The Militant urges working people and supporters of workers’ rights to build and join an April 21 rally in front of the White House, to demand freedom for the Cuban Five—Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and René González. The rally will be the culmination of five days of activities in the Washington, D.C., area, initiated by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 and sponsored by a wide array of individuals and organizations.
These five Cuban revolutionaries have been jailed in the U.S. since 1998 under various trumped-up “conspiracy” charges that include conspiracy to commit espionage and, in the case of Hernández, conspiracy to commit murder. At the end of a trial heavily stacked against them, they were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 15 years to double life plus 15 years.
Their frame-ups and treatment by the U.S. “justice” system, including long periods of solitary confinement, are familiar to millions of working people in the United States, which incarcerates at a rate immensely higher than anywhere in the world.
The workers and farmers of Cuba overthrew a U.S.-backed tyranny in 1959 and wrested state power. It is the one country today where workers and farmers continue to wield and defend that power for the benefit of the toiling majority.
The five were living and working in southern Florida gathering information for the Cuban government on activities of Cuban-American counterrevolutionary groups with a long history of violent attacks on Cuba and supporters of the Cuban Revolution. For decades these forces carried out various acts of murder and sabotage with the complicity of Washington.
The five are working-class fighters. Three of them—Fernando González, René González and Hernández—served as volunteer internationalist combatants in Angola. (See speech by Fidel Castro on page 8.) Their example—and that of the Cuban Revolution they represent and defend—is the reason why the U.S. rulers have gone after them with a vengeance.
All but René González remain in prison. González was released last fall after 13 years in jail, but has been forced to serve an additional three-year parole in the U.S. instead of being allowed to return to Cuba, as is the norm in such cases. (Only after much delay did the federal court and U.S. authorities allow González to travel for two weeks to Cuba, where he currently is, in order to see his terminally ill brother Roberto.)
The week of activities from April 17 to April 21 will be an important opportunity to broaden the fight to free the Cuban revolutionaries. It will include film showings, discussions of the case, exhibit of political cartoons by Hernández, a Friday evening public event, and the White House protest. For more information see http://www.thecuban5.org.
Five buses will leave New York for the protest April 21 at 6 a.m. as part of a “Freedom ride for the Cuban 5.” They will bring demonstrators to the 1 p.m. rally and return the same evening. The cost is $5. To reserve a seat, call (917) 945-9877 or (718) 601-4751, or contact a Militant distributor listed on page 8.
Cuba’s foreign policy based on internationalist solidarity
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