Tag Archives: Cuban Five

It is just a journey SAUL, The other is not true

originally posted by International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

Gerardo Hernandez Sends a Heartfelt Letter to his Friend Saul Landau: “It is just a Journey Saul, the other is not true”

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(For Saúl Landau, with admiration and affection)

It is not true Saul, do not repeat it. I know, others are also saying it, but it is not true. There is a pain in the voice of Carmen when she answers my call, but it cannot be true.
You may say that Yes, old friends have called you and others have come from afar to see you, and the tributes have already begun. Even your own body loudly says it is true. But that does not matter, I know that it is not true. How could it be true, with so many people who admire you and love you? Adriana, whenever we talk, asks me to call you again. (And if that does not mean much to you it’s because you don’t know how she defends and fights for each and every minute of my phone time). Everyone asks for you Saul from all around the world, and like me they all know that it is just a journey, that the other is not true.

A trip where? I do not know with certainty. It is like a close play in a baseball game where no one can agree on the outcome. It is a journey that many do not return, but you’re one of the privileged ones. You’ll be here whenever Danny visits me, and in Cuba when the Five are reunited. You will return whenever someone reads one of your books, or see one of your documentaries. How could you not be there when someone asks who filmed those images of Fidel pushing the jeep stuck in the mud on that road? Or so many other images you captured while traveling half of Cuba with him in 1968? Do you think that you will not be there when someone sees “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up” and will get to understand the case of the Five? Don’t even mention that my friend! You will always be there when people see the interview with Salvador Allende, perhaps the only or at least the most important written in English, as well as when someone discovers those still unpublished images of Fidel talking at home with Harry Belafonte.

It is just a journey Saul, the other is not true. You’ll come when someone wants to know everything about the bomb that killed Letelier and Moffit in the heart of Washington DC. When someone wants to understand Chiapas or the maquiladoras. When they read your poems, or your always accurate articles. When people mention your Medal of Friendship of Cuba, your Bernardo O’Higgins of Chile, your Emmy, and so many other awards and decorations. You will come whenever I tell someone that I had the privilege to meet you, learn from you, enjoy your sense of humor, and when they ask me to whom do I owe my brotherhood with Danny Glover. You’ll always be with your family, with your friends, with your students.

Of course it is not true Saul, I know that it is only a journey. What I don’t know is if we will be able to communicate, so I don’t want to wait for your departure to tell you; thank you for everything, my brother, it was an honor to share with you. On behalf of the Five, our families, and so many good Cubans, thank you!

I will not deny that we are sad, but at the same time we are happy to know that in your case, when it happens, it will only be a trip, because you knew how to earn that privilege.
Very soon I’ll be calling you again, but you know, do not repeat it, because it is not true Saul. It is not true that you are going to die.

Gerardo Hernández Nordelo
United States Penitentiary, Victorville, California.
August10, 2013.

Saul Landau is courageously fighting a life threatening illness.
Gerardo’s letter was read to Saul Landau by one of his children.

15th Anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban 5

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For 15 years, the Cuban 5 have endured physical and psychological torture in U.S. prisons! Their only “crime” was protecting their homeland Cuba and the United States from acts of terrorism

Thousands of people around the world will be protesting, picketing, engaging in a myraid of actions in support of the International movement to Free the Cuban 5! Join us as we raise our united voices on the International Day to Free the Cuban 5!

Thursday September 12, 2013 @5pm
Picket at 26 Federal Plaza,
New York, N.Y.
Take the 4,5, or 6 to
Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall

Bring your flags, noisemakers, signs and be ready to chant!

The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5
Fore more information of the Project contact: FreetheCuban5@gmail.com or call the Free the Cuban 5 Hotline at: 718-601-4751. Visit our website: www.freethecuban5.org

Endorsers:The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign, Frente Socialista-Comite de Nueva York, Free Mumia Coalition, IFCO/Pastors for Peace, Radical Women, Freedom Socialist Party, December 12th Movement, New York City Jericho Movement, Fuerza de la Revolucion, Da Urban Butterflies, International Action Center, Justice for Trayvon Martin Peoples Assembly, May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights, Latin America & Caribbean Committee of the IAC, Workers World Party, and The Venceremos Brigade…

René González converses with Cuban university students

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Dalia González Delgado

“AS the Marxist I am, I accept the historical fact that I will not see what I want to see. I think it’s only natural that a revolutionary never sees all that he desires, because if he did, at some point he would cease to be a revolutionary.”

Thus began decorated Hero of the Republic René González’ comments to delegates attending the 8th Congress of Cuba’s Federation of University Students (FEU).

