Miami Five placed in Solitary Confinement

Campaign News | Friday, 7 March 2003

Urgent action needed

URGENT ALERT: The Cuban 5 have been placed in solidarity confinement

and they need your help!

The five Cuban political prisoners in the U.S. were suddenly and without justification thrown into solitary confinement on March 3, 2003 in their separate prisons. It is not clear how long the punishment will last.

Prison authorities have not given the official reason for their illegal confinement in "the hole", but apparently it is a decision

from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, and has the markings of directed political repression against the Five.

As Leonard Weinglass, appeals attorney for Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five in Florence Colorado prison, said, "None of them

belongs in solitary confinement. It is completely unjustified and unnecessary as all of them are model prisoners."

Weinglass has urged supporters of the Cuban Five to write immediately to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington. We ask that you do

not write to the individual prisons, as they are not responsible for the confinement order.

The address of the Federal Bureau of Prisons is:

320 First St. N.W.

Washington DC 20534.

The telephone number is 202-307-3198.

Hours are Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Weinglass noted in an interview with Radio Havana Cuba yesterday that the Black Panther prisoners in the U.S. were similarly rounded up

into solitary right after 9/11. (Read the complete interview with Weinglass after this notice.)

There is speculation that they are being confined just as the U.S. government is preparing for a massive war against Iraq.

It is no coincidence that the Justice Department's repression of Arab, Muslim and immigrant communities is also being aimed against

the Cuban Five, whose only "crime" was fighting

U.S.-sponsored terrorism against Cuba.

Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González, and Fernando González have been imprisoned since September 1998

when they were arrested by the FBI on trumped-up charges of espionage on the United States. In reality they were prosecuted by the U.S. for

defending their country of Cuba from U.S.-sponsored and supported terrorism that emanates from Miami.

The Five lived in Miami since the early 1990s where they were on a vital mission of monitoring anti-Cuba terrorist groups there to prevent violence against their country of Cuba. More than 3,400 Cubans have been killed by the anti-Cuba violence.

At two of the prisons on Friday, Cuba 5 supporters were ready to visit the compañeros when they were turned away. Reverend Geoff

Bottoms flew in from Blackpool, England to see Ramón Labañino in Beaumont federal prison in Texas. He was told without explanation that Ramón was not permitted visitors.

Alicia Jrapko and Tanya Cole were at Lompoc prison to visit Gerardo Hernández. Jrapko was told, "It is possible they will not get

any more visitors other than their family in the future."

We ask all supporters to write to the Bureau of Prisons, expressing your concern for their safety, and that you protest the unjust and

unnecessary solitary confinement. Their exemplary behavior does not warrant this kind of treatment. There is reason to believe they are singled out because they are political prisoners.

It is also essential that their attorneys have full and unrestricted access to their clients, especially at this critical time while

they're preparing for the April 7th appeals court date in Atlanta.

Weinglass was unable to speak with Antonio for two days although he had authorized collect calls from him.

It is undoubtedly very stressful for their family members. They had only just returned to Cuba, after coming to the U.S. to visit their

loved ones. The families had been delayed their entry visas by the U.S. government for more than six months. Two of the wives, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez are still prohibited from entering the U.S.

For more information

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