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Vol. 78/No. 32      September 15, 2014

Miami event: ‘Five represent
dignity of the Cuban people’
MIAMI — Antonio Guerrero’s prison paintings were shown at an event here Aug. 9 supporting freedom for the Cuban Five, who were framed up and imprisoned by the U.S. government. (See “Who Are the Cuban Five?” on this page.)

About 100 people came over the course of the evening to view the collection of 15 watercolors titled “I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived,” hosted by Haitian group Veye Yo at its center in the Little Haiti neighborhood. The collection and accompanying descriptions convey the experience of Guerrero and his four comrades during their first months in U.S. prisons.

Tony Jeanthenor welcomed everyone present on behalf of Veye Yo. Speakers included Elena Freyre, president of the Foundation for Normalization of US-Cuba Relations; Max Lesnik, a leader of Alianza Martiana; Tom Baumann of the Socialist Workers Party; and Carol Meyer, a maintenance worker who read a poem by Guerrero titled “From the Hole.”

Richard Klugh, an attorney in Miami who is part of the defense team for the Cuban Five, joined the meeting by phone. “The work that Antonio has done that is displayed tonight is truly a reflection of his humanness and what he actually experienced,” Klugh told the gathering. “The difficulties we have had in presenting the case of the Five to the American people can only be combated by the type of event taking place tonight.”

“We pay tribute to these Five who represent the dignity of the Cuban people,” said Lesnik. “Enjoy the art — these paintings and these five men represent the heart of the Cuban Revolution.”

“When you look at these paintings and their descriptions, you see the creativity and the humor with which the Five resisted their incarceration,” said Baumann. “This strikes a chord with millions of working people here in the U.S. who’ve had their own experiences with capitalist ‘justice.’”

The event had previously been scheduled to take place at the nearby Sweat Records, but store owners decided not to hold it there in face of threats from opponents of the Cuban revolution that were picked up by the press.

At least one participant, Michael Carracedo, a young worker and Miami Dade College student, came to the event after hearing it promoted on the online radio show “La Tarde Se Mueve,” hosted by Edmundo García.

A handful of rightists protested the event outside. Police moved them to the opposite side of the street. Over the course of the evening more than a dozen people from the neighborhood stopped by to view the exhibit after noticing the commotion.

Shena Othello, a young woman from nearby who didn’t know about the case of the Cuban Five, came in with a friend who bought a copy of The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, and Why They Should Be Free to learn more.

“I came here first because I like art, and second to say that the right to freedom of expression that’s in the U.S. Constitution should be respected,” Nicolas Marte, a limo driver originally from the Dominican Republic, told the Militant. He said that in viewing the paintings he was struck by “the peace and serenity of spirit, even as they express the harsh reality and suffering in prison.”
Related articles:
Who are the Cuban Five?
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