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Vol. 76/No. 48      December 31, 2012

Int’l meeting to free Cuban 5
held in Holguín, Cuba
(feature article)
HOLGUÍN, Cuba—A call to build a world conference in solidarity with Cuba, to take place in Havana Nov. 24–28, 2014, culminated a four-day international gathering here on the fight to free five Cuban revolutionaries imprisoned in the United States since 1998 on trumped-up charges. The call was announced by Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), which sponsored the Nov. 28–Dec. 1 event in Holguín.

The Eighth International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Cuban Five and against Terrorism, an event held annually in Holguín since 2005, was the largest to date. According to the organizers, it drew more than 300 people from some 40 countries around the world, ranging from Puerto Rico to Vietnam, Spain, Italy, Russia, United Kingdom, Lebanon, Peru, Argentina, El Salvador, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the United States. One of the largest delegations came from Canada, including five workers belonging to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.

Five relatives of the Cuban revolutionaries, active in the international campaign for their release, took part in the four-day event and addressed the delegates.

The Holguín conference built on two successful ICAP-initiated regional gatherings in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution held earlier this year—one in September in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for countries of Africa and another in October in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for the Asia-Pacific region. Delegates exchanged experiences on activities they have organized over the past year and discussed plans for the coming months in the fight to free Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.

Delegates traveled to half a dozen areas in rural Holguín province on one day of the conference and joined Cubans in voluntary labor brigades rebuilding housing and planting crops in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

One of the featured speakers at the Holguín event was Dolores Huerta, a founding leader of the United Farm Workers union, which led big farmworker struggles in California in the 1960s and early ’70s. Huerta has spoken at a number of events in the United States calling on the U.S. government to release the Cuban Five.

Alicia Jrapko, of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, announced that a series of national actions in Washington, D.C., called Five Days for the Cuban Five, have been scheduled for May 31–June 5, 2013.

Mary-Alice Waters contributed to this article.
Related articles:
Who are the Cuban Five  
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