A display of prison paintings by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Five, was up in the main meeting hall.
During the lunch break, NFP President Mark Vasina called participants’ attention to the paintings and introduced Jacquie Henderson, who has helped organize showings of the paintings here and in Omaha, to talk about the Five, their frame-up by the U.S. government and the international campaign for their freedom.
Three of the Five volunteered to go to Angola, Henderson pointed out. Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González and René González were among some 425,000 Cuban volunteers who between 1975 and 1991 took part in an internationalist mission to help newly independent Angola repel repeated invasions by the white supremacist South African regime. “This gives us some insight into what has shaped the exemplary character of the Five and the internationalist, selfless character of revolutionary Cuba, which has sent hundreds of medical volunteers to combat Ebola in Africa today,” Henderson said.
In addition to 15 watercolors painted to mark 15 years of incarceration, the exhibit included one new painting, “The Verdict of the Jury,” from a collection of 16 works by Guerrero on the trial of the Five. It shows prisoners’ hands applauding for the Five through bars as they return to prison following their conviction. “The painting gives us a glimpse of the esteem the Five have won among fellow inmates,” said Henderson.
Dozens of people came by to look at the paintings and read the descriptions. Eleven picked up books on the case, including The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should be Free; Voices from Prison: The Cuban Five; and I Will Die the Way I’ve Lived, a collection of Guerrero’s prison paintings with descriptions and comments by him and others.
Several people who viewed the paintings said they would work on showing Guerrero’s paintings in several towns across the state.
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