Amaya Saborit Alfonso
Yesterday, June 25, an online forum took place in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, in support of the release of the Cuban Five and in the context of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture celebrated June 26. The forum gave internet users from all over the world the opportunity to learn more about the case of the Cuban Five.
Under the title “We want them home now” the objective of the forum was to inform the world about the psychological and inhuman torture suffered by the Cuban Five - Decorated Heroes of the Republic - and their families, and amplify the call for their release.
Graciela Ramírez, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, discussed the concept of torture, and how 16 years of unjust incarceration can be seen as a subtle, perverse and inhumane form of torture not just for the prisoners but also for their families.
What is it like for a person who, in addition to being innocent, is serving to two life sentences and therefore condemned to die in prison? What is it like for a person to be deprived of the affection of their loved ones? What is it like for a relation, when they go to visit them, arrive and find the prison is closed, and have to return home without having seen their loved one? Is prolonged injustice not a form of torture? Is it normal, is it logical...? These were some the questions posed by participants in relation to Ramírez’s situation.
Ramón’s daughter and forum panelist, Ailí Labañino, spoke of her experiences with her father commenting, “We have been fighting for a loved one for more than half our life. We have had more experiences in prisons visits than experiences at home, playing with our father.”
Also participating in the event was Pablo Odén Marichal, coordinator of the Cuban Interfaith Platform, who emphasized that different religious denominations have united in support for the freedom of the Cuban Five.