Fefita Gutiérrez Ferrer
THE 5 Days for the Cuban 5 event which took place in Washington, U.S, from May 30 through June 5, exceeded that of last year, with the participation of parliamentarians, lawyers, trade unionists, public figures and friends in solidarity with this cause from more than 23 countries.
Solidarity and demands in Five event"We think that things have advanced a lot this year, and there are still other activities for the Cuban anti-terrorists to come. International support has increased, as has respect for the people and government of Cuba," affirmed Alicia Jrapko, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5.
She noted the wide-ranging participation in the U.S. event and the need for the facts of the case of Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández and Fernando González – given that René González is now in Cuba – to reach the U.S. people, thus increasing the international demand for their liberation.
Jrapko said that the event began with an Internet conference led by René González. "It was very moving, because it was the first time that we saw René without a prison uniform, outside of prison."
She commented, "We think that the U.S. government has to respect Cuba’s self-determination and sovereignty, and change its 50-year policy of aggression, a policy which the majority of Americans are against."
In Havana, U.S. Reverend Joan Campbell advocated the release of the Five during a press conference at the Cuban Council of Churches.
Campbell’s commitment to the cause of the Cuban anti-terrorists was expressed in a letter sent to President Obama last September, asking for their release.
"President Obama, the people of the United States and Cuba wish to live in peace, harmony and brotherhood. There is no reason for our country to continue such an inhumane policy towards the island nation. Releasing the Cuban 5 undoubtedly will help in the restoration of relations between both countries," she wrote.
African-American fighter Angela Davis described the ongoing incarceration of Ramón, Antonio, Gerardo and Fernando as scandalous and stated the need to create a mass movement for their liberation.
"Supporting the cause of the Five is also supporting Palestine, the struggle against sexism and racism, for health and education," affirmed Davis, currently a professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who also called on Obama to end the U.S. blockade of Cuba.
Likewise, U.S. experts participating in the 31st Latin American Studies Association (LASA), expressed the need for a review and change of their country’s policy on Cuba.