Miami Five Hero to speak at Durham Miners' Gala

Morning Star | Friday, 8 July 2016 | Click here for original article

ONE of Cuba’s Miami Five heroes will speak at the Durham Miners’ Gala tomorrow.

The appearance at the historic labour and trade union event will mark the launch of a nationwide Miami Five Freedom Tour by Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez.

They will speak at seven rallies across Britain next week, culminating at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival in Dorset on July 17.

The Home Office had refused visas to the Miami Five despite a court ruling that they should be granted in November last year and support for entry by MPs.

The Home Office finally caved in on Wednesday to judicial pressure and a widespread public campaign for them to be allowed to visit Britain and granted visas to the two.

Davey Hopper, general secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association which stages the Gala, told the Morning Star: “We are obviously delighted that they have enabled themselves to be here. We have followed their case with great trepidation.

“One of them will certainly be speaking. They will certainly get a warm welcome from the people of Durham, who know how they fought for truth and justice.”

Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) director Rob Miller said: “It has taken more than two years and 11 judges in immigration tribunals and the Court of Appeal to win this legal battle for visas.

“The Home Office defended its position until the very last moment. This victory illustrates how a united campaign by CSC members, trade unions and parliamentarians can make a real difference.”

After the Gala the two will attend rallies on Tuesday July 12 at union Unite’s policy conference, on Wednesday July 13 at the Scottish Trades Union Congress conference in Glasgow at 7pm, on Thursday July 14 at Manchester Town Hall 6.30pm, Friday July 15 at Cardiff City Hall 12pm, on Friday July 15 at Hamilton House London 6.30pm and on Sunday July 17 at the Tolpuddle Festival in Dorset.

The Five were unjustly imprisoned in the United States after exposing terrorist activities by Cuban exiles living in Miami. But US authorities imprisoned the Five — not the terrorists.

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