5ght 4 Ustice

My Photo
Location: Ciudad Habana, Cuba

"The cuban people reclaim those men,and we will not remain calmed untill there're back"

Friday, September 01, 2006

From October 4th to 11th - Solidarity Tour in the United States

ON THE 8th ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARREST OF FIVE CUBAN ANTI-TERRORIST FIGHTERS IN THE U.S., AND THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOMBING OF A CUBAN COMMERCIAL AIRLINER IN MID-AIR JOIN Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, James Petras, William Blum, Saul Landau, Michael Steven Smith, Michael Parenti, Leonard Weinglass, Nadine Gordimer, Wayne S. Smith, and others, in the presentation of the book Superpower Principles published by Common Courage Press.
From October 4th to 11th, Salim Lamrani will make several presentations in the U.S. Lamrani, a researcher from the Denis-Diderot University in Paris, is the editor of Superpower Principles. This book, a compilation of essays written by Zinn, Chomsky, Gordimer, Weinglass, Parenti, and others, reveals the lies told by the Bush administration to the people of the U.S. about the so-called "War on Terrorism" with relation to Cuba. Superpower Principles is a unique book that addresses the case of the Cuban Five. The case of the Cuban Five, a disquieting history censured by the U.S. media Mark your calendar: October 4th : Bluestockings, New York, featuring Leonard Weinglass and Salim LamraniOctober 5th : John Jay College, New York, featuring Rev. Luis Barrios, Rev. Lucius Walker, Leonard Weinglass and Salim Lamrani.October 6th : Massachuttes Institute of Technology, Boston, featuring Noam Chomsky, Michael Avery, President of the National Lawyers Guild, and Salim LamraniOctober 9th : Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa, CA, featuring Peter Phillips, of Project Censored and Salim LamraniOctober 10th : Black Oak Books, Berkeley, CA, featuring Michael Parenti and Salim LamraniOctober 11th: Stanford University, Stanford, CA, featuring Salim Lamrani

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Letter dated 16 January 2004 to the UN Secretary-General

Fifty-eighth sessionAgenda items 117 and 156Human rights questionsMeasures to eliminate international terrorism
Letter dated 16 January 2004 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to transmit to you, enclosed herewith, the statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the denial of visas to Olga Salanueva Arango and Adriana Pérez Oconor, spouses of René González Sehwerert and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo.
Such repeated conduct by the Government of the United States of America constitutes a systematic and flagrant violation of the human rights of René González Sehwerert and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo and their relatives.
I have the honour to request that you circulate this letter as a document of the General Assembly under agenda items 117 and 156.
(Signed) Orlando Requeijo GualAmbassadorChargé d’affaires a.i.
Annex to the letter dated 16 January 2004 from the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-GeneralStatement by the Ministry of Foreign Affaire
On 23 December 2003, the United States Interests Section in Havana delivered to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a diplomatic note returning the passports and visa applications of Olga Salanueva Arango and Adriana Pérez Oconor, spouses of René González Sehwerert and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo. The note stated that such applications would no longer be accepted through the offices of the Ministry and that henceforth the two comrades would have to submit their applications in person.
The new visa request had been made on 7 December 2003, after the United States Interests Section had advised, in mid-November, that its authorities had again decided to deny visas to the two comrades.
What excuse was used by the United States Government to put up these new obstacles and refuse to accept that the visas of Olga and Adriana had been requested