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Sunday, August 13, 2006


Happy Birthday, Fidel!

Happy 80th birthday to Fidel Castro, still in the hospital but looking reasonably chipper. And a happy 50th birthday to Rene Gonzalez, and a few-days-in-advance (Aug. 18) happy 43rd birthday to Fernando Gonzalez (no relation), two of the Cuban Five. Fernando and Rene, along with Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, and Gerardo Hernandez, are about to start their ninth year of unjust imprisonment in U.S. jails for the "crime" of having infiltrated violent right-wing groups in Miami, at great peril to their lives, in an attempt to prevent further acts of anti-Cuban terrorism which have taken the lives of thousands of people over the years, Cubans and non-Cubans alike. And finally also today a happy birthday to Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, who works tirelessly to promote the cause of the Five and pressure the U.S. government to free them.

The Committee urges all supporters of justice and of the Cuban Revolution to write to Rene (right), Fernando (left), and the others and express your support in their very difficult struggle for freedom. A few days ago they received a major setback, as the full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an earlier ruling by a 3-judge panel of the same court, and ruled that they were not entitled to a new trial by virtue of having been tried in the virulent anti-Cuban atmosphere of Miami. Their legal battle is not over, as their attorneys explain in a press conference (previous link), but more than ever the political struggle to free them is critical. Of course it is a huge uphill battle, but justice demands that such battles be undertaken. A march on the White House is planned for Sept. 23, followed by a major public forum on the case. Attend if you can to show your support for the Five and the Cuban Revolution. If you can't, help spread the word, add your endorsement or the endorsement of groups you are part of to the march, and donate money to help pay for it.

Free the Five!

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