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Vol. 78/No. 34      September 29, 2014

Int’l conference in Havana
calls actions to free Cuban 5
HAVANA — Nearly 300 delegates from 48 countries took part in the 10th International Colloquium for the Freedom of the Cuban Five and Against Terrorism held here Sept. 11-12. The event brought together representatives of solidarity organizations, trade unions, religious groups, political parties, parliamentary deputies from Latin America and other prominent figures involved in the campaign to win the release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero, Cuban revolutionaries who have been imprisoned by Washington for more than 16 years. Fernando González and René González, two of the Cuban Five, served their entire sentences in U.S. prisons and have returned to Cuba. (See “Who Are the Cuban Five?” on this page).

“We are never going to accept that Antonio, Ramón and Gerardo remain in prison –– and I know that you will never accept it either,” said Fernando González, addressing the closing session of the conference. “I also know that you will help us win their release and bring them home.”

Fernando González, now vice president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), which organized the event, and René González have been leading the international defense effort since their return.

One of the highlights of the two-day event was an exhibition inaugurating “Absolved by Solidarity,” a new series of 16 watercolors by Antonio Guerrero. The paintings depict some of the most memorable moments in the 2000-2001 frame-up trial of the five Cuban revolutionaries and the dignity and humor with which they confronted their accusers.

“These paintings were inspired by the 15 watercolors I painted in 2013 that depicted the 17 months we spent in the punishment cells” of the Federal Detention Center in Miami, writes Guerrero in his introduction to the collection. “This work is a continuation of that story.”

Delegates to the conference called for coordinated activities around the world in September 2015, including the next “5 Days for the Cuban 5” in Washington, D.C., and support to an international solidarity action in South Africa in early 2015 that will highlight the role of the Cuban Five in Cuba’s nearly 16-year-long internationalist mission in Angola that helped bring down the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Related articles:
Cuba sends doctors to combat Ebola in Africa
Meeting in DC marks 16 years in int’l fight to free Cuban 5
Who are the Cuban Five?
Washington’s trade embargo, hostility toward Cuba is matter of US state policy
Cuban leader says normalization of relations no more likely under a Democratic than a Republican administration; ‘Cuban-American lobby’ doesn’t influence US decisions on Cuba
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