1/6  fwd

See our facebbook page for more photos

The sun was out in London, as members of Rock around the Blockade (RATB) were joined by activists, writers, musicians and academics from around the world to demand freedom for the Cuban Five and to show solidarity with socialist Cuba. The rally was held in support of the International Committee of Inquiry into the Case of the Cuban Five, which took place in London over the previous two days.

Supporting organisations included the US National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver, The Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP),  London Guantánamo Campaign, Cubainformación TV, Marcha Patriotica (Colombia), Cuba Solidarity (Barcelona, Dublin, and Copenhagen), Revolutionary Communist Group, Hands Off Venezuela, Cubanos en UK, Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), MERU Verdadero, Communist League, Movimento Micaela Bastidas (UK), Coordinadora de Cubanos Residentes en Francia, Colectivo entre Amigos (Francia).

The rally was opened with a speech from Kenia Serano from ICAP, who thanked RATB for the initiative of organising the rally and inviting those representatives who had travelled to London for the Commission. Other important speakers included Gloria La Riva (National Committee to Free the Cuban Five), Janine (Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver), Bill (Ireland Cuba Solidarity), Jairo (Marcha Patriotica), as well as speakers from the Revolutionary Communist Group, which set up RATB in 1995.

At Trafalgar Square an enormous Cuban flag made by supporters was unveiled, accompanied by banners and placards highlighting imperialism’s role in trying to undermine Cuban self-determination and efforts to build socialism throughout Latin America.

The protesters condemned the British government’s refusal to grant a visa to Rene Gonzalez, the first of the Cuban Five to have been released, and consequently preventing him from attending the Commission of Inquiry in London. Rene returned to Cuba in 2013 after serving his sentence in the US and is now a tireless campaigner for the release of his three comrades (Antonio, Ramon, and Gerardo) who face much longer sentences. Fernando Gonzalez was the second of the Cuban Five to have been released and returned to Cuba just days ago.

During the two days preceding the rally, RATB members were among 300 people who attended the International Commission on 8 and 9 March to hear from witnesses and experts about the case of the Cuban Five and about the six decades of terrorism against the Cuban people, launched from the US, which the five Cuban agents set out to prevent. Family members of the Cuban Five were present, as well as Cubans whose loved ones had been killed in such terrorist attacks.

RATB activists in Newcastle and Glasgow also held vibrant demonstrations in support of the Cuban Five. They explained the Five’s case and the need to defend socialist Cuba to the public and argued that the social benefits of the Cuban Revolution should serve as an example in the fight against cuts and privatisation in austerity Britain.


RATB demonstration in Newcastle


RATB demonstration in Glasgow

RATB will continue to contribute to the international movement demanding justice for the Cuban Five and redouble its commitment to support and defend Cuban socialism. The rally was a great forum to strengthen our links and unity with other groups from around the world to consolidate future collaboration and solidarity.

Who are The Cuban Five?

Fernando, Ramon, Antonio, Gerardo and Rene are five Cuban men arrested in Miami in 1998, convicted on trumped up charges and condemned to long prison sentences. They were in fact trying to prevent acts of terrorism against Cuba by infiltrating violent anti-Cuban groups in Miami. None of the charges against them involved violence, weapons or damage to property. Since 1959, nearly 3,500 Cubans have died and over 2,000 have been injured as a result of terrorist attacks or aggression – mainly launched from Miami. To read more about the history of the Cuban Five click here.

Whilst the eventual release of Fernando Gonzalez was celebrated worldwide, the Guardian published the derogatory article 'Cuban Five' spy ring member released from US prison,  straight from the associated press in Miami, hotbed of reactionary Cuban exile politics. 

Not content with such biased journalism, the Guardian then censored a post by Rock Around the Blockade (RATB)  in support of the Cuban 5.

coment deleted

Fernando and the other brave Cuban heroes have suffered 15 years of injustice.

Fighting terrorism and defending socialism is not a crime!

The Cuban 5 were falsely tried - Free the Cuban 5!

Add your voice to the call - Join the weekend of action for the Cuban 5 coment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 years of incarceration and injustice!

trafalgar square
 
On 7 and 8 March, Rock around the Blockade will join legal professionals, writers, academics and solidarity activists from around the world at the International Commission for the Cuban Five, which takes place in London.
 
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men arrested in Miami in 1998, convicted on trumped up charges and condemned to long prison sentences. They were in fact trying to prevent acts of terrorism against Cuba by infiltrating violent anti-Cuban groups in Miami. None of the charges against them involved violence, weapons or damage to property. Since 1959, nearly 3,500 Cubans have died and over 2,000 have been injured as a result of terrorist attacks or aggression – mainly launched from Miami. To read more about the history of the Cuban Five click here.
 
Rock around the Blockade will be inviting participants of the International commission and everyone who supports the Cuban 5 to join us for a rally in Trafalgar Square, central London, on Sunday 9 March at 2pm. The rally will be held on the north pavement outside the National Gallery, with music, an open microphone, placards, and a giant Cuban flag. Everyone is welcome.

cuban 5 trafalgar square website

In 2011, one of the Cuban Five - Rene Gonzalez was released after serving 13 years in US prisons. He is now back in Cuba and will travel to London for the International Commission. On 27 February, the second of the Cuban Five, Fernando Gonzalez will be released after 15 years. The rally will join the international campaign both celebrating his release and demanding his safe return to Cuba. We will also be demanding that the remaining three Cubans - Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero - be released immediately.
 
Rock around the Blockade will be organising additional protests in Manchester, Newcastle and GlasgowMore information uploaded soon.

Supporting organisations:

US National Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver

London Guantánamo Campaign

Cubainformación TV

Marcha Patriotica

Hands Off Venezuela

Cubanos en UK

Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

MERU Verdadero

Coordinadora de Cubanos Residentes en Francia

Colectivo entre Amigos (Francia)

Revolutionary Communist Group

Rock Around the Blockade

Contact us for more information atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Facebook event: Rock Around the Blockade - Street rally for the Cuban Five
We would be happy to help you organise an event in your area. 

Yellow ribbons for the Cuban 5!

yellow ribbon cuban five September 2013 sees the fifteenth year of the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban Five. Incarcerated after infiltrating right-wing groups in Miami in order to prevent terrorist attacks on Cuba, the Five and the injustice forced upon them by the US exemplifies imperialist hypocrisy at its finest. More than 3,400 Cubans have been murdered since 1959 as a result of US attacks, but whilst Obama is free to continue the blockade and conceal these acts of terror planned, funded and launched by his government, the Five, under convictions of espionage, remain in US gaols for defending their people. Anti-terrorists, their freedom is being denied by a state that actively promotes terrorism.

Read more...

Page 1 of 7

Find us on

FacebookTwitterYoutube

Donate to RATB

Enter Amount:

Mailing Lists