New protests in Washington to free the Cuban Five

The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five has called a June 7 protest in front of the White House in Washington, demanding that President Barack Obama end the policy of hostility towards Cuba, which has lasted over 50 years.

Participants in the 3rd solidarity event, scheduled June 4–11 in Washington, will attend the protest to demand the release of the three remaining anti-terrorists, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, currently incarcerated in federal prisons, as their compatriots René González and Fernando González have already completed their unjust sentences.

Voices from all around the world will gather at the White House to demand the end of the genocidal economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed on Cuba, support the call for Puerto Rican independence, and demand the closure of the illegal military base in Guantánamo.

According to the website, the event “5 Days for the Cuban 5 in Washington D.C”, will begin with a press conference at the National Press Club, featuring Fernando and René, who will participate via Skype, as well as Martin Garbus, lead attorney for the Cuban 5 and Canadian writer, Stephen Kimber. Reverend Joan Brown Campbell, former general secretary of the National Council of Churches USA, and actor Danny Glover will also attend.

A conference entitled, “New Era in U.S-Cuba Relations”, is scheduled for June 5–6 and will call attention to the need for a change in U.S government policy towards Cuba, a growing demand, both nationally and internationally. The event will include short videos, a round table discussion and a panel of experts to talk about the blockade; the travel ban; the economic changes taking place in Cuba; the imposition of sanctions on companies trading with Cuba and espionage though the use of social networks.

On the evening of June 6, local artists will take to the stage for the “Mega Meeting of Art and Empowerment” event, headlined by renowned Hip Hop duo Dead Prez and featuring other well-known U.S artists. Graciela Ramírez, member of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, spoke to Granma International about the June 9-10 effort to visit Congressional offices, “Again, this year members of parliaments from all over the world have made plans to lobby their U.S counterparts to take action for the release of these men who should not have spent even one minute in prison.”

The Cuban Five, as they are known internationally, were arrested September 12, 1998, while monitoring anti-Cuban terrorist groups operating in southern Florida. The Judge that presided over their case in a Miami court has been widely criticized for her handling of the trial.

The 5 Days for the Cuban 5 in Washington is the second important solidarity event to take place this year, the first was the International Commission of Inquiry into the Case of the Cuban Five, held March 5, in London.


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