Elizardo Sanchez

This video shows Elizardo Sánchez and his wife, Baby, selling the equipment they receive from the United States to perform their work as 'dissidents'. The video was filmed by fellow dissidents, in protest that they are not receiving resources sent via this dissident 'vanguard' to be shared out between them all. It shows how US taxpayers' money ends up being used in the 'dissident' business.

Elizardo Sánchez is one of the main characters behind accusations of supposed human rights abuses in Cuba. Not only does he earn a living by reporting fictional mass arrests on the island, he also sells computers, printers, portable DVDs, mobile phones, and so on, on the black market.
 
This video shows the internal contradictions within the counter-revolutionary movement and the mercenary character of those individuals who are prepared to sell their country to the US government.
 
The United States government invests at least $20 million annually attempting to create a loyal and viable opposition in Cuba to assist in the objective of regime change. The policy has failed throughout the 55 years of Revolution.

I wrote this book review of Stephen Kimber's 'real story of the Cuban Five' for Science & Society. It is not due to be published until October 2014 (Vol. 78, No.4), but they have kindly given me permission to post it on my blog prior to publication. I wanted to post the review early to draw attention to an important event which takes place in London next month: the International Commission of Inquiry into the Case of the Cuban Five, on 7 and 8 March. The Commission website can be found here: The following day, Sunday 9 March, there will be a rally to demand justice for the Five in Trafalgar Square from 2pm. Details here:


Stephen Kimber, What Lies Across the Water: the real story of the Cuban Five, Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2014. 296 pages. $29.95 CAD. ISBN: 9781552665428

What Lies Across the WaterReview by Helen Yaffe*

According to the author, this book owes its existence to serendipity. In 2009 Stephen Kimber was in Havana researching for a love story he planned to write when, he explains, he ‘got sideswiped by the truth-is-stranger-but-way-more-interesting story of the Cuban Five.’ (1) Thanks to serendipity, Kimber has produced the first full-length book in English about the case of the Cuban Five. During his research, the Canadian writer, broadcaster and professor of journalism read 20,000-pages of court transcripts, and a mass of books, media reports and documents. He conducted interviews and established correspondence with the Five in prison. The book is organized chronologically into sections which are sub-divided by diary-like entries providing updates on the entire ‘cast of characters’. This work is meticulously researched, factual without being dull and written with sensitivity and honesty - warts and all. It is as gripping as an action-packed movie and deeply moving.

Supporters say Hernandez and four others wrongfully convicted

From www.freethefive.org 

Reprinted from Victorville Daily Press

Victorville Prison, where Gerardo Hernández is incarcerated, was in "lockdown" in November. To raise local awareness and help build local support for Gerardo, the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five contacted the local media, which had never covered Gerardo's case. The Victorville Daily Press published this excellent article.

VICTORVILLE • An inmate housed at the United States Penitentiary-Victorville has drawn support from a wide range of dignitaries as he serves a double-life sentence at the maximum security facility.

Gerardo Hernandez, 48, was arrested by FBI SWAT team members in 1998 along with four other men: Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez.

The men, who have come to be known as the Cuban Five, were Cuban intelligence agents who were tried and convicted in Miami on numerous counts including failing to register as foreign agents, using false identities and conspiracy to commit espionage. Hernandez, the leader of the network, was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder for his alleged involvement with shooting down two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft.

Hernandez was convicted in 2001 and was transferred after his trial to Lompoc U.S. Penitentiary. In 2004, he was transferred to Victorville.

Supporters say Hernandez is innocent and is the victim of political persecution by the U.S. government.

“The idea that anyone could live through this and maintain a sense of dignity is remarkable,” Hernandez’s attorney, Martin Garbus, said in a telephone interview.

www.freethefive.org

Important that we remain alert and ready to act to assure Fernando's return home to Cuba

Fernando GonzalezOn February 27, 2014, when Fernando González is released from Safford federal prison in Arizona, he will have completed
15 years, 5 months and 15 days of an unjust imprisonment imposed after a U.S. government political prosecution.

Each day has been a cruel punishment for Fernando and his Cuban Five brothers, who courageously sacrificed their well-being to defend their homeland and people of Cuba from the scourge of terrorism that emanates from Miami, with the full knowledge and protection of Washington.

