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NZers call for release of Cuban 5 in USA

NZers call for release of Cuban 5 in USA


Dozens of New Zealand supporters of civil rights have added their names to a letter being delivered to the US consulate in Auckland at 4pm today demanding the release of five Cubans jailed in the USA.

“Their so-called crime was to gather information about terrorist groups that operate on US soil and carry out attacks in Cuba,” said Mike Treen on behalf of the NZ Cuba Friendship Society. “Their actions helped prevent terrorist actions and protected innocent civilians. It is a travesty of justice for them to remain in jail for so long.”

The letter signed by union leaders, law professors, student leaders and others says:

“These men have been held in jail now for ten years. Continuation of their imprisonment is an absolute injustice. Therefore, we urge the United States government to free the Cuban Five now!”


6a Western Springs Rd
Auckland 1021

June 12, 2008

John Desrocher
Consul General
U.S. Consulate General in Auckland
Private Bag 92022

Dear Mr Desrocher

We are writing to add our voices to thousands around the world who oppose the June 4 ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, which upheld the convictions of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González. We ask that you pass on to your government our call for their immediate release.

The Cuban Five, as these five men are known, were engaged in a peaceful mission to stop Miami-based organisations from continuing to carry out terrorist attacks against Cuba. Following their arrest they were held for 17 months in brutal conditions of solitary confinement and near-total isolation to hinder the preparation of their defence. At their trial there was not a single page of classified information produced showing espionage or any action directed against the U.S. government. Without any proof, frame-up charges of conspiracy were used to convict the five. They were tried and convicted in an atmosphere of hype and hysteria in Miami, Florida.

These men have been held in jail now for ten years. Continuation of their imprisonment is an absolute injustice. Therefore, we urge the United States government to free the Cuban Five now!

Yours faithfully

Dr Jane Kelsey, professor of law, University of Auckland

Laila Harre, National Secretary, National Distribution Union, Onehunga, Auckland.

Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union, 6a Western Springs Rd, Morningside, Auckland, 1021

Mike Ingpen, Secretary, South Pacific and Oceanic Council of Trade Unions (SPOCTU).

Dr David V Williams, Professor of Law, Universwity of Auckland

John Minto, Spokesperson, Global Peace and Justice, Auckland

Dave Wickham, Project Co-ordinator, CTU Centre for Food & Beverage Workforce Development.

Omar Hamed, International Affairs Officer, Auckland University Students Association
Paul Piesse, President, Alliance Party, NZ

Grant Morgan, Chair, Residents Action Movement (RAM), NZ

Pat Bolster, Wellington

Louisa Jones, National Industry Organiser – NZ Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union

Kathryn Tucker, Unite Organiser, PO Box 9423. Anglesea St, Hamilton

Ina Lawrence, NZ Cuba Friendship Society, Auckland

Tom Buckley, Unite Organiser, 6a Western Springs Rd, Morningside, Auckland, 1021

Roger Fowler, Co-organiser, RAM - Residents Action Movement, NZ

Joe Carolan, Organiser, Socialist Aotearoa

John Flygenring, 1/118A Sawyers Arms Road, Papanui, CHRISTCHURCH 8052

Cameron Walker – student

Lyn Doherty Project Co ordinator, Ohomairangi Trust

Hana Spierer, Alt TV Producer,“Green Core”-Aotearoa’s only Environmental and Human Rights show

Nico Woodward, Student

Dr Gael Donald, Westfono Healthcare, Henderson, Auckland

Julie Webb Pullman, Wellington

Ian Powell, Wellington

Janet Roth, Auckland

Cr Paul Bruce , Greater Wellington Regional Councillor, 272 Ohiro Road, Wellington.

Adrian Guerrero, Carla Batista, Katia Cisternas, Victor Batista, Tomas Guerrero, Nicolas Guerrero,
Nadia Batista, Cristian Batista, Enrique Batista, Antonia Marchesse, (from Latin America living in NZ)

Oliver Woods - RAM Co-organiser, Auckland.

Helen Ritchie

Annalucia Vermunt, Communist League

Mike Tucker, Communist League

Nick Fowler, Young Socialists

John B. Turner, 44 Renata Cres., Te Atatu Pennsula, Waitakere.

Susie Powell (teacher) Box 95-108 Swanson.

Jane Bucholz, Auckland

Gillian Magee, National Distribution Union

Janfrie Wakim, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, Auckland

Christine Blance, 68B Ruskin St, Addington, Christchurch 8021.

Malcolm McAllister, teacher, Auckland

Joel Hildebrandt

Denis O'Connor.

Paul Maunder, Greymouth

Ron R. Miller, 2 Hakanoa St, Grey Lynn, Auckland

Jim Holdom, 23 Ross Crescent, Hamilton 3214, New Zealand

Jeremy Gorham, Mt Eden, Business Manager

Warren Brewer

Colin Pounder, 5 Cossar Street, Christchurch 8083

Nick Laery, undergraduate student, University of Auckland.


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