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Vol. 76/No. 11      March 19, 2012

Gov’t snubs revolutionary’s
request to visit sick brother
March 9—In a characteristically vindictive move, the Barack Obama administration and a federal court have so far refused to answer a Feb. 24 request by René González for permission to visit Cuba for two weeks to see his terminally ill brother Roberto.

González is one of five framed-up Cuban revolutionaries, who also include Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and Gerardo Hernández. The Cuban Five, as they are commonly referred to, were arrested in 1998 and convicted in 2001 on trumped-up charges that included conspiracy to commit espionage and, in the case of Hernández, conspiracy to commit murder.

Before their arrests, the revolutionaries were gathering intelligence for the Cuban government on activities of Cuban-American counterrevolutionary groups in South Florida. These outfits have a long record of carrying out deadly attacks against Cuba and supporters of the Cuban Revolution, including on U.S. soil, with the knowledge, if not complicity, of Washington.

The frame-up and treatment of the five is part and parcel of decades of unending hostility flowing from the U.S. rulers’ deep class hatred for Cuba’s socialist revolution and their determination to punish the island’s working people, who have defended their sovereignty and the political power they wrested from the capitalist exploiters following the 1959 overthrow of the U.S.-backed tyranny of Fulgencio Batista.

René González finished his prison term Oct. 7 but has been forced to serve a three-year supervised release in the U.S. The other four are still in jail with sentences ranging from 17 years and nine months to, in the case of Hernández, double life plus 15 years.

Roberto González, who is a lawyer in Cuba, has been part of René’s legal defense from the beginning. He was present during the 2001 trial, the following unsuccessful appeals by the five, and other procedural matters. He also came to the U.S. when René got out of prison.

“This type of release is customary” and motions in other similar cases have been granted, said René’s lawyer, Philip Horowitz, at a press conference March 2 in reference to the request for René González to visit his brother. “This is something that can be granted by the court … on purely humanitarian grounds.”

Other vindictive treatment of the five includes many months in solitary confinement and the denial of visas to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez—the wives of René González and Gerardo Hernández—to see their husbands.
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