Saturday, September 13, 2008

A decade of infamy

International solidarity committees are speaking out in 109 countries against the continued detention of the Cuban Five, writes Faiza Rady

Friday, 12 September, marks the tenth year of imprisonment in United States high security jails of the "Cuban Five": Gerardo Hernandez, Gerardo Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzales and Antonio Guerrero.

The five went to the US in the early 1990s with the mission to gather information about Cuban-American terrorist attacks against Cuba. The Cuban government passed on their documentation to the FBI, assuming that the agency was in the business of combating terrorism. It was a mistake. Rather than arrest their own home grown Miami-based terrorists, the FBI arrested the five visiting Cubans in Miami on charges of "intent to commit espionage" and "threatening US national security".

"This is utterly shocking," says renowned writer and political activist Noam Chomsky. "Cuba approached the United States with an offer to cooperate in combating terrorism, and in fact the FBI sent people to Cuba to get information from the Cubans about it. The next thing was that Cubans who had infiltrated the terrorist groups in the US were arrested."

It was a bizarre instance of clamping down on those combating terrorism while letting real terrorists go free.

This Friday, 346 committees of solidarity with the Cuban Five in 109 countries plan to demonstrate in front of US embassies, hold vigils and organise speak-outs about the Cuban political prisoners. On Saturday, a concert entitled "Five Stars and a Song" will take place in New York, with the special participation of actor Danny Clover. The New York-based Committee to Free the Cuban Five and other progressive US solidarity committees are organising a march on Washington as well as actions in other cities, including Miami. Protests are also planned to take place in Montreal and Beirut.

Besides the solidarity of progressive groups and NGOs, international expression of support has been forthcoming from foreign governments and parliaments. In July, on the 29th anniversary of the Sandanista Revolution, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega awarded the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters with membership of the Augusto Sandino Order, saying that they had set an example of courage and merit.

In February 2006, 10,000 British citizens, including Nobel Prize laureate Harold Pinter, London's former Mayor Ken Livingstone, and 15 union officials signed an open letter to US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, demanding freedom for the Five.

In June 2006, a plenary session of the National Assembly of Mali passed a motion to condemn their incarceration. In July 2006, the Venezuelan parliamentary group, at a plenary session of the Latin American Parliament, approved a resolution urging the US to release the Five. Similar expressions of support were extended by members of the left faction of the German parliament, the Bundestag, Irish MPs, Russian Duma deputies, Mexican MPs, and the Commission of Human Rights of the Brazilian House of Representatives, among others.

Last week, the Atlanta Court of Appeals of the 11th Circuit rejected the Five's defence request for a retrial on the grounds that Miami's charged politics, backed by the city's Cuban-American right wing, had precluded any possibility of a fair trial. It is ironic that the court's decision to reject the retrial request reverses a 2005 ruling by the same court that revoked the conviction of the Cuban Five and ordered a retrial because they considered the city riddled by a "perfect storm of prejudice". Prior to this ruling, the Cubans' sentences had been declared illegal by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention who said that Miami's biased political climate precluded any chance of a fair trial.

"What you're dealing with in Miami is not simply prejudice against Cuba," explains Leonard Weinglass, attorney for the Cuban Five. "A Cuban-American is the mayor of Miami, a Cuban-American owns the major newspaper, a Cuban-American is the chief of police, a Cuban-American is the head of the FBI, and there is nothing wrong with any of this except that none of them could have achieved political office without having a very hostile attitude towards Cuba."

Jurors had solid reasons to expect a backlash should they vote to acquit the Cuban Five.

In 2005, the Bush administration refused to accept a retrial. In a highly irregular move, the Department of Justice told the Atlanta Court of Appeals to cancel its decision and asked a new 12-panel judge to re-examine the case. Ultimately bowing to political pressure, the court then denied the Five's appeal for a retrial prior to its second rejection of the same request last week.

The Five's charge of "conspiracy to commit espionage" is in itself highly contentious as it isn't contingent on evidence of actual spying having occurred. "It's the type of charge that the government makes when it cannot prove the actual crime itself," explains Weinglass. Not one of the thousands of pages seized by the FBI from the Cubans' dossier on Cuban-American terrorism contains classified government information. The Five were found guilty not of spying, but of the tenuous charge of "intent" to spy. In other words, all the prosecution had to do during the trial was to convince the jury that there was an agreement among the Five that they would engage in spying at some unspecified time in the future.

"This case is one of those situations where I believe that the US government is using the justice system to achieve a foreign policy objective," says Weinglass. "The Five succeeded in their mission. They interrupted planned attacks. They saved lives in Cuba. They prevented the destruction of property."

Cuban government sources estimate that since the Cuban revolution, 3,478 people were killed and 2,099 injured in attacks against the island. In 1997 alone, Cuban-American terrorists placed bombs in no less than 10 Havana hotels and restaurants, in addition to bombing one of Havana's airports.

Feted by their people, the Five are honoured in Cuba as national heroes. During their mission, the Five tracked down 64 terrorists scattered in the Miami area and recorded four hours of film, documenting illegal military training in various combat camps. Among other groups, the Five investigated Brothers to the Rescue, an organisation that has a history of plotting to attack Cuban facilities. Since 1992, the group has used planes to violate Cuban airspace on numerous occasions, flying at least twice over the capital Havana. They also attempted to fly through the Giron air corridor to take pictures of sensitive areas. One of their principal aims was to test the response capabilities of the Cuban air force.

