Receiving Fernando at the airport was President Raúl Castro and high level figures of the Cuban Government. This was followed by an emotional embrace of Rene who he had not seen since the time of the trial in Miami in 2001.
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
Today Fernando Gonzalez Llort will end the last day of his unjust 17 years plus 9 month sentence in prison.
During his long captivity he has remained in cold and distant prisons in various parts of the American geography. As an additional punishment Fernando was banned from receiving visits from friends and supporters. During all these years only his mother Magali Llort, his sisters Lourdes and Martha, his wife Rosa Aurora Freijanes and other family members were able to visit him. And even they averaged only one visit a year.
The lone exception was a single visit from the former Bishop of Detroit Thomas Gumbleton in March 2007. Despite this form of isolation Fernando, like his 4 brothers, received on a daily basis volumes of mail of solidarity that filled the mail rooms of the prisons.
Even though Fernando has fulfilled everyday of his sentence he will still have to go through a process of undetermined time before he will be able to enjoy his freedom surrounded by his love ones. This Thursday 27 February he will be taken from the Federal Correctional Prison in Safford Arizona to a federal immigration prison until his deportation back to Cuba.
Along with his family, the heroic people of Cuba, and the thousands of people in the international solidarity movement for the Cuban 5 we advocate that this last bit of injustice ends as swiftly as possible.
All the love, pride and respect of the entire island of Cuba is waiting for Fernando, a true Hero of the Republic of Cuba. His return will give more strength to the solidarity movement as he joins forces with Rene in leading the struggle to demand the freedom of Gerardo, Antonio and Ramon.
We will share a moment of joy with the family of Fernando upon his return and then we will multiply our commitment to continue the fight until the final return of the Five to Cuba.
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
Message from the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouve
"To you, our eternal gratitude for your immense and constant support that makes us continue to be resistant and makes us taste our inevitable freedom each day." - Antonio Guerrero
Dear friends in the struggle to free our 5 Cuban Heroes,
The year 2013 has passed with great victories in the continued struggle to free our 5 heroes. As we look together towards 2014, we are sure that there will be many more victories and challenges in our campaign for justice.
Vancouver will honour our 100th consecutive monthly picket action in front of the U.S. Consulate for freedom for ALL of the 5 Cuban Heroes on March 5, 2014. On this important day, the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver invites you to join with us by organizing an event in solidarity with the 100th picket and the Cuban 5 in your community. We know that with more unity, coordination and action , we are ever closer to the day when ALL of the Cuban 5 will be free.
René González, former Miami Five prisoner to attend London event 7 and 8 March 2014:
Alongside international personalities including Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, actors Martin Sheen and Emma Thompson
René González, the first and only member of the Miami Five to have been released after completing his 15 year sentence in the United States, has announced that he will come to London to give evidence to an International Commission of Inquiry on 7 and 8 March 2014.
The Miami Five are five Cuban men who were jailed in the US in 1998 for attempting to prevent terrorist attacks against the Caribbean island.
René will be joined in London by family members of the Five, victims of terrorism against Cuba, lawyers, politicians and campaigners from Cuba and across the world, including Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author of the Color Purple.
The Commission will hear testimony from around 20 key witnesses, including US defence attorney Martin Garbus, representatives from international human rights organisation Amnesty International, and from Miami Five family members such as wives of the Five, Olga Salanueva and Elizabeth Palmeiro.
The Commission will be presided over by distinguished international jurists, including former Chief Justice of India Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa Zakeria Mohammed Yacoob, and Philippe Texier, the former Chair of the Supreme Court of France.
There will be testimony from specialists on the range of measures taken to defend Cuba against the threat of terrorist attacks, as well as testimony from Cuban and international victims of US-based terrorism.
In his New Year message René González urged support for the International Commission of Inquiry and said:
“When we were imprisoned 15 years ago, our captors never imagined that from all corners of the world people like you would take up our cause. Instead of suffering defeat we have become stronger. During this time we have suffered hardships and lost people close to us. But our spirits never broke, because we knew we could count on people from all over the world like you. Your solidarity and sense of justice has kept us and our families strong.”
Martin Sheen, Hollywood actor, joins a whole host of celebrities who are demanding the release of the Cuban 5
The Cuban 5 were falsely tried! Free the Cuban 5!
Julian Assange's videoconference in a cloud journalism (ciberperiodismo) workshop held by the José Martí International Institute of Journalism, in Havana. The event, hosted by Pedro Miguel Arce, involved young cuban bloggers from different cities.
Assange wears a yellow ribbon in solidarity with the cuban five -- Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and René González.
What lies across the water, Stephen Kimber, Fernwood Publishing 2013, Can$19.95
Stephen Kimber’s remarkable work is both a forensic expose of anti-communist terrorism and the definitive guide to the story of the Cuban Five. With in-depth analysis of the activities and motivations of many key players in US-Cuban relations over the last 50 years and a detective-thriller writing style it is both highly readable and politically explosive.
In September 1998, five Cuban intelligence agents – Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez – were arrested in Miami. The story of the necessity of their presence on US soil, infiltrating terrorist networks amongst the febrile world of Miami’s rightwing Cuban exile groups, reveals a hidden history of CIA-assisted intrigue. Their trial and the conditions of their imprisonment demonstrate the ruthlessness of the imperialist state and the thinness of the veneer of fairness that covers its oppressive ‘justice’ system.
We live in a world dominated by crisis, imperialist war and exploitation. We are told there is 'no alternative' to cuts, privatisation, hunger and homelessness. In October 2012 Venezuela faced a choice: whether to deepen the Bolivian Revolution that under the leadership of Hugo Chavez, has brought dignity, health, education and hope- or to return to a brutal, unequal neo-liberal society where oil wealth lined the pockets of multinational companies and Venezuelan elite.
The people of Venezuela voted for Chavez, voted to fight for socialism. The Revolutionary Communist Group was on the streets of Caracas throughout the presidential elections. We joined hundreds of thousands as they thronged the city, braving torrential rain or baking sun, to express their support.
The Bolivarian Revolution illustrates what can be achieved when governments and people, working together, put human need before capitalist profits. Despite Chavez's death in March 2013, the process is being built every day by millions of Venezuelans, working to create a society built on collective, socialist organisation and production. In that conscious struggle the spirit of Hugo Chavez lives on.
As the capitalist crisis bites in Britain, Venezuela provides an inspiring example of how the fight against austerity can develop into a fight for socialism. This film takes you on that journey, through the barrios, universities and workplaces to meet the militants, students and workers who are changing their future.
Alongside the achievements of socialist Cuba, Venezuela illustrates that not only is another world possible, but this world is being built today in Latin America
Saturday 12 October. Part of an FRFI Dayschool 'Paying to be poor' 10.30-4pm
Cross Street Chapel, Cross Street M21NL
Saturday 19 October, 2 – 4pm
Upstairs at The Piper on the Square bar,
57 Cochrane Street, George Square, G1 1HL
Sunday 20 October 3-5pm
Room G2 Dundee University Tower
LONDON FILM PREMIER:
Friday 25 Oct 2013 7:00pm
Bolivar Hall 54 Grafton Way W1T 5DL
Tuesday 29 October 6.30pm
Barloco 22 Leazes Park Rd NE1 4PG
If you would like to organise a screening of the documentary in your area contact
Documentary will be available free online at www.vivavenezuela.co.uk from 1 November 2013
DVD also available to buy. £3 plus P+P
Send cheques payable to Larkin Publications to FRFI, BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX together with your postal address.