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Statement from the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five on the Release from Prison of René González

René González, one of the five men known as the Cuban Five, today will walk out of Federal Prison in Marianna, Florida. He will walk out with his head held high after more than 13 years in prison, having served his utterly unjust sentence with complete dignity. He has been a model prisoner, even while suffering the indignity of being inhumanely deprived visits from his wife for more than 11 years.

Unable to afford René even the small victory of his release, however, the U.S. government insists on punishing him and his family even more by requiring him to remain in Florida for the three years of his parole, even though René has no family in Florida and his life will be in danger from the very terrorist groups he helped to infiltrate.

That danger cannot be underestimated. Florida Congressperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen was quoted in the Miami Herald on Monday calling René an "enemy of America" with "American blood on his hands." These utterly false charges are a clear incitement to violence, and demonstrate all too clearly the necessity of allowing René to return immediately to Cuba.

The very fact that a man who the government called a "spy" and a "threat to national security" is required to remain in the United States, rather than being immediately deported, demonstrates quite clearly what the prosecution and persecution is all about. The government never thought for one minute that René and his brothers were "spies" or a "threat to national security"; if they did, they would be putting René on the first plane back to Cuba. Instead, the punishment meted out to René and his brothers was all about protecting the terrorists who serve the interests of the U.S. government by trying to destabilize the Cuban government and overturn the Cuban Revolution.

Cuba has suffered the scourge of terrorism not just since Sept. 11, 2001, but for more than 50 years. A scourge that over those years has killed at least 3,478 people, most of them Cuban but also many others including 11 Guyanese and five North Koreans killed in the 1976 bombing of Cubana Airlines Flight 455 and an Italian (Fabio di Celmo) killed in a hotel bombing in 1997. Thousands more have been seriously injured by the terrorists.

René and his brothers - Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino - can be proud that they came to the United States, unarmed and risking their lives, to fight that scourge by infiltrating the right-wing terrorist groups based in Miami who were responsible for that terrorism, and exposing their ongoing plots. The U.S. government helped organize, finance, and direct the actions of those terrorist groups from the beginning, and protected them from the consequences of their actions. It continued that collaboration and protection by arresting René and the others, and continues that protection with the unjust punishment of René and the other four.

That same government continues to this day to resist Venezuela's valid extradition request for the most notorious terrorist of them all, Luis Posada Carriles, responsible not only the 1976 plane bombing which took the lives of 73 people, but also for the torture of numerous Venezuelans when he was part of the secret police in that country.

If the U.S. government wants to continue to claim it is engaged in a "war on terror," it can help back up that claim with some very simple actions. Allow René González to return to Cuba immediately, free the remaining members of the Cuban Five and allow them to return to Cuba as well, extradite Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela, and arrest the other known terrorists in Miami. Until those acts have been performed, any claims by the U.S. government of "fighting terrorism" will continue to ring hollow.

The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five has an online petition to President Obama to allow René González to return to Cuba, which has been signed by people across the United States and from around the world. We urge all people of conscience the world over to add their voices to this demand at:

For background on the case including legal documents, as well as other recent articles on the current situation, visit

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob B, Justina

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News
    "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

    by elishastephens on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 10:04:16 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the link to the "Free the Five" website (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and thanks for this diary, too!

  •  A small victory (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But a long way to go. No time off for good behavior for these model prisoners, Rene served every minute of his unjust sentence.

    I would add making him stay 3 years is very unusual; normally a foreign national is deported on release, which is what he wants. But nothing is normal about this case.

  •  Please remove this diary (0+ / 0-)

    These men were convicted of spying on US military installations on behalf of the Cuban government, not just infiltrating Cuban exile groups.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 11:28:52 AM PDT

    •  How Dare You Try To Suppress This Diary! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      dhonig echos the U.S. State Department and its  media puppets in attempting to suppress the facts about the five Cubans who have been imprisoned for years by the U.S. for working to expose anti-Cuban terrorism.

      The 5 Cubans were trying to stop terrorist attacks on the Cuban people, not spy on the U.S. government. The problem is that the U.S. government has consistently supported right wing terrorists attacks on the Cuban people and protects the terrorists.  

      The U.S. government employed the terrorist, Louis Posada Carriles, as he master-minded the murders of 73  passengers on Cuban airline flight in 1976, and actively assisted his escape from a Venezuelan jail where he was awaiting trial for that crime.  Posada has even admitted to bombing Cuban nightclubs in 1996. Posada Carriles, while a C.I.A. agent and Venezuelan security official, conducted a torture and assassination campaign against innocent victims in 1973.

      For years, the U.S. has violated international law by refusing lawful Venezuelan requests to extradite Posada Carriles to Venezuela for trial.

      Anti-Cuban terrorism, at the hands of our CIA or with their support and protection, has been well-documented.  The U.S. actions against Cuba, with some 50 documented attempts to assassinate their president, Fidel Castro, is also well documented.  

      The U.S. actions in allowing Posada to remain free, officially protected from prosecution for terrorism, in Florida where he has fomented more terrorist operations against Cuba, gives the lie to the U.S.'s purported "War on Terrorism".  Rather than arresting anti-Cuban terrorists, the U.S. arrested and imprisoned five Cubans who were working to protect the Cuban people from further terrorist attacks.

      The U.S. has made blatantly false and un-proved accusations against the Chavez government for supporting the FARC in Colombia, while it has openly and notoriously violated international law by refusing to turn over Posada Carriles for trial.

      dhonig here parrots more of the U.S.'s false accusations.  Shameful!

      Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care,unions, and WikiLeaks.

      by Justina on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 12:33:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For the record (0+ / 0-)

      None of them were convicted of spying. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, which means the government said (and the biased Miami jury believed) that they were thinking about committing espionage. There was never a shred of evidence presented that they had ever even attempted to do so, much less actually done so.

      Eli Stephens
      Left I on the News
      "Stand Up, Fight Back!"

      by elishastephens on Fri Oct 07, 2011 at 01:33:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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