Nuria Barbosa León
Photos: Alberto Borrego

APPEALS around the world calling for the freedom of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González, imprisoned since September 12, 1998, by the United States government, continue to increase in number and reflect broader support.

On and around the anniversary of the arrest of the Five, actions were held in 113 countries, on all continents, with special emphasis in U.S. cities. Organized were exhibits, concerts, political events with screenings of documentaries and distribution of literature, statements and resolutions passed by government bodies, as well as personal expressions of support for the Five sent directly to President Barack Obama.

Solidarity with Cuba groups demonstrated in front of U.S. embassies and consular offices around the world and held press conferences to disseminate information about the case, in efforts to arouse public opinion internationally.

Important artists and intellectuals participated in an event in Washington.

Other anti-terrorist events include September 21 commemorations for Orlando Letelier, the Chilean foreign minister killed 36 years ago in Washington. On October 6, the 73 victims of the 1978 in-flight bombing of a Cuban airliner over Barbados, will be recalled and October 8th marks the anniversary of the assassination of Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara in Bolivia. Earlier this month, on the 4th, events were held to mark the anniversary of the murder of a young Italian tourist, Fabio di Celmo, at the hands of hired terrorists, who placed a bomb in Havana’s Copacabana Hotel.

A people’s court is being organized in Toronto, September 23, as well as activities in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, to break through the media silence around the case. Meanwhile, in Havana, on display is a banner begun in Belgium, featuring 5,000 handprints of individuals supporting the Five. Cuba is also calling for justice to be served in the 4,000 cases of terrorist attacks perpetuated by anti-Cuban groups, which continue to function with impunity in Miami.

Cuban artists held an event at the University of Havana on September 12, calling for the release of the Five and justice for the real terrorists, while on the 15th, a fleet of small cars will parade along Havana’s major streets, displaying banners and posters in support of the Cuban Five. Another important event planned is the re-launching of five Panamanian oil tankers bearing the Five’s logo.

Reports confirm that actions demanding freedom for the Cuban Five continue to gain strength. Noteworthy among the many messages recently sent to President Obama calling on him to use his executive authority to release the Five, is one from Reverend Joan Brown Campbell which states, "The Five do not represent any threat to the United States or anyone else."

As solidarity increases, and the struggle grows broader, freedom for the Five will be won.


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