“The fact that the five Cuban heroes were imprisoned while real terrorists —such as Luis Posada Carriles— live as free men in U.S. territory, is an embarrassment” noted Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in the war against Iraq.
Sheehan was referring to Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, and Rene Gonzalez —internationally known as the Cuban Five— who were arrested in 1998 and given harsh sentences for monitoring anti-Cuba right-wing groups in South Florida that were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against the Caribbean nation.
Hernandez, Guerrero, Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez remain unjustly imprisoned while Rene Gonzalez was recently released, but he was forced to stay in U.S. territory for three years on probation.
“I learned about their case during a visit to Venezuela in 2006 and I saw many people, including their mothers and wives, demanding their release.
Since then, I joined their just cause until we achieve that goal,” said Sheehan, one of 300 representatives from 45 countries who are participating in the Seventh International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Five and against Terrorism that ends on Saturday in the Cuban eastern province of Holguin.
“The main objective of these men was to prevent terrorist actions from taking place and, incredibly, they remain prisoners of a government that drops bombs against civilians and practices torture all around the world,” she added.
“He was one of the many victims of the pro-war policies of the Government of my country,” Sheehan said referring to her son, who died during the U.S. occupation of Iraq in 2004.