Cuba Convenes Online Forum on Cuban 5

An online discussion forum on the case of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters convicted in the United States will take place on November 26 convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba. The exchange will be held between 10:00 and 12:00 local time in Cuba, with a panel made up of the relatives of the Cuban Five "as they are known internationally" and members of the International Committee working for their release.

As of Thursday, November 22, Internet users can post their questions or comments at the e-mail address http://foro.cubaminrex.cu/Start.aspx?p1=2&p2=24&p3=1&p4=1

The forum will begin with a panel presentation to be broadcast live via Internet, which can be seen from the websites Justin TV (internet), Cubaminrex and Nation and Emigration.

Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino were unjustly detained in 1998 for monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups that up to date walk freely in the U.S.

Four of them remain imprisoned in U.S. jails, while Rene Gonzalez is serving three years of supervised release in that territory, despite having completed his prison term.

Gerardo's defense recently filed legal documents that reveal the payment of large sums of money made by the U.S. government to thousands of journalists, with the aim of influencing the jury and the Miami community, venue of the trial held in 2001.

This legal action is among the most debated issues in recent Internet-based forums on the case.

For your perusal we are adding additional issues necessary for understanding The Cuban Five Case:

The Cuban Five political prisoners have been in US jails for 14 years, in an unjust confinement.

The Cuban Five unjustly incarcerated in the United States are antiterrorist fighters.

They were not collecting information on national security matters.

They were trying to prevent actions from Florida-based terrorist groups, which act with impunity against Cuba .

It has been demonstrated that the case of the Cuban Five is essentially political.

The case of the Cuban Five has been supported by Governments, parliaments, and religious, legal and human rights organizations.

Personalities from around the world, including 10 Nobel laureates, have supported their cause.

On October 3rd, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently reiterated her awareness of the Five case, as well as the situation of Olga and Adriana, Rene’s and Gerardo’s wives respectively.

The U.S. President, Barack Obama can use his constitutional authority and release the Cuban Five, thus put an end to the suffering of their relatives.

The only just and humane decision that the US Government should take is to allow René to return to his homeland.

René Gonzalez should be allowed to return to Cuba to complete his term of supervised release along with his relatives, at home, in his homeland.

Cuban people appreciate the international solidarity, which is essential to the solution of the case of the Fives.

Cuba will not relent in its efforts to achieve the return to the homeland of Gerardo and his four brothers, unjustly imprisoned and detained in the U.S. for nearly 14 years.

Differences between René González case and Alan Gross’

The purpose of linking these two cases has been to condition René’s return to Cuba to Gross’ release.

René Gonzalez and Alan Gross cases are not equivalent, are very different.

Mr. Gross violated the Cuban laws by implementing a U.S. Government program against the Cuban constitutional order.

René did not go to the United States to undermine neither the constitutional order nor national security of said country, but to fight against terrorism and to preserve Cuban and American lives.

René served until the last day of his unjust and long 13-year sentence imprisoned in the United States while Gross has just begun to serve his sentence.

The Government of Cuba has facilitated all visits by family, friends, religious figures, and political personalities who have requested to meet him.

These conditions are different to the cruel isolation regime imposed on Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and even René.

Gerardo’s mother passed away while he was in prison and the parents of the remaining four are elderly people.

Cuban Government has reiterated to U.S. Government its willingness to dialogue in order to find a humanitarian solution, on a reciprocal basis to Gross’ case.

Due to the importance of this event and information included, they can be used, resent, copied or published.

ICAP invites you to post questions and take part in solidarity for the liberation of The Cuban Five.

Best regards,

Rigoberto Zarza

ICAP Official