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Vol. 78/No. 30      August 25, 2014

Prison paintings on Cuban 5
shown at Liverpool, UK event
LIVERPOOL, England — “These paintings bring to mind the prison where my daughters are,” Kevin Smith told the Militant at a meeting of 30 people at the CASA bar and community center here Aug. 2 that showed Antonio Guerrero’s watercolor collection titled, “I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived.” (See “Who Are the Cuban Five?” on page 7.)

Smith’s daughters Maureen and Kelly are currently serving 23 and 22 years without parole on murder-related “joint enterprise” charges. The three-century-old joint enterprise doctrine allows prosecution based on association or knowledge of a crime or someone convicted of one.

Kevin Robinson, former chair of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, brought a message of solidarity from the group, which fights to reveal the truth about the deaths of 96 Liverpool football fans crushed to death during an incident at a 1989 game as a result of how it was handled by police.

“In all struggles you never lose your sense of humor,” Robinson, a dockworker sacked during the 1995-98 strike, told the meeting. “It frustrates them when you keep bouncing back. It is justice or the lack of justice that links Hillsborough and the Cuban Five.”

Tony Nelson, manager of the CASA bar and also a former dockworker, welcomed those who attended. The bar was established by sacked dockworkers with union backing.

“Three of the Five volunteered to fight in Angola,” pointed out Pete Clifford of the Communist League in Manchester, referring to Cuba’s internationalist volunteer combat mission that between 1975 and 1991 fought against the invading armies of white-supremacist South Africa. “What hundreds of thousands of Cuban volunteers did there stuck in the throat of Washington. Antonio himself studied in Kiev. People there know what Cuba has done to treat thousands affected in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear explosion. This is what the Five are fighting to defend. Not only socialism in Cuba, but a socialism that takes working-class solidarity elsewhere.”

“None of the Five are free until they are all free,” said the main speaker, Geoff Bottoms of the National Executive Committee of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, which organized the event. “They put their faith in international solidarity and they continue to fight for their revolution. They are not broken men, they see how things are interlinked in the struggle for a better world. So we all need to get struggling, get fighting, and in the end we’ll all win.”

Participants picked up nine copies of I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived, which includes reproductions of Guerrero’s paintings with descriptions and related writings by him and his comrades.
Related articles:
‘Need to show US, world who Cuban 5 really are’
Fellow prisoner: Ramón Labañino ‘earned respect
and helped you become a better person’

Who are the Cuban Five?
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