Hunger strike for Miami Five continues
Campaign News | Wednesday, 21 July 2004
Swedes protest US policy towards Cuba and Venezuela
FIVE HUNGER STRIKERS DEMAND: FREE THE FIVE CUBANS POLITICAL PRISONERS IN THE USA!
Tomas Widén and Toni Lappalainen began their hunger strike the 4th of July. In the morning Saturday the 17th of July, Daniel Maidana joined them.
Late evening the same day Toni experienced a complicated condition of high blood pressure and broke his hunger strike. But on Sunday the next day after new measurements of his blood pressure, he decided to continue. Sunday evening Carolina Salinas and Brenda Ortiz joined the hunger strike.
The scene is a big green round tent next to the Solidarity Movement Building in inner Stockholm. Many visitors come. "Free the Five Cubans, political prisoners in the USA!" is written on an enormous banner with portraits of the Five who are in jail in the USA. For those who want to know more, the home page is presented in big letters on the banner; www.svensk-kubanska.se.
These five Cubans, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, are sentenced in the USA to altogether four life sentences plus 62 years.
Their crime? Risking their own lives they monitored and infiltrated extremist rightwing Cuban exile terror groups in Miami such as Alpha 66, Brigada 2506, Omega 7,
They obtained information about terrorist attack plans against Cuba and also against other parts of America. Thanks to this Cuba has been able to stop many terrorist actions. Cuba also gave the information revealed to the federal police authorities of the USA, the FBI, who promised measures to be taken. However, instead of stopping the terrorist groups, the FBI arrested the Five who had collected the information. In the middle of the night the 11th of September 1998 they were abruptly waken up and arrested. For months, in breach of the law, they were locked up in isolation cells.
Two of the Five have been refused visits by their wives and small children. The trial in mafia-infected Miami has been put into question by the American National Lawyers Guild and by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. In the USA, Latin America and in many other countries protests are increasing. In Great Britain over one hundred Members of Parliament demand that the Five are given a new trial. Noam Chomsky says, "The thing with the Cuban Five is such a scandal, it's hard to talk about it".
"All politicians talk about the importance of stopping terrorism", says Tomas Widén. "Putting these five Cubans in jail is hypocrisy. The US Government ought to praise them for what they have done to unmask the terrorist groups in Miami. Our drastic hunger strike is a protest and call to the media and politicians to act! We in Sweden also have a responsibility! These Five must be set free immediately!"
For more information incl. pictures of hunger strike: www.svensk-kubanska.se
(English language sites about the Cuban Five:
http://www.freethefive.org/ and http://www.antiterroristas.cu/ )
Phone directly to the hunger strikers (Eng. & Sp): +46-(0)709-45 63 81 and +46-(0)736-34 29 49.
Other phone contacts: Danitza Alba (Sp): +46-(0)735-90 05 22, Martin Osterlin (Eng): +46-(0)705-69 1995, +46-(0)31-711 07 99 (phone &fax). (Phone numbers beginning +46-(0)70? are cell phones. The other one is a fixed line and can also automatically receive faxes.)
E-mail to the hunger strikers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Swedish-Cubans Association, Box 450 65, SE-104 30 Stockholm. email@example.com
INFORMATION ABOUT THE SOLIDARITY ACTION
The hunger strike demanding "Free the Cuban Five, political prisoners in the USA!" commenced on the 4th of July, the anniversary of the day 1776 when 13 states in Northern America signed their Declaration of Independence. The hunger strike will conclude on the 26th of July, the day in 1953 when Fidel Castro together with 171 others attacked the Batista dictatorship's fortress Moncada, signalling the rebellion to gain true independence for Cuba.