A similar group, Alpha-66, is an outfit that the Miami Police Department lists as one of the most virulent and dangerous of Cuban American organisations. Since its inception in 1966, Alpha-66 has been part of the autonomous operations of the CIA, used in illegal operations to protect their CIA agents from potential prosecution. Alpha-66's recent record includes assassination attempts against former Cuban president Fidel Castro, bomb threats on Cuban offices in Mexico, the US, Ecuador, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico, and six armed raids on Cuba between 1992 and 1993. Besides dabbling in criminal acts, Alpha-66 engaged in prohibited attacks against a foreign country. "In accordance with US law, under the Neutrality Acts, no US citizen is permitted to attack a foreign country, and yet this has been done with impunity for the past 40 years," says Weinglass.

For the Cubans the struggle goes on. Upon hearing the Atlanta Court's verdict, Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcón told the press: "We are going to appeal to the US Supreme Court, the World Court, and wherever else we have to go with the legal material to fight this infamy."

weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/914/in3.htm

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posted by u2r2h at 6:21 AM

1 Comments:

Blogger RONBOTHUNTER said...

WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OPPOSES YOUR RIGHT TO BE FREE!!

Puerto Ricans, whether they are called Independents (independentistas), Patriots or Nationalists or Freemen, who desire to be free, must always know that the federal government, here in the States has no “subject matter jurisdiction” over the person, case or location and should be challenged to proof it. These are magic words to learn when in Court for desiring freedom for your/our Country.

You won’t be told this in court but: All jury members, judges, attorneys, and employees working in federal court, must reside in federal territory to legally be a federal juror or touch your case or they can be commercially sued, disbarred and financially ruined for violating your constitutional rights etc.

Your god given right to be free is not wanted by the USA, it will oppose your desire for independence and freedom, because the Federal USA is a profit based Corporation.

The Federal Government is a District of Columbia “Corporation”, as are all the States of the USA. These Corporations were formed for the benefit of the real owners. Since June of 1933, everything since then, is under Contract law or commercial law, aka Admiralty law, to benefit your masters in power.

The Federal Government owns Puerto Rico as an ASSET, because it is a slave colony—whether you like the idea or not. But the Federal Government takes orders from those who own and run this (Corporation) Country, but are not of this country. The International Bankers, who really own the corporations called the USA, will let PR be free, only if enough real men of Boricua blood wish to be free, by reserving their rights under the Constitution. Their books will be adjusted and we will be free.

The answer to your freedom lies in your Constitutional rights --- To win --You must always reserve your constitutional, commercial rights and know what they are and how to do so.

The USA has been the biggest alien invaders the world has ever known. In order to win your freedom, you must oppose them by knowing that their weakness lies in their violations and in their treasons to the Constitution and to the common law and common law remedies.

The majority of Americans have no idea that the USA has killed more Latinos, than Hitler Killed Jews, The USA has supported Traitors, Dictators, Gringitos, Butchers, Sociopaths, and Megalomaniacs who were supported and kept in power by these monsters, sucking up to the Anglo Alien Invaders.

Latin America has had enough of this form of genocide of Latinos. That includes other African, Asian etc. countries that lost millions of innocent people from USA aggression.

I want to vomit every time some ignorant fools says: “If you don’t like it here –go home”.

If the Alien Invaders would get out of each and every Latin Country and stop interfering in our affairs—it would make sense to say such a stupid thing. But unless the (Feds) Snakes get out of Latin America-we have just as much right to be here!!! So, grin and put up with it—this was once our land.

A Puerto Rican without a desire for independence and/or freedom from alien control has no soul of a man.

The fact that the public does not know that we are NOT free, makes no difference, to the desire to be free. The PR that wants Statehood is a Gringito, who has no soul of a man left in his traitor's heart. Freedom is happening all over the world and yet we allow Gringitos to kill our right to be free.

A Gringito is a non-Anglo THING, IT is not really a “person”, just like a mass murderer is more like an animal than a person, who internally is so inferior, that he desires to be what he can not be—thus Gringito means little gringo.

The Gringito is like an Uncle Tom to blacks or a collaborator and traitor to many others. To us he/she is all three and much worst. “It” is the enemy of freedom all thru out history.

We allow the Alien Invaders to kill, harm, abuse, rape, and scam us and yet the Gringito wants to give our Country away.

This abuse must end. No man or woman is a real Man or real woman who is too scared to fight for their souls and be free. If you listen to the Gringito, you will lose your soul.

Thru out eternity Humanity owes its freedom from slavery, ONLY to brave souls who fought for your right to be free.

The fight will NOT succeed if you don't fight the Gringito enemy/traitor/collaborator at home first. He is there next door and claims he is a real man and tries to give you many excuses of why PR can't be a free Country.

To give away your/our/my Country is not a right of alien invaders, visitors or foreigners with NO Puerto Rican Blood.

The right to vote on THIS ISSUE should NOT be given to NON-Puerto Ricans.

The fight for the independence of Puerto Rico is now non-violent and will be won in the hearts of real men around the World.

The Ronbothunter,

A proud freedom loving Puerto Rican.

All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 8:00:00 AM PDT  

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