“You will see some of the things I would like to see, but you must construct them,” he continued, “Although you honor me with your applause and appreciation, the honor is mine. In any case, the admiration, the respect, the affection are mutual.”

The anti-terrorist fighter answered questions posed by students and insisted on the need to study history profoundly, to be able to confront the current, complex world situation.

“Isolating ourselves from the world is not how we are going to do it. With current technologies, it is impossible to isolate oneself,” he said, “We know what happened in the socialist camp. To consolidate our victory, to make it sure, we must go deeper, seek the truth, the errors, look history in the face, because the construction of socialism is the work of imperfect people, the result of many disagreements amongst ourselves, of struggles between points of view, in a context in which capital holds sway.”

“We must understand why it is necessary that capitalism disappear as a system,” he added, “When you see abundance in a country, you need to understand where it comes from and why we are resisting.”

René called on the young people in attendance to read Karl Marx and Martí, who he described as, “Thinkers who profoundly understood the essence of these phenomena.”

He emphasized the importance of listening to all youth, without exception, saying, “You are the vanguard of youth, but there are many who must be approached. Go beyond the classroom and walk along G Street.”

“Some will never reach the university, but they are part of society. We cannot forget that many young people are not in school, but they produce wealth with their hands.”

“If you rise to the occasion and meet the challenges of the times in which you live, you will be doing the best you can for my imprisoned compañeros,” he concluded.

The gathering, which relatives of the Five also attended, additionally featured a tribute to Dr. Armando Hart Dávalos, director of the Martí Program Office and president of the José Martí Cultural Society, on the occasion of his birthday.

 

 

René González converses with Cuban university students

René González has been given permission to remain in Cuba!

Originally posted by National Committee to Free the Cuban Five

René with his family in Cuba on a previous visit.
René with his family in Cuba on a previous visit.

In a huge development in the case of the Cuban Five, the court has finally granted a motion, first made last June, to allow René González to serve the remaining portion of his three-year parole in Cuba, after which he will of course be able to remain in Cuba, outside the jurisdiction of the court. Until this time, the court has required him to spend that parole at an undisclosed location in Florida, requiring him to remain in virtual seclusion because of the danger to his life from the very terrorists whose plots he and the other members of the Five came to the U.S. to expose.

René has been in Cuba for two weeks to attend a memorial service for his father Cándido, who died recently.

Phil Horowitz, Rene’s attorney, said: “Rene and I are happy that he will be able to be permanently reunited with his family. Rene’s exemplary conduct shows that these are not individuals that the government has made them out to be. We are just so happy and will take all the steps pursuant to the court order.”

The 7-page court order by Judge Joan Lenard (click to download), describes the requirements for his right to remain in Cuba. The principal requirement is that he renounce his citizenship, which he willingly offered to do previously (René held dual U.S.-Cuban citizenship). To renounce a U.S. citizenship, it must be done outside of the United States, as per U.S. federal code, Section 1481 a(5).

We are extremely happy for René, who has, along with his Cuban Five brothers, been unduly punished for being a proud defender of his people, his homeland and the Cuban Revolution.

This development must give all the Cuban Five supporters great inspiration to continue the fight so that Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando can return home immediately!

Freedom Ride For THECUBAN FOUR 2013

FREEDOMRIDE_june2013_2Be a Freedom Rider for The Cuban Four and Get on the Bus to Washington, DC!

$5.00 Round trip

For more information call
347-201-3728 (9am-5pm)
Freedom Ride Hotline
718-676-0106 (24/7)

Organizers of the Freedom Ride for the Cuban 4 include: Local 372-DC 37 ASFCME, 1199 SEIU, the July 26 Coalition, Casa de las Americas, Venceremos Brigade and Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5, IFCO-Pastors for Peace, Workers World, and International Action Center (IAC).

The Rally on June 1st at 1:oopm in front of the White House is part of the “5 Days for the Cuban 4 in Washington DC” initiated by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5.

Freedom Ride For THECUBAN FOUR 2013
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Danny Glover Prevented from Visiting Gerardo Hernandez

Originally posted by International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

Actor Danny Glover Prevented from Visiting Gerardo Hernandez, One of the Cuban 5 Imprisoned in the U.S.

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Oakland, CA April 8th(IC)

Yesterday another incident of injustice against one of the Cuban 5 took place at the Victorville Penitentiary in the high Mojave desert of California.

