WASHINGTON.— The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 imprisoned in the U.S. has called for an international mobilization denouncing the continuing punishment of René González, one of the Five.

In a communiqué released September 19, the group warned that the U.S. government now intends to prevent González from immediately returning to Cuba to be reunited with his family, when he is completes his sentence October 7.

René deserves this right, the text emphasizes, after serving "down to the last minute his unjust sentence, having never benefited from a re-sentencing." In December of 2001, a Miami judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison, which he has served in the Marianna, Florida federal facility.

The Committee called upon solidarity activists to denounce this new punishment and called for "a mobilization of public opinion worldwide" to support René's right to rejoin his family in Cuba upon his release from prison.

González was given three years of probation, or supervised liberty, because he was born in the United States.

The group recalled that "seven months ago, René's lawyer submitted a motion to modify the terms of his probation and allow him, for humanitarian reasons, to return to Cuba once his sentence was served and be reunited with his wife and family."

Subsequently, on March 25, federal prosecutor Caroline Heck Miller requested that the judge deny this motion and, on September 16, Judge Joan Lenard did so, alleging that the Miami court needed time to evaluate René's behavior once he was freed.

She further asserted that the court must "verify that he does not pose any danger to the United States," according to the Committee's statement entitled "Act now: against more punishment for René González."

The Committee recalled that Heck Miller is the same federal prosecutor who declined to file criminal charges against Luis Posada Carriles and that Joan Lenard is the same judge who, when initially sentencing the Five, included special provisions for René upon his release.

These state that he is "prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists, members of organizations advocating violence or organized crime figures are known to frequent."

The Committee's communiqué reads, "Thus it is established… the shameless acknowledgement of the impunity afforded terrorists in Miami, the explicit prohibition that they should not be bothered and that those, like René and his four brothers, who dare to do so will be punished.

Forcing René to submit to three years of probation in Florida, "a den of international terrorists… poses a serious threat to his physical safety and his life," the Committee emphasized. (PL)


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