www.peoplesworld.org 23 January 2013
Continuing with U.S. efforts to undermine Cuba's government from within, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2008 contracted with Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) of Maryland to send Alan Gross to Cuba.
Now in prison there with a 15-year sentence for espionage-type actions, Gross is widely viewed as the ideal candidate for an exchange that would return four Cuban anti-terrorists jailed in the United States to their homes. They, the "Cuban Five," include the paroled Rene Gonzalez.
In court proceedings January 15, DAI introduced documents outlining USAID objectives and describing Alan Gross's activities during five trips to Cuba between late 2008 and December 3, 2009, when he was arrested. The company seeks dismissal of Alan and wife Judy Gross' lawsuit alleging that DAI and USAID failed in preparing Alan Gross for dangers a foreign agent would face in Cuba.
In 2001 Gerardo Hernandez was condemned to two life sentences, one of them for conspiracy to commit murder for the shooting down of two planes of Brothers to the Rescue. Gerardo had nothing to do with the shooting down of these planes on February 24, 1996 and the U.S. Government could present no evidence to the contrary. That was a decision of the Cuban Government in defense of its sovereignty after 26 violations of Cuba's airspace by this group.
On Saturday 15 September, Rock around the Blockade activists took to streets in London, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow to mark 14 years of unjust incarceration of the Cuban 5 in the US and to demand their release.
Rallies in each city publicised the case of these five anti-terrorist heroes who are being held as political prisoners for simply trying to defend Cuba from terrorist attacks that were being planned from within the US.
Speeches at the rallies highlighted the example of Cuba’s Revolution, which shows that there is an alternative to the poverty, war and environmental destruction of today’s imperialist-dominated world. The persecution of the Five is just part of a continual campaign to destroy the revolution and wipe out this alternative.
One of the Cuban Five, Fernando Gonzalez had written to Rock around the Blockade from gaol in the US to support the day of action. His words were read out at the rallies: ‘As you get together today to show your commitment to the struggle for our release from prison, we express our gratitude to all of you as well as our decision to withstand any circumstances and remain in the fight for justice for as long as it takes to achieve it.’
EVENT CANCELLATION: Free the Cuban 5: The Struggle Continues, Saturday 15thSeptember 2012
Regretfully we are cancelling the Rock around the Blockade (RATB) meeting, ‘Free the Cuban 5: The Struggle Continues’, which was due to take place at Bolivar Hall in London on Saturday 15 September.
Instead we will be holding a demonstration for the Cuban 5 on the same day, to mark 14 years of their unjust imprisonment (see below for details).
The reason for the cancellation is that our guest speaker, Cuban activist Lázaro Oramas, was unable to get a visa from the British consulate before the date of the meeting. Other invited speakers were also unable to attend for various reasons.
Instead of the meeting we will be marking 14 years of unjust imprisonment for the Cuban 5 with a street rally in Angel, North London on the same day. We hope that you can join us to raise the profile of the case and demand justice for the Five.
Street Rally for the Cuban Five
Saturday 15 September
1 – 3pm
Outside Angel tube station, North London
Activists from Rock around the Blockade, a campaign of the Revolutionary Communist Group took to the streets on Saturday 28 July to celebrate six decades of socialist Cuba, commemorating the 59th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks which marked the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. Following the military coup of US-backed dictator Batista in March 1952, Fidel Castro and others organised an armed movement against the tyranny and repression meted out by Batista. On 26 July 1953 in Santiago de Cuba the revolutionaries carried out an audacious attack on the Moncada Barracks. It failed militarily but succeeded politically, sparking the mass movement and guerrilla struggle which led to the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on 1 January 1959.
In Newcastle at Grey’s Monument, in London in Angel, Islington, and in Manchester at Piccadilly Gardens, comrades held colourful street rally celebrations with speeches and music, flying Cuban, Palestinian and Venezuelan flags symbolising resistance to imperialism. In Manchester the events were followed by a showing of the film Salud! which documents the impressive example of Cuba’s international health brigades that have treated millions worldwide. The political message was clear....No to War! No to Austerity! Socialism is the alternative! Viva Cuba!
The Cuban 5 came to the U.S. during the 90's to monitor the activities of anti Cuba terrorist groups operating in Miami. Their intention was to stop the attacks that since 1959 have been responsible for the deaths of almost 3,500 innocent people in Cuba. The Five are heroes to the people of Cuba who see them as unarmed defenders of their soverignty and security. They have been in prison in the United States for almost 14 years.
Over the weekend of 14 and 15 April, Rock around the Blockade held activities in London, Manchester, Newcastle in England as part of the international days of action for the Cuban 5 and to commemorate the Cuban victory at Playa Giron 51 years ago.
On Tuesday 14 February 2012, the year of the London Olympics, the Rock around the Blockade brigadistas visited a Cuban Institute for Sport and Recreation (INDER) project at Ho Chi Minh Park, Havana and presented the project with £650 of material aid including footballs, volleyballs, basketballs, football nets, bibs and gloves.