Demand grows for the freedom of the Cuban Five

With the epicenter in Washington, actions took place for the freedom of the anti-terrorist Cubans in cities throughout the world.

Juventud Rebelde
digital@juventudrebelde.cu

April 21, 2012 CDT

WASHINGTON, April 21 — The week-long campaign “Five Days for the Five” concluded yesterday, Saturday, with a commitment to continue to the demand that the government of the United States immediately and unconditionally free the Cuban anti-terrorists, political prisoners of that country, Prensa Latina (PL) reported.

With a gathering at the events hall of the Venezuelan Embassy, the campaign of intense activities for the Five concluded; however, there will be no respite from the struggle to return to Cuba of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González y René González.

Alicia Jrapko, Coordinatoor of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, highlighted the presence in Washington of hundred of activists from various states of the Union, as well as countries sch as Italy, Belgium, France, Germany, Canada and Honduras, among others. Closing words were made by U.S. peace activist Cindy Sheehan who lost her son in Iraq and since then has become one of the most potent voices against the war.

During the weeklong events a picket in front of the White House of more than 300 people took place this Saturday where the demand for the freedom of fighters was voiced, it was reported to Juventud Rebelde (JR) via the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five. This call resounded throughout the planet as part of this international effort for justice.

Very early that morning, several buses, rented with the support of New York City labor unions, departed from that city full of solidarity supporters on their way to demand the freedom of these heroes at the White House. With the call “Freedom Ride for the Cuban 5”, these demonstrators made their presence felt, carrying banners, flags and posters for the freedom of the 5 Cubans and for the freedom of the Puerto Rican political prisoners in the jails of the United States.

The activities in Washington were broadcast by the Internet Cuba in Washington channel, by Justin TV, who at the close of events reported that they had covered a demonstration of more than 5,000 participants. Simultaneously in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a demonstration was held in defense of those who only defended the legitimate right of their country to struggle against terrorism. The demonstration took place in front of the Old U.S. Federal Court House in Old San Juan, and was led by freedom fighter Rafael Cancel Miranda and Milagros Rivera.

Elsewhere, in Nicaragua, a resolution demanding that the United States Government free Gerardo, René, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando was adopted by a broad majority of the Nicaraguan Parliament.

At the same time, activities were held in more than 20 countries and on Saturday evening reports were still coming in about other initiatives taking place throughout the planet, as proof of the success of this call for global solidarity with this cause whose epicenter was Washington. The International Committee affirmed that more than 300 associations and political parties added their support in the final days of the campaign.

Similarly, Prensa Latina (PL) reported that as part of this five day campaign for the Five more than 2,000 signatures were given to the White House requesting an end to this injustice. The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina, The Association of Democratic Jurists of Frnace, scholars from Japan and The Association for Solidarity with Cuba in Guatemala, among others, multiplied the demand for the Five that was made for the first time to the U.S. Congress.

According to reports from Washington, meetings by activists with more than 40 Senators and Members of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress were very productive. Officials received details about the case with some indicating that “We are frustrated as you are about this situation” and “We can send a letter to Obama asking that he free them as a humanitarian gesture and we will indentify those who would like to be a part of this effort”, Prensa Latina reported.

Other activities that were enormously successful were the panel that took place with the theme of “Obama Give Me Five!” where statements of support were made by labor leader Dolores Huerta, Attorny José Pertierra, writer and journalist Saul Landau; former head of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, Wayne Smith; political analyst Salim Lamrani and actor Danny Glover, among others. The Head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, Jorge Bolaños, also participated, Cubadebate reported.

Various speakers demanded that the Administration of President Barack Obama end the economic, commercial and financial blockade that the United States has maintained against the Cuban people for more than half a century.

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