This book also lets us get to know them as human beings—especially through their participation in the struggle of the Angolan people against the South African racists.
Our compañeros, who are Heroes of the Republic of Cuba, are also heroes of the Republic of Angola and of the Republic of Namibia, as well as heroes of the African National Congress in South Africa. The governments and political forces leading those countries are aware of the contribution they made to help Angola consolidate its independence, to help Namibia put an end to colonialism, and to allow the people of South Africa to finish off the racist system of apartheid and establish a democratic society. …
The five are an example—and they should be seen as an example here, within Cuba, as well—in our battle against racism. What greater way to fight racism than to face the South African troops themselves in the trenches, on the battlefield, and that is what they did!
I would also like to salute my brother Raúl Suárez and the very important work being done by the Cuban ecumenical movement and our churches to unleash a solidarity movement that goes beyond formulas and stereotypes. A movement that is able to reach the hearts of people both inside and outside Cuba. …
The center of the legal and political battle today is to force the U.S. government to reveal what it has been hiding for 17 years now. It refuses to release the U.S. satellite images of the incident of Feb. 24, 1996 [the shootdown of the Brothers to the Rescue planes that took off from southern Florida]. They haven’t done so for a very simple reason: the images prove that the incident on that date took place within Cuban airspace. Consequently, what the U.S. government has done to the five compañeros is not only unjust. Not only were their sentences excessive, but the court did not even have the right to accept the charge brought against Gerardo. The matter was beyond the jurisdiction of the court.
Now we are at a decisive, final stage in the legal process, the so-called habeas corpus appeals. The heart of Gerardo’s habeas corpus appeal is to demand that the U.S. government release the satellite images. And allow Gerardo to appear before the court to argue his case, to prove the so-called evidence used against him is absolutely made-up.
The appeals also demand that they be allowed to introduce evidence on the payments the U.S. government made to Miami journalists to create that “perfect storm” of prejudice and hostility against the five, as a U.S. court called it in 2005. …
What more can we do? That question should pursue all Cuban men and women like a gypsy curse. What more can we do to bring them home? All of them, including Gerardo. The other four compañeros at least have a release date, however unjust and far in the future it may be. Gerardo doesn’t even have that. …
We need to ask ourselves what more we can do in order to force President Obama to do what he is morally obligated to do, and what he is politically and legally able to do: to order the immediate, unconditional release of Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, and Fernando, and to end the crude sequestration of René.
For that reason we thank the compañeros of Pathfinder and the Militant and all those in the U.S. who persist in this effort to spread the truth.
‘It is only through international solidarity and action that we will bring our compañeros home’
Among the participants
‘I’m proud of what our lieutenant did and of what he continues to do today’
‘Fight for their freedom is inextricable part of sharpening class struggle in United States’
‘Thank you, Angola, for allowing us to know our comrades better’
‘Diverse religious institutions are united behind Cuban Five’
Who are the Cuban Five?
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