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City of Detroit calls for Freedom for the Cuban Five


A r esolution calling for Freedom for the Cuban Five was passed unanimously by the Detroit City Council, Michigan, United States, on Wednesday, March 29. This resolution was sent to the President of the United States, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, a number of senators and representatives and to the media so that they may be encouraged to act.

Resolution to Support the Cuban 5

Resolution by City Council Member JoAnn Watson

March 29, 2006

Whereas, Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, and Gerardo Hernandez known as the "Cuban Five" have been imprisoned in the United States since Sept. 12, 1998, and

Whereas, these Five Cuban men, were arrested in Miami, Florida in September, 1998 and charged with 26 counts of violating the federal laws of the United States, 24 of which were relatively minor and technical offenses, such as the use of false names and failure to register as foreign agents. None of the convicted charges involved violence in the U.S., the use of weapons, or property damage, or the transmission of U.S. government documents or classified information, and

Whereas, the sentences range from 15 years to multiple life terms plus years, much longer than others convicted of transmitting classified information, and

Whereas, these arrests took place shortly after the Cuban government shared information with U.S. government authorities concerning terrorist actions against Cuba planned from Miami, and

Whereas, The Five had come to the United States from Cuba following years of violence perpetrated by a network of terrorist made up of armed mercenaries drawn from the Cuban exile community in Florida. For over forty years these groups have been tolerated, and even hosted, by successive U.S. Governments. More than 3,000 Cuban citizens have lost their lives due to this terrorism including the 73 passengers of Cubana airlines bombed in mid air thirty years ago on October 6, 1976, a bomb was found in the airport terminal in Havana, tourist buses were bombed, as were hotels causing the death of an Italian citizen. Boats from Miami traveled to Cuba and shelled hotels and tourist facilities, and

Whereas, the anti-Cuba terrorists struck even inside of the United States, not only in Miami and Puerto Rico, but in Washington, D.C. where thirty years ago, former Chilean foreign minister, Orlando Letelier and his aide, Roni Moffat, were assassinated by car bomb, and

Whereas, the mission of the Five was not to obtain U.S. military secrets, as was charged, but rather to monitor the terrorist activities of those mercenaries and report their planned threats back to Cuba. The arrest and prosecution of these men for their courageous attempt to stop the terror was not only unjust, it exposed the hypocrisy of America's claim to oppose terrorism wherever it surfaces, and

Whereas, nothing reveals this more than the contrast between the U.S. government's handling of the Five's case with that of Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles. Both Bosch and Carriles were members, even leaders, of the Miami terror network and self confessed terrorists, who planted a bomb on a Cubana airline in 1976, which exploded in midair, killing 73 people. Bosch and Carriles have received safe haven in the United States. The US government has thus far refused to extradite Carriles to Venezuela for trial on the airline bombing as required by international covenant, and

Whereas, three of the Cuban Five, Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, and Rene Gonzalez volunteered and fought against the apartheid South African army, recognized by Nelson Mandela in these words, "if today all South Africans enjoy the rights of democracy; if they are able at last to address the grinding poverty of a system that denied them even the most basic amenities of life, it is also because of Cuba 's selfless support for the struggle to free all of South Africa 's people and the countries of our region from the inhumane and destructive system of apartheid. For that, we thank the Cuban people from the bottom of our heart", and

Whereas, on August 4, 2005 the convictions were unanimously overturned by a three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals citing it was impossible for the Five to receive a fair trial in Miami due to "the various Cuban exile groups and their paramilitary camps that con6nue to operate in the Miami area. The perception that these groups could harm jurors that rendered a verdict unfavorable to their views was palpable," and

Whereas, on May 27, 2005 the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions found the detention of the Five was "in contravention of article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" and requests the U.S. "Government to adopt the necessary steps to remedy the situation, in conformity with the principles stated in the International Covenant on, Civil and Political Rights," and

Whereas, Amnesty International has condemned the inhumane treatment of the Cuban Five and their families by refusing visas for family visits, and

Whereas, The US government is seeking to avoid releasing these innocent men through appeals of the 11th Circuit Court decision, knowing full well they would never be convicted outside of Miami, Florida, and

Whereas, two notable supporters of the Cuban Five will be speaking on their case in Detroit on Saturday, April 1 including Leonard Weinglass, appellate attorney for the Cuban Five who has a 35 year history of defending political and civil right activists, the peace movement and political prisoners in the United States, whose clients have included African American journalist Mumia Abu Jamal, former First daughter Amy Carter, actor and activist Jane Fonda, Pentagon Papers co-defendant Anthony Russo, civil rights leader Angela Davis and the Chicago Eight anti-Vietnam war protesters, and

Whereas, Mr. Weinglass will be joined by Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell who is Religious Director of the Chautauqua Institute in New York and helped to negotiate with President Clinton and President Fidel Castro the return of Elián González to his father and family in Cuba just months before the trial of the Cuban Five opened in Miami, Florida. Rev. Campbell communicates with the families, wives and children, of the Cuban Five who are cruelly refused visitation by the United States government, Then Therefore, Be It

Resolved, that the City of Detroit officially welcomes Mr. Weinglass and Rev. Campbell, by presentation of this resolution at the April 1 event, and Be it further

Resolved, that the City of Detroit calls for Freedom for Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, and Gerardo Hernandez, the Cuban Five, And be it further

Resolved, that the City of Detroit calls for an end to the blockade of Cuba and restoring the right of U.S. citizens to freely travel and exchange with the people of Cuba, and Be it further

Resolved, that the City of Detroit calls on the U.S. government to extradite Luis Posada Carriles to the sovereign country of Venezuela without further delay so he may stand trial for the 1976 bombing of Cuban a airlines resulting in the deaths of 73 people, and Be it further

Resolved that the City of Detroit will broadcast the 48 minute video, "Mission Against Terror", a joint Cuba/Ireland production for public viewing on the City of Detroit cable channel for public information, And Be It Further

Resolved, that this resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the Attorney General, the Secretary of State, Michigan Senators Levin and Stabenow and Detroit Congressional Representatives Kilpatrick and Conyers and Michigan Governor Granholm, and Michigan State Senators, Representatives and the media so that they may be encouraged to act.


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