Miami Five Hero Rene Gonzalez Will Be Allowed In Britain

Morning Star | Wednesday, 11 November 2015 | Click here for original article

Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez

Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez

Judges overrule May’s bid to keep Cuban hero out of country

JUDGES overruled the Home Office yesterday after it tried to block a member of the Miami Five from visiting Britain to engage in talks about Cuba-US relations in the Commons.

US-born Rene Gonzalez was refused a visitor’s visa twice last year after he was invited by MPs to speak at the International Commission of Inquiry into the Five as a key witness.

Now, Court of Appeal judges decided that the refusals breach the freedom to receive and impart information under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The judges also refused to let the Home Office appeal against their decision at the Supreme Court.

Cuba Solidarity Campaign director Rob Miller told the Star: “This is fantastic news and it’s about time that common sense prevails.

“We look forward to welcoming Mr Gonzalez, the other four heroes — Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero — and their families in Britain as soon as possible.”

Mr Miller spoke from Cuba, where he is with Mr Gonzalez to discuss how and when he will travel to Britain to meet MPs.

A group of 28 MPs — including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell — intervened in the legal battle last year by writing to judges to state that the Home Office was violating the ECHR.

Also, 126 MPs signed a parliamentary motion in 2012 calling for Mr Gonzalez’s visitation rights.

The Miami Five — now all released from prison — were intelligence agents who infiltrated counter-revolutionary groups in the US that were planning terrorist atrocities in Cuba.

The trial was internationally condemned as politically motivated.

Home Secretary Theresa May had argued that allowing Mr Gonzalez into Britain would be a security risk and that he would have to participate in meetings via video link.

His barristers said — in the hearing attended by the Star in the Royal Courts of Justice three weeks ago — that the technology is unreliable and that MPs would want private discussions with him.

Ms May also could not prove that he poses “a risk to the public’s safety,” the lawyers added, especially as he has been allowed to visit other countries including France.

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