The Cuban Five
The Cuban or Miami Five as they are known in Britain are Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero and René González – five Cuban men arrested in Miami in 1998 while attempting to stop terrorist attacks against the Cuban people.
Since 1959, nearly 3,500 Cubans have died in terrorist attacks carried out by Miami based terrorist organisations including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner which killed 78 people, and a series of hotel bombings in the 1990s aimed at destroying the island’s economy and tourism industry. To save lives, Cuba sent men to Miami to infiltrate and monitor the groups. At the request of the US government, the information they gathered was passed to the FBI in 1998.
But instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI used the information to identify and arrest the Five anti-terrorists on September 12, 1998 in Miami, where they were illegally held in solitary confinement for 17 months.
An unfair trial and harsh prison sentences resulted in terms of between 15 years to double life for the men. As extra punishment, visitation rights for two of their wives have been denied and visa requests for other members of the families severely restricted.
Although René González, who had the shortest sentence, was released after serving his term in October 2011, and eventually allowed home in May 2013, he did not receive justice. And the others still remain in US jails.
Human rights organisations have condemned the unfairness of the trial and the treatment of the families. Amnesty International has described the treatment of the Five as “contrary both to the standards for the humane treatment of prisoners and to a states’ obligation to protect family life.”
Furthermore, in June 2011, a Freedom of Information request revealed that the US government had secretly paid journalists to write prejudicial articles in the media at the time of the trial and therefore undermined the ‘defendants’ entitlement to a fair trial.
The international campaign for freedom and justice for the Cuban Five is supported by world leaders, Nobel prize winners, religious and human rights groups, lawyers, parliaments, trade unions, writers, academics, and thousands of people across the globe.
Join us and demand justice for the Five today.
For more information about the Five
For further details contact:
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Tel: +44 (0)208 800 0155
Cuba Solidarity Campaign, c/o Unite 33-37 Moreland Street, London EC1V 8BB