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Vol. 76/No. 17      April 30, 2012

Free the five Cuban revolutionaries!
(feature article, editorial)

The Militant has been urging working people to join a rally April 21 in front of the White House to demand freedom for five Cuban revolutionaries, exemplary internationalist working-class fighters Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and René González.

The action is the culmination of five days of events in the Washington, D.C., area aimed at winning new support for the international campaign to get the five out of Washington’s hold.

Their frame-ups and treatment by the U.S. “justice” system, including long periods of solitary confinement, are familiar to millions of working people in the United States, which incarcerates at a rate immensely higher than anywhere in the world.

The Cuban Five are working-class fighters. Their real crime in the eyes of Washington is their uncompromising defense of the Cuban Revolution.

In 1959 Cuban toilers overthrew the U.S.-backed tyranny of Fulgencio Batista and wrested political power from the capitalist exploiters. They have defended and wielded this power for more than 50 years, and used it to advance the interests of workers and farmers in Cuba and worldwide. This living example is the source of the imperialists’ unremitting class hatred. They will never forget or forgive.

Like in the fight to indict the vigilante who killed Trayvon Martin, we put zero faith in the U.S. government or “justice” system. Contrary to what special prosecutor Angela Corey claims, the only reason Zimmerman was charged is because the U.S. rulers buckled under the pressure of mass street demonstrations. Similarly, as Gerardo Hernández put it, it is the “jury of millions around the world” that will ultimately win freedom for the Cuban Five.

Amid the deepening world crisis of capitalism, working people increasingly find themselves under attack by the bosses, cops, courts and government. The increased working-class resistance to the bosses’ assaults on our jobs, unions, rights and very dignity also bring new recruits to the fights against capitalist frame-ups.

Members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 have been jailed and still face possible prison sentences for defending their union. Leaders of the fight against the lockout by American Crystal Sugar in the Midwest face frame-up charges for the same “crime.” More than any time since the arrest of the five, there exists an opportunity to win broader layers of working people to champion the fight for their freedom.

From the protests to arrest Trayvon Martin’s killer, to the picket lines against boss assaults on our unions, to the ILWU’s fight against anti-labor frame-ups and vandalization of their hall, to the battle to free the Puerto Rican political prisoners in U.S. jails—new forces will see and understand that the five are part of one and the same struggle and should be defended as such.

Free the Five!
Related articles:
Art exhibitions to win support for Cuban 5 set to open in UK
Puerto Rico, Cuba: ‘same enemy, shared struggle’
‘Exploited of America have begun writing own history’  
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