Leonard Weinglass to speak at House of Commons

Campaign News | Thursday, 22 November 2007

Thursday, November 29, 7pm.

Leonard Weinglass - World Renowned Lawyer to Speak at House of Commons about Unjust Imprisonment of the Miami 5

Thursday, November 29, 7pm. House of Commons, Committee Room 10, All welcome

LAWYER and civil rights activist Leonard Weinglass is to give a series of talks about the Miami 5.

The Cubans, who are all serving lengthy sentences, are now in their tenth year of imprisonment after having being found guilty of charges such as espionage.

Mr Weinglass represents the Miami Five and will be discussing the case at a public event being hosted at the House of Commons, on Thursday, November 29, from 7pm.

He will also be addressing the Latin America Conference 2007, held in London, and speaking at meetings in Derby and Manchester.

It is a unique chance to hear Mr Weinglass speak for the first time in the UK on the case of the Miami Five.

His talk promises to offer a fascinating insight into the drawn out legal case and the heroic resilience displayed by the Cubans.

The tour has been organised by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, which has been fighting for the release of the Miami Five since they were imprisoned in 1998.

Mr Weinglass, who has defended a string of high-profile clients including actress Jane Fonda and activist Angela Davis, said: “The arrest and prosecution of these men for their courageous attempt to stop the terror was not only unjust, it exposes the hypocrisy of America's claim to oppose terrorism wherever it surfaces.

“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 Miami Five had been sent to Miami in the 1990s to infiltrate anti-Castro groups responsible for terrorist attacks carried out in Cuba, which included blowing up a hotel that resulted in the death of an Italian tourist and scores of injuries.

Having uncovered evidence about the groups responsible for the bombings, Cuban authorities contacted the FBI.

Rather than arrest the terrorist suspects, the Cubans were arrested in Miami, Florida in September, 1998.

Mr Weinglass said: “The Miami Five case is one of the few cases in American jurisprudence that involves injustice at home as well as injustice abroad.

“Like the trial of the Pentagon Papers concerning the war in Vietnam, it derives from a failed foreign policy, which it exposes.

“In order to achieve a political end, the criminal justice system was manipulated by the government which consistently violated legal norms.

“The Five were not prosecuted because they violated American law, but because their work exposed those who were.

“By infiltrating the terror network that is allowed to exist in Florida they demonstrated the hypocrisy of America's claimed opposition to terrorism.”

The latest hearing took place in August and upheld the original sentence, but sent the case back to a three-judge panel to debate aspects of the case. It will be months before a decision is delivered.

The lawyer will be speaking at:

? LONDON, Thursday, November 29, from 7pm, the House of Commons, Committee Room 10, enter via St Stephen’s Gate;

? LONDON, Saturday, December 1, from 9.30am to 5pm, at the Latin America Conference 2007, held Congress House, Great Russell Street, London (www.latinamerica2007org.uk or tel 020 7263 6452 to book tickets, priced £6 and £10);

? DERBY, Monday, December 3, 7.30pm, Derby Council Chambers, Council House, Corporation St;

? MANCHESTER, Manchester Town Hall, Committee Room 2, Tuesday, December 4, 7.30pm.

For more details, please call the Cuba Solidarity Campaign on: 020 7263 6452.

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