courtesy of Politics in the Zeros
It took a concerted effort in many countries to raise the, I think, $48,000 for the full page Free The Five ad that appeared Monday in all editions of the New York Times. Not to mention the US government trying to block transfer of funds from France and Germany to the US.
The ad asks:
Q. Can you be imprisoned in the United States for opposing terrorism?
A. Yes, if you oppose terrorism in Miami.
The Cuban Five, among other things, infiltrated the extreme right wing paramiltaries in Miami, learned they were plotting violence, notified the FBI, and were then arrested for their trouble. Some have received life and double-life prison terms. One, I believe, was convicted of espionage because he took photos of a US military base while on a platform outside the base where a sign encourages taking photos.
A change of venue was refused:
“Five Cuban men charged with acting as agents of their government, faced trial in Miami, Florida — the only city in the U.S. so hostile toward Cuba that Cuban athletes are not permitted to perform there, Cuban art cannot be exhibited and Cuban films cannot be shown. Yet, the U.S. attorney from Miami, who opposed moving the Cuban Five’s trial out of Miami, acknowledged one year later that it was impossible for anyone viewed as favorable to Cuba to receive a fair trial in Miami. … Justice demands a new trial.”
— Leonard Weinglass, appeals attorney for Antonio Guerrero
I was skeptical of the case at first. But the more I learned about it, the more I realized the Five have been railroaded. This isn’t about Cuba, it’s about simple justice.
The ad was endorsed by “Alice Walker, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, Cynthia McKinney, Dolores Huerta, Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, National Lawyers Guild, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, and many others,
Free the Five