In a planned visit well known actor and social activist Danny Glover was prohibited from visiting Gerardo Hernandez. Glover, who has visited Gerardo on 9 different occasions since 2010, was told that he would not be admitted because they did not know he was coming. This is an arbitrary decision; any person who is on a prisoner’s list has a right to visitation. Glover had flown yesterday morning from Northern California and then rented a car to reach the remote location of the prison 10 miles outside of Victorville only to have to turn around and go back without having seeing his friend. Undaunted Danny Glover has made it clear that he will return to Victorville soon.

Isolating Gerardo from his friends and family has been a pattern of the US government for almost 15 years. Over that period of time his wife Adriana Perez has been consistently denied visa to visit her husband on a regular basis.

The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 thanks Danny Glover for his continued effort to support Gerardo and his four brothers in the struggle for their freedom.

March 29th Event 2013 Free the Cuban Five


Part One – Intro by student leader, Michael Tariff Warren, Ike Nahem, Danny Glover Video, Martin Garbus


Part Two – Ambassadors from Cuba and Venezuela, freed Puerto Rican political prisoner Luis Rosa Perez, student leaders David Luna and Geraldo Roma of the Columbia University Chicano Caucus and first 6 minutes of Bolivarian Revolution rappers

FREE THE CUBAN FIVE Columbia University 2013

Dear Friends of Cuba and Supporters of the Cuban Five

Sisters and Brothers,

The July 26 coalition want to apologize to all that were not let into the Cuban Five event on Friday March 29th. We don’t blame each and everyone one of you for being disappointed and it is impossible that anyone would be more disappointed than the entire July 26 coalition group. We were originally informed that, based on Columbia’s very restrictive and rigid bureaucratic rules and procedures, which are especially enforced for “controversial” “political” (read left-wing) events organized by student groups like the one’s that initiated this event, that we would be allowed 200-250 non-Columbia-Barnard students to attend and that a formal list of attendees would have to be provided 72 hours before the event. This was after the original flyer and card had been printed without indicating that a formal RSVP was required. We immediately sent out to all the groups and individuals and listserves of friends and supporters of the Cuban Five invitations formally asking for an RSVP, because this was required by University rules. RSVPs started coming in and were confirmed and put on a master list. Three days before the event the Columbia cops, called “Public Safety,” which would not do so acting on their own, argued at an “Events Review Board’ meeting with the students that the students were “in breach” of Columbia rules because of outside “advertising” for the event, citing ridiculous “safety” considerations and threats of “disruption.” They threatened that they could shut it down altogether, but were, nice guys that they are, instead restricting the non-student participation to “15 or 20.”

The students immediately went on a big campaign, enlisting faculty and other student support, and succeeded on Thursday to get the original numbers restored. We were given a 7:00 PM Thursday deadline to submit a “final” list. We worked frantically to supplement the existing list and get people to submit their names. The process had been on hold while the meeting was under direct attack and we were discussing other options with the students. Unfortunately, a good number of names were submitted after 7:00 PM. There were also at least 40 names that were submitted right before 7 which the Administration claimed they didn’t get, even though we showed them the timeline on one of our comrade’s Iphone documenting the fact. But they were very rigid at the door. Many more people RSVPs on Thursday night and Friday all day past the “deadline.” Our phone and emails were ringing and pinging off the wall; we emailed and spoke on the phone to as many people as humanly possible giving the objective facts, which were that it was very unlikely that they would get in and that the students and we would fight to get everyone in that we could and the choice of whether to risk it by coming was a decision individuals would have to make. We did manage to get in quite a few but, many were turned away despite our and the students efforts. In addition to the 100 or so turned away, many of whom had been confirmed at the last minute before the arbitrary deadline (the injustice of which was further underlined by the last-minute attempt to minimize the event) there were many, many more who wanted to come and had submitted their names, until they heard of the bureaucratic labyrinth they faced and stayed home.

Nevertheless, 200 people or more were finally in attendance, and by all accounts it was an excellent program and event. But we are very certain it would have been perhaps the largest event ever in the US for the Cuban Five. The entire event was videoed and we will post it on our website july26coalition.org; we will send an email once the video has been posted on the site.

Again we are very upset and aggravated by the inconvenience and really insulting treatment given to people honestly and sincerely attempting to attend a free-speech forum. We hope with this minor problem that occurred on Friday, March 29th will not affect our movement to continue to DEMAND the release of the CUBAN FIVE.

Sincerely and in solidarity,
July 26 Coalition

What is the U.S. Government Afraid of ?

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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.

