The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five denounces these utterly unjust actions, which only strengthens our demands for justice for Gerardo and for all the Five.
The following statement was released by the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX):
One of the five antiterrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, has been subject of a new arbitrariness by the authorities of that country, aiming at hindering his legal process.
Last Saturday, July 7th, the Cuban officers who had been already authorized by the State Department to carry out a consular visit to Gerardo, were not able to fulfill it, under the supposed argument that the memorandum of the Chief of the penitentiary center Victorville, in California, authorizing their entrance to the prison, was not available at the reception desk...
Additionally, last July 9th, lawyer Martin Garbus, member of Gerardo´s defense team, who had scheduled a legal visit to review, together with Gerardo, the documentation related to the current collateral process of appeal, was not able to do it with the same pretext that the memorandum of authorization of the chief of prison was not at the reception desk...
This is not the first time events like this one occur. They have taken place systematically during every key moment of Gerardo´s legal process...
The Minister of Foreign Affairs denounces this new maneuver by US authorities, aiming at hindering Gerardo´s process of appeal, depriving him from one of the few rights he has as a prisoner in the United States.
Clarification on Cuban Five appeals
There has been some confusion caused by media reports, on the latest legal developments in the case of the Five. We would like to clarify for Cuban Five supporters what the actual status of their appeals is.
On June 6, attorney Martin Garbus and Thomas Goldstein filed a motion in Miami federal district court on behalf of Gerardo Hernández, seeking an oral hearing and a court order for more information from the government -- known as discovery -- about the Miami journalists who were paid by the government during the trial of the Five. Their coverage, articles and coverage on radio and TV, contributed to the "perfect storm of prejudice and hostility" which helped to convict the Five.
On July 6, the prosecution, representing the U.S. government, filed its response to the motion, opposing the request of the Defense. (All these legal documents can be read here).
Judge Joan Lenard has not yet made a decision to grant or deny Gerardo's motion. Gerardo's attorneys will soon be filing a reply to the government's opposition. After that happens, the Court will rule on the motion, and decide whether or not to grant an oral hearing and discovery. There is no time limit on the decision. The audio presentation by attorney Martin Garbus (link below) explains the steps the Five's attorneys will take after the judge's decision. This is a long and laborious struggle, in which the Five have had to endure cruel and unjust imprisonment for almost 14 years. All actions and supporters for the Five continue to demand their immediate freedom.
In the meantime, the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five continues the very crucial work researching the facts about the paid journalists, which you can read about here. This new evidence is vital to the latest habeas corpus appeals by the Five.
Please help us continue this work by making a donation by clicking the link below. If you can help us with research that is still needed, or in organizing public events for the Cuban Five, please contact us at email@example.com.
Alarcon tells Europa Press: "Obama can pardon the Cuban Five"
President of Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power (ANPP), recently gave a lengthy interview to the Spanish paper, Europa Press, which has now been translated into English.
The President of Cuba's parliament, Ricardo Alarcón, says that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has plenty of arguments to support a pardon for the five Cubans sentenced to extremely long prison terms in the US...
"We're asking Obama for very little," Alarcón insisted in an interview with Europa Press in Madrid, emphasizing that "the arguments" about the errors committed during the trial "aren't coming from Cuba, but from the US events themselves."
Alarcón recalled that Judge Joan Lenard, who presided over the case of "the Five," "complained repeatedly about the conduct of journalists at the courthouse. A number of times, she said that the members of the jury felt threatened by the journalists, that they were afraid." For this reason, the habeas corpus appeal is based on the fact that it was the press who pushed for Miami as the trial venue.
Cuba is asking that "complete documentation" be submitted "about who the journalists were, who paid them (US authorities) and that those linked to the Miami media be called before the court." It would amount to around 80 people, said Alarcón.
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