But Fernando will not simply walk out of Safford on Feb. 27. As one of his appeals attorney Richard Klugh explains, since Fernando is not a U.S. citizen, he will be detained temporarily by Immigration authorities.

"In order to facilitate his immediate return to Cuba, he has quashed any pending appeal or Habeas proceeding, so that it cannot be used as a basis to keep him here. And he has waived any right to contest his deportation to Cuba. Fernando has that paperwork completed and negotiations are taking place for what we hope is an immediate return to Cuba and his wonderful family."

Fernando's sentence was reduced to 17 years from the original 19-year term, after his resentencing in 2009, and 13% credit reduction is given for good behavior in federal prison. "Fernando has been a model prisoner in everything, he has never had any incident whatsoever."

As Fernando's freedom approaches, Klugh says, "Everyone on the defense team has always had strong feelings and a bond with Fernando. He is an extremely sensitive and caring person, extremely mild-mannered, strong and honorable."

We are hopeful for the return of Fernando to his family and to Cuba. We honor his integrity and the commitment to the freedom and security of his people. We pledge to keep fighting to ensure that justice is done and that Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio can join Fernando and René and return to their families in Cuba as soon as possible

Havana, Jan 30 Prensa Latinacuba pharmaceutical industry

Cuba has exported its medical-pharmaceutical and biotechnological products to more than 50 countries, Granma newspaper reports today.

Executives from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment also told the daily that in 2013, of 880 items of the country' s basic medicines, the sector has produced 580, among them are eight of the 13 vaccines of the immunization program.

The number of Videocolposcopy produced in the country for early detection of cervical cancer amounted to 121. It displays real-time enlarged images of the uterine tube to detect any malignant or pre-malignant lesion in its initial phases, Granma states.

The application of this technology ensures the implementation of mass screening programs of the disease, which is the most frequent kind of cancer in Cuban women in ages between 20 and 59 years old.

Havana, Jan 21 (Prensa Latina) The International Commission taking place in London on March 7-8 will strengthen the call of the release for the Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly condemned in the United States, Belgian activist Katrien Demuynck said today. This is a meeting that due to its dimension and massive support not only of figures but also of great audience can be an important impact, although at the same time is an enormous challenge, said Demuynck, European coordinator of the campaign for the freedom of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, and Fernando Gonzalez.

We start saying that they have spent 15 years of unjust imprisonment and we have the dissatisfaction we have done a lot in the world campaign, but it is not enough to achieve their release, she noted.

By Manuel E. Yepe 

A CubaNews translation, edited by Walter Lippmannusaid

Details of a six million dollar plan by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), intended to destabilize the government of Cuba, were accidentally discovered when the documents were sent unclassified and over an unsecured line to officials of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.

As was mistakenly revealed in USAID´s initiative SOL-OAA-13-000110, launched on 10 July 2013, the sum was earmarked to finance the work of at least 20 counter-revolutionary organizations that had requested funds to carry out the subversive tasks entrusted them "to overthrow the communist regime."

www.freethefive.org

During a radio broadcasted speech before a packed audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Oct. 18, 2013, Bill Richardson was confronted by Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, demanding freedom for the Cuban Five. You can see La Riva's intervention in the video above. 

anteproyecto CTC HAVANA, Cuba, 11 October Granma

Cuban workers have issued over 160 thousand proposals during debates on the new draft labour code, which was submitted for consultation with the workers last July; the process is now about to conclude, according to a report by Granma newspaper. 

Some 67 thousand 367 workers' assemblies have thus far been held till this week, which stand for 98 percent of all scheduled meetings, including the debates on the draft code by workers abroad. Some 1, 400 meetings are still to be held, the paper reported. 

The consultation process is aimed at having a feedback from millions of workers about their criteria on the law that rules labor activity. 

According to Granma, there was generalized consensus in all meetings about modifying the current code, which has been in force since 1985, given the ongoing transformations in the country in tune with the current economic and labour scenario. 

All opinions have been collected and analyzed by commissions based at municipal, provincial and national levels, said Xiomara Enriquez, an official in charge of labour and social issues with the Cuban Workers' Confederation (CTC).