Tag Archives: Casa de las Americas

Danny Glover Seeks Justice for The Cuban Five

Actor and Activist Danny Glover Seeks Justice for the Cuban Five                  

Casa de Las Américas is in the house


By Dominic Redmond  


On September 12th, 1998 five Cuban men–Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, FernandoGonzález and René González– were arrested and wrongfully placed in prison to serve two life sentences. The Cuban Five, as they are called was convicted of committing espionage conspiracy against the United States. However, they maintain that they were on assignment to watch terrorist groups throughout Miami.

Tuesday evening, at the Howard University School of Law, students and activists gathered to address The Cuban Five. The Moot Court Room was almost filled to capacity as the discussion, headed by actor and activist Danny Glover discussed the case. Nearly 100 people sat in the room anxiously awaiting every word.
The forum began with Gloria La Riva, the coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five. The audience sat in awe as Gloria spoke on the details of the case and why she feels this is a national issue that should be made more public.

“This injustice is one that needs to be stopped” were Gloria’s closing remarks.

Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover injected the audience with enthusiasm and passion for the case. His first remarks were ones of honor and praise to the Howard University law school and to the people of Howard University.

“[It’s a] pleasure to be here with such courageous students, thank you Howard University for having me,” said Glover.

From this remark arose a common feeling of pride amongst the crowd. He spoke about the need for justice to be brought about and there is no better time than right now.  Gerardo Hernandez, one of the men arrested with the Cuban Five, is one of Glover’s close friends and brothers. Glover’s only wish is that Howard can help in getting this case more notarized and bringing justice to these men.

The evening continued with remarks on the case from Martin Garbus, one of the country’s leading trial lawyers, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a professor of Government and Public Policy, Kurt Schmoke, Vice President and General Counsel of Howard University, Anderson Francois, Supervising Attorney of the civil rights clinic and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the partnership for civil justice fund.

Each panelist shared the same message–people must use social media to spread awareness about The Cuban Five and bring justice to these men. It is the job of the students, leaders and activists to spread awareness through social media efforts and educate others about the injustices of this case.

Irene Barnes, a Howard University Law student, said that she “found [the forum] very informative and an important topic for us to be informed on.”


Cuban American Receives Friendship Medal in Havana

HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 25 (acn) The Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP by its Spanish acronym) awarded the Friendship Medal on Tuesday in Havana to Cuban-American Arnaldo Goenaba Barron .

At the request of ICAP, the Cuban Council of State approved a decree grantng the distinction to Goenaba Barron for his longstanding struggle in the defense of the Revolution before and after 1959.

Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban Parliament present at the ceremony said that when he learned that Barron would be getting the Friendship Medal he knew that it was been given to “someone that is inseparable to our history”. He said “Barron is a combatant, revolutionary, Cuban of the old vanguard”.

Barron, as he is known among his closest friends, was leader of the July 26th Movement in the United States. Alarcon said that he “fought during a period of time that was not easy”. He represents something that is also very important. “He is from a group of Cubans whose history has been distorted in the US”, said Alarcon.

Not all Cubans that live in the US “oppose our revolutionary process, he is from that period of Cubans that migrated to the US during the 1940’s and 1950’s, fleeing the dictatorship and ready to fight for a change on the island”, said the President of the Cuban Parliament.

“Barron, alongside thousands of Cubans in the US that supported the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro in the revolutionary process, led the way to the victory in 1959”, said Alarcon.

He added that he is one of millions of Cubans in the United States that currently defend the island’s independence, sovereignty and self determination and want normalization of ties with between the two countries.

The President of Casa de las Americas solidarity organization based in New York, Nancy Cabrero said that it is an honor for them to see Barron receive such a distinction.

She informed those present in the ceremony that Casa de la Americas was founded in 1955, when Fidel Castro visited New York looking for support among the Cuban emigrants. Fidel, with the support of Barron and other members of the Orthodox Party in New York, organized the July 26th Movement in the United States. This committee helped the movement with monetary donations and other materials for the liberation movement underway on the island.

After the triumph of the Revolution, this committee was known as Casa Cuba and later Casa de las Americas which Baron and his wife Gloria, also helped organize.

Nancy concluded her words by quoting Cuba’s National Hero Jose Marti who said “Hacer es la Mejor Forma de Decir”, Action is Better Than Words. This she said, “is the slogan of Casa de las Americas and Barron and Gloria have been vivid examples of Marti’s words.”

Also present in the distinction ceremony were, Rafael Dausa, representative of the Cuban Foreign Ministry; Pedro Nunez Mosquera, Cuban ambassador to the United Nations; Kenia Serrano, ICAP President; members of Casa de las Americas in NY and other guests.

Cuban American Receives Friendship Medal in Havana

Other related articles

Cuban Rebel Trial Starts Here MondayBrownsville Herald, May 18, 1958 (front page)

Little White School Bus Makes it to Texas

It has been three years since Casa de las Americas purchased the little white school bus that you see in the picture for the Santos Cruz School in Puerto Esperanza, Pinar del Rio, Cuba. It is a school for children with special needs that was partially destroyed by Hurricanes Ike and Paloma back in 2009 . Franklin Flores and Jaime Mendieta of Casa de las Americas joined a contingency of construction workers organized by IFCO to make repairs to the school. During their time there they learned of the schools’ need for transportation for the children between their homes and the school. It is then that the idea to offer this gift to the children and the families of the Santos Cruz School became a goal.

The money to purchase the bus came from the generous contributions of many friends and members of Casa that have worked and attended various Casa fund raising events. Before its delivery, the bus needed some TLC and repairs, not to mention all the necessary paperwork for all sorts of permits. Pictured beside the bus, from left to right, are Franklin Flores, Tom Whitney (from IFCO) and Jaime Mendieta. Together they drove across many states between New York and Texas. “The bus made it”, exclaimed Franklin when they arrived on Sunday, June 15, 2012. Their road trip began on Saturday, June 9th and it took a little over a week to get there.

Along the way, they met many wonderful people that offered them room and board or simply welcomed a conversation about Cuba because their knowledge of it is limited and not always accurate given the cold war that exists between the two nations. According to the three companeros, the experience of driving through so many small towns offered repeated opportunities to confirm that there are many good people that live in this country and many intelligent and just minded folks that understand that the time for Cuba and United States to have a peaceful relationship is long overdue.
Casa de las Americas is particularly grateful to Gail Walker and Luis Barrios, the Co-directors of IFCO for allowing us to join the Pastors for Peace caravan and ensuring that Casa’s little white school bus makes it to its final intended destination.

It’s time to lift the U.S. imposed blockade on Cuba, grant the wives and families of the Cuban Five visas to see their incarcerated loved ones, Free the Cuban Five, and the U.S. to have peace with Cuba.

“Little White School Bus Makes it to Texas” by Nancy Cabrero

“Hacer es la mejor forma de decir” Jose Marti

Nancy Cabrero
Casa de las Americas