MONTECRISTI, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, March 26 (PL) .- One hundred Dominicans said in this city, headquarters of the Cuban-Dominican brotherhood, that the Cuban Five will return, while vowing not to cease their efforts to achieve that goal.

The mayor of Montecristi, Luis Méndez, began by paying tribute to the recently deceased lawyer of the Five, Leonard Weinglass, who so unselfishly devoted himself to the task, despite a serious illness.

The Five, as they are called in the international campaigns for their release, are René González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez, who have remain incarcerated in the United States since September 1998.

René, Antonio, Gerardo, Ramon and Fernando were sentenced to lengthy prison terms by U.S. courts for alleged conspiracy to commit espionage, a charge that was never proven by the prosecutors.

The Five were devoted to preventing terrorist acts by groups settled in the South of the U.S.. in Florida.

After recalling the 116th anniversary of the signing of the Montecristi Manifesto by José Martí and Máximo Gómez, which cemented the brotherhood between the peoples of Cuba and the Dominican Republic, Mayor Mendez highlighted the fruits of this friendship.

Dominican doctors who studied in Cuba, together with Cuban doctors, have been able to stop the spread of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Many others have regained their sight with Operation Miracle, said Mendez.

Claudio Tavarez, a journalist and leader of the campaign of solidarity with Cuba in the northwest corner of the Dominican province said they would not stop until victory and the return of the Five.

He announced that radio and television programmers give priority to all information on the legal process of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in U.S. jails.

Roberto Payano, general coordinator of the Dominican Campaign of Solidarity with Cuba, said the greatest legacy of the Montecristi Manifesto is to highlight the selflessness and internationalism of its protagonists, in the discipline and awareness and the will to win.

Therefore, the struggle for the liberation of the Five will succeed and they will come back, he said.

Also speaking at the ceremony was the Deputy Minister of Education, Luis de León, and the Cuban Ambassador, Juan Astiasarán.


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