As its base the hunger strike has a big tent on the grass outside the Solidarity Movement Building, situated in the district Soeder, street address Tegelviksgatan 40, in inner Stockholm. >From this base activities are organised in the City every day to spread information about the five jailed Cubans, and also about the imperialists' aggressive plans against Cuba and Venezuela. Leaflets are spread. People sign the petition to Free the Five! Saturday the 10th of July in the hall of the Solidarity Movement Building there was a public meeting in which Eva Bjorklund, editor of the magazine Kuba, who was just back from Cuba, spoke about Cuban Society today and about the U.S.A.'s most recent threats against Cuba. Luis Quintanilla spoke at a similar event the 17th of July about the U.S. government's attempts to crush President Hugo Chávez and the people's movemnet in Venezuela. Friday the 23rd of July, Carolina Amador, representative of the Cuban Federation of Women FMC will be speaking in the Solidarity Movement building. At lunch time Saturday the 24th of July in the Sergel's Square in the centre of Stockholm, there will be a public meeting in defence of Cuba's sovereignty against foreign interference. Music and speeches. Saturday afternoon at 4 o'clock a big festivity for Cuba Solidarity at Eggeby Gaard, in the Stockholm suburbs of Rinkeby and Tensta. Monday the 26th of July a public meeting in Sergel's Square celebrating Cuba's National Rebellion Moncada. Tomas Widén leader of the hunger strike will be one of the speakers.
Stockholm July 8 - Two memebrs of the Swedish-Cuban association have gone on hunger strike demanding the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters imprisoned in the US and in protest against the US’s plans for actions of war towards Cuba and Venezuela
In Stockholm, on the 4th of July at 8.00 am two Swedish solidarity activists, Mr Tomas Widén and Mr Toni Lappalainen, began a hunger strike demanding the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters who are imprisoned in the United States for life.
The hunger strike is a way of emphasizing the demand that the five political prisoners held by the US: Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, should immediately be set free. This action is also a protest against the US’s plans for actions of war towards Cuba and Venezuela.
Brief background information of the five
The five were accused by the US government of espionage towards military bases in the US and of being a threat to "the national security". But these were forged accusations. In the 14.000 pages legal transaction from the trial, no evidence of espionage can be found. It was clear that the pressure and threats from Miami’s rightwing groups would make a fair trial impossible.
The five Cubans had infiltrated Miami based rightwing extremist groups, such as Alpha 66, Brigada 2506, and Omega 7, Brothers to the rescue and Comandos F4. They would monitor these organisations and find out about actions of terror against Cuba, which then could be prevented at an early stage by the Cuban police and coastguard.
Fact of the matter is that even the US authorities were given this information, but no action was taken against the terrorist. These rightwing extremist organisations were formed with the support, money and training of the CIA during the 1960’s.
For a period of 40 years they have waged a war of terror against the Cuban people, avenging the people’s overthrow of the bloody dictator Batista in 1959.
Information about the solidarity campaign
The campaign is based in a tent on the lawn in front of Solidaritetsrörelsens Hus (The Solidarity Movements House), Tegelviksgatan 40 in the area Söder in Stockholm. Daily activities will launched from this location to spread information about the five imprisoned Cubans and of the imperialist’s aggressive plans towards Cuba and Venezuela.
We will also be hosting information and discussion meetings at Solidaritetsrörelsenshus.
Saturday, July 10th: "The current situation in Cuba and the US’s reinforced blockade and increased aggression".
Saturday, July 17th: "The current situation in Venezuela, and the struggle against imperialism’s contra revolutionary strategy of subversion".
Saturday, July 24th: "The five Cuban antiterrorists and the struggle for their release".
Furthermore two appeals will be made in Sergels Torg in Stockholm: Saturday July 24th at 1.00 pm and Monday July 26th at 6.00pm.
Information about the ongoing campaign can be found at www.svensk-kubanska.se
Campaign e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information regarding the five, go to www.freethefive.org (US)
Contact by phone in Stockholm, call Danitza +46 (0)735 90 05 22
Swedish-Cuban Association, Box 450 65, 104 30 Stockholm. T el +46-8-31 95 30
E-mail: email@example.com Web site: www.svensk-kubanska.se