Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

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Forum: Free the 5 U.S.- Held Cuban Political Prisoners.
Discussing their cases: Gloria La Riva: National Committee to Free the US-Held Cuban Political Prisoners and Florentino Batista: Cuban Interests Section
Also participating and representing other communities under attack: Jose Lopez: Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center: Stan Willis: Co-Chair, African-American Committee to Free Mumia Abu Jamal and Aaron Patterson; Hakim Husien: President, Chicago Chapter, Palestine Aid Society
WHEN:Friday, March 15, 7:00 PM WHERE: De Paul Student Union (2250 N Sheffield at Belden)
On Friday, March 15, 7:00 PM at the De Paul Student Union at 2250 N. Sheffield at Belden a forum on the case of the 5 U.S.-Held Cuban Political Prisoners will be held. The program will include speakers Gloria La Riva from the National Committee to Free the US-Held Cuban Political Prisoners and Florentino Batista from the Cuban Interests Section. La Riva and Batista will be discussing the prisoners case. Other speakers will participate to represent other communities under attack. They are: Jose Lopez, Director, Puerto Rican Cultural Center; Stan Willis, Co-Chair, African-American Committee to Free Mumia Abu Jamal and Aaron Patterson and Hakim Husien, President Chicago Chapter, Palestine Aid Society.The program will also include a video of the national campaign for the realease of the 5.

Who are the 5 US-held Cuban political prisoners?
They are Cuban citizens who received very long sentences in U.S. prisons in 2001. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero each received life sentences. Rene Gonzalez received 15 years and Fernando Gonzalez received 19 years. All have spent 17 months in solitary confinement during their ordeal. In Cuba these men are seen as heroes who risked everything to protect people from terrorism.

What was their crime?
For 40 years, right wing Cuban exiled terrorists have carried out hundreds of attacks agains the people of Cuba, resulting in hundreds of deaths of innocent people. These actions have included the blowing up of a Cuban airliner in flight (73 dead), yet the U.S. government has never cracked down on these people.

These five Cubans were doing what the U.S. government has refused to do - they were monitoring terrorist groups in the Miami area to prevent such deadly attacks. In the past, these groups have engaged in numerous terrorist actions in Cuba and here in the U.S., and they continue to operate with the full knowledge of the FBI and the CIA.

The 5 were convicted in a witch-hunt trial in which the U.S. government falsely claimed that they engaged in espionage against U.S. military bases and threatened "national security". In fact, they shared information with U.S. officials when the groups they monitored planned imminent attack. They violated no law.

This forum was initiated by the International Action Center, Chicago Chapter. It is Endorsed by: Chicago Cuba Coalition, IFCO-Pastors for Peace, Colombia Solidarity Committee, La Voz de los de Abajo, Workers World Party, La Coordinadora Internacional de Apoyo al Pueblo de Mexico, Chicago DAN, Mexico Solidarity Network, Venceremos Brigade, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Socialist Workers Party, Communist Party USA-Illinois District, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, National Lawyers Guild, Chicago Chapter, 8th Day Center for Justice, Nicaragua Solidarity Committee, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, Puerto Rican Cultural Center.

For Information call:Chicago Free the 5 US-Held Cuban Political Prisoners Committee: Gisela Lopez, (773) 465 0177, Stan Smith (773) 376 7521, Bill Massey (773) 878-0166

For more information on their cases go to



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