The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 78/No. 25      July 14, 2014

Events in Greece build
support for Cuban Five
(front page)
ELEFSINA, Greece — More than 100 people attended the opening here June 21 of “I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived” — an exhibit of prison watercolors by Antonio Guerrero, one of five Cuban revolutionaries framed up and imprisoned in the United States in 1998. (See “Who Are the Cuban Five?” on page 3.)

Elefsina, about 15 miles northwest of Athens, is an industrial center of steel plants, shipyards, cement works and other factories.

The opening event, held at Lykiskos Café-Bar, attracted steelworkers, shipyard workers and others from the area. Participants viewed Guerrero’s 15 paintings and captions on display in the café’s outdoor patio.

“Despite imprisonment, despite being put in the hole, despite the violence that prison is, they have fought on with a free spirit,” Sofia Roditi, a leader of the Women’s Committee that organized solidarity during a 2011-2012 strike at the Elliniki Halivourgia steel mill in Aspropyrgos, told the crowd. “Now with these paintings they have come to Greece, the land of crisis, of unemployment, of hospital closures, of increasing suicides and of resistance. Our solidarity is what makes us strong and that will help us bring about a new society based on justice.”

“Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio, the three of the Cuban Five still held hostage in the U.S., will return to Cuba once millions of people throughout the world support their release, when working people identify with their fight through our own experiences in resisting the violence of capitalism in crisis,” said Natasha Terlexi on behalf of the José Martí Cultural Association.

“Our comrades have been unjustly in jail for over 15 years,” Osvaldo Cobacho Martínez, Cuba’s ambassador to Greece, told the meeting. “This conviction is part of a vendetta against Cuba for daring to carry out its own revolution, a socialist revolution just 90 miles from their noses. The wall of silence around their case must be broken.”

Tassos Stavros, president of the Greek Committee for Détente and Peace, also spoke. Antonis Alexandropoulos, president of the Elefsina chapter of the Greek Peace Council, chaired the event.

This was the third stop in the nationwide tour of the paintings, which has been organized by the José Martí Cultural Association and Hasta La Victoria Siempre, groups that organize solidarity with the Cuban Revolution.

On June 2, some 300 people joined an evening of solidarity at the Niki Volou soccer club stadium in Volos, about a four-hour drive north of Athens. The event included an exhibition soccer game, the exhibit of Guerrero’s watercolors and music by local band Skapanies and well-known singer Vassilis Lekkas.

“The case of the Five goes back to the fact that Cuba is resisting,” said Savvas Kofidis, a former member of the Greek national soccer team, who played in the June 2 match. “Cuba gives us strength. It is a source of inspiration because it shows what we can do.”

Close to 500 people have come to events since the tour of Guerrero’s paintings began in early May. Participants have bought 71 books on the fight to free the Five, the Cuban Revolution and other books on revolutionary working-class politics published by Diethnes Vima.
Related articles:
Who are the Cuban Five?
Exhibits of paintings by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five
Socialism built on consciousness, active solidarity of masses
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