Despite the fact that Gerardo had nothing to do with this incident, the proof of the place where the planes fell holds the key information to this unfortunate episode caused by Brothers to the Rescue. The evidence of NASA satellite images from that day could exonerate Gerardo. Well within his rights, he has requested the U.S. government to present evidence for which he was condemned by that false charge. To this day the U.S. has refused to do so.

Why is it that the U.S. government continues to hide such crucial evidence? It alleges that the aircraft fell in international waters. Cuba has reiterated with sufficient evidence before international organizations that the aircraft fell in waters within Cuban jurisdiction.

If the US government had the basis to indict Gerardo, why is it hiding the satellite images after 17 years? What is the United State governments afraid of?

Satellite Images Demand Goes to Reluctant Circuit

Friday, January 11, 2013

By MATT REYNOLDS

PASADENA, Calif. (CN) – There is no reason for the U.S. government to shield the existence of satellite images showing the Cuban government shoot down airplanes, a group told the 9th Circuit.

In 2010, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law filed a federal complaint under the Freedom of Information Act against NASA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). The group wants access to any satellite pictures taken on Feb. 24, 1996, of an area near the north coast of Cuba, where Cuban MiGs shot down two aircraft flown by Cuban exiles in the group Brothers to the Rescue, killing four U.S. citizens. The center believes that such information is critical to a Habeas Corpus petition for Gerardo Hernandez, who is serving life in prison based on charges that he fed Cuba the information that led to the 1996 shooting.

Hernandez belongs to a group of Cuban men known as the Cuban Five, detained for spying on Brothers to the Rescue on American soil. After Hernandez was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, an appeals court briefly overturned the convictions against him and his compatriots. The full 11th Circuit eventually reinstated the convictions, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant certiorari.

The Center for Human Rights said confirmation of the satellite images would help it determine where the shoot-down occurred to undermine Hernandez’s conviction. But the NGA refused even to confirm or deny the existence of the records or images that the group seeks. Refusing to acknowledge the existence of an item requested under FOIA is known as a Glomar response, named after the Hughes Glomar Explorer, a ship used in a classified CIA project to raise a sunken Soviet submarine from the Pacific Ocean. Responding to the center’s lawsuit, NGA director Barry Barlow explained the reasoning behind the agency’s decision in a declaration to the court.

U. S. District Judge Margaret Morrow in Los Angeles found this explanation credible and granted the government summary judgment in 2011.

“The court holds that the NGA has met its burden of showing that it acted permissibly in determining that acknowledging the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to plaintiffs’ request might disclose sources or methods of foreign intelligence and harm national security,” Morrow wrote. Represented by its executive director, Peter Schey, the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law urged the 9th Circuit on Wednesday to revive the case. Schey said this case represents the “very first time” an intelligence agency had taken the position that it would apply a Glomar response to every Freedom of Information Act request. Confirming the existence of the images would only confirm what the world already knows: that America gathers foreign intelligence, he argued. Skeptical, Judge Margaret McKeown told Schey: “That hardly trumps the view that there’s a significant national security interest.” Schey insisted that Barlow’s declaration was inadequate, calling it a “cookie cutter” affidavit that the agency could wield to deny all future requests for satellite images under the Freedom of Information Act.

Judge Milan Smith seemed convinced by Barlow’s declaration. He noted that the plaintiffs had a mountain to climb because of lack of case law. Matters of national security are an “area of expertise” for the government, not the courts, he added. In response, Schey questioned NGA’s authority to deny the request at all. He argued that the director of national intelligence, not the NGA, must protect intelligence sources. But Justice Department attorney Thomas Byron said the agency was “authorized” to use a Glomar response. He also disputed the notion that all future requests of a similar nature would be denied using the same exemption.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski asked Bryon why it would threaten national security to confirm the existence of the images. “I’m not sure how saying that we have a picture at a particular time and place reveals anything at all,” the chief said.
Bryon stuck to the line that America’s enemies might gather information on U.S. intelligence-gathering capabilities and limitations, even if the agency did no more than confirm or deny the existence of the images. He said foreign spies could track where the satellites operate, and glean intelligence from the resolution of the image, and the angle at which a picture was taken. Kozinski pressed for an answer as to whether the agency would use an exemption to deny all Freedom of Information Act requests for images.
After some back and forth, Bryon conceded that, when it came to images taken at a certain time and place, the exemption could apply. The attorney also said that the agency was happy to provide the court with more detail in camera, but argued that such an examination should be a “last resort.”
“I’m not asking to see the pictures,” Kozinski said to chuckles from the courtroom. “I have enough trouble with the fact that you can see my house on Google maps. If you look close enough, you might see me sunbathing on the patio.”