World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Free the Five

International Commission in London calls on Obama to free the Five

On March 7 and 8, expert witnesses, attorneys and family members of the Cuban Five, gave powerful testimony before an audience of 250 people at the prestigious Law Society in central London, to argue for the immediate freedom of the three Cuban Five members still in U.S. prison.

René González was scheduled as the key witness but the British government denied him a visa, telling him that as an ex-prisoner who served more than four years in prison, it was sufficient grounds to deny entry into England.

That was precisely the reason he needed to come to London, to explain how each day of his more than 13 years of prison was wrongly imposed! Still, René's truth rang through the hall as the judge-commissioners and audience listened intently to him via Skype.

The Commissioners were: Zakeria Mohammed Yacoob, former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; Philippe Texier, former Judge, French Court de Cassation; and Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal, former Chief Justice of India. Presiding were Professor Sara Chandler, Chair, Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales; and Elizabeth Woodcraft, attorney and author, of Great Britain.

Cuban Five attorneys Phil Horowitz and Martin Garbus, gave details of the egregious denial of the Five's rights to a fair trial by the U.S. government's misconduct and poisoned political atmosphere in Miami. Garbus also presented a 558-page document to the Commissioners outlining the U.S. government's illegal and secret payments to prominent Miami reporters who worked to condemn the Five through their highly prejudicial coverage. The document is a product of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five's research of the last five years, and contains Garbus's important affidavit on behalf of Gerardo. Gerardo Hernández's affidavit of his innocence on the false conviction for murder conspiracy is also included. Attorney Peter Schey spoke of the U.S. government's refusal to produce vital satellite images of the shoot-down of Brothers to the Rescue planes on Feb. 24, 1996. The shoot-down was falsely pinned on Gerardo Hernández and is the reason he is serving a draconian double-life sentence.

A women's panel on the second day of the Commission, coincided with International Women's Day, and emphasized the hardships that the mothers, wives and children of the Five have endured, and their supreme dedication to their loved ones' freedom. Featured were Irmita González, daughter of René; renowned author Alice Walker; Diana Holland, Assistant Gen'l Secretary of UNITE union; Mirta Rodríguez, mother of Antonio Guerrero; and Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples. Olga Salanueva, wife of René González, Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of Ramón Labañino, and Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo Hernández, gave moving testimony in other sessions.

Among the many others who spoke were family members of victims of anti-Cuba terrorism, Margarita Morales, whose father died in the 1976 bombing of Cubana flight 455 (73 people were murdered by terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch), Betina Corcho, whose mother, a Cuban diplomat, was murdered by a terrorist bomb directed against Cuba in Portugal, and Roberto Hernández Caballero, investigator of terrorist crimes committed against Cuba. Former Cuban National Assembly president Ricardo Alarcón, former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and vice-president of Europe's Parliament Miguel Angel Martínez headed a panel.

A grand concert Friday night highlighted famed Cuban musicians Eliades Ochoa and Omara Portuondo. Alice Walker and other personalities filled Barbican Hall. A closing dinner on Saturday gave recognition to convenors and organizers Cuba Solidarity Campaign and the Belgian organization Iniciativa Cuba Socialista, and to British unions UNITE and UNISON, among others.

A preliminary conclusion was read at the conclusion of the Commission, to resounding applause and standing ovation. The final report will be sent to President Barack Obama. Congratulations to the organizers and everyone involved for this vitally important event!

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news