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Vol. 78/No. 8      March 3, 2014

(front page)
Exhibit of paintings by one of
Cuban Five opens in Montreal

Militant/Myriam Marceau
Students, workers and teachers attend presentation of Antonio Guerrero’s watercolors Feb. 6 at University of Montreal. Inset, Cuban Consul General Alaín González González.
MONTREAL — Some 50 students, workers and teachers attended a presentation of Antonio Guerrero’s series of 15 watercolors — “I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived” — at the University of Montreal Feb. 6. After the program, the paintings went on display at the Intermed, the medical students’ coffee shop at the University of Montreal, from Feb. 10-21.

Guerrero is one of five Cuban revolutionaries arrested in 1998 on frame-up charges, including conspiracy to commit espionage, and imprisoned in the U.S. (See “Who Are the Cuban Five?” below.) The program, entitled “Art and Liberation,” was organized by the Fabio Di Celmo Committee for the Five, with the support of the Quebec Association for the Teaching of History and Geography.

Catinca Adriana Stan, a lecturer in the teaching of history, opened by describing Guerrero’s paintings, copies of which were hung around the room.

The watercolor images illustrate the conditions faced by the five revolutionaries in the 17 months they were held in solitary at the Miami Federal Detention Center before and during their trial. The paintings depict both the harassment and brutality they faced from prison guards and officials as well as the ways they and other inmates were able to communicate and share solidarity with each other.

Describing the growing international movement to press for the release of the Five, Alain González González, Cuba’s consul in Montreal, said, “Cuba calls on youth worldwide to join in organizing to end this injustice.”

“It is an honor to be part of this act of solidarity,” said Claude Morin, a retired professor at the University of Montreal specializing in Cuban history. Cuba is “a small country, but a giant” in its acts of international solidarity, he said, describing how the Cuban Revolution had provided solidarity to other countries, from Africa to Latin America.

“Since 2007 I have been interested in helping to get out the word about the Cuban Five,” Lisa Courtemanche, from the International Solidarity Committee of the Montreal Labor Council of the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN), said. She learned about solidarity activity with the Cuban Revolution after the union at the Quebec Liquor Board where she worked affiliated to the CSN.

“We know that right is on our side, but to win we need a jury of millions throughout the world to make our truth known,” Félix Vincent Ardea, a philosophy student who took part in protests against tuition hikes in 2012, said, quoting Gerardo Hernández, one of the Cuban Five.

“I came because people should learn about what’s happening outside their homes, because in that way they’ll truly learn about the unfairness around us,” Gee, a 20-year-old chemistry student from the Congo, told the Militant. “We each need to act to get more people involved.”
Related articles:
Showings of paintings by Antonio Guerrero
Who are the Cuban Five?
Thousands pour into Havana Int’l Book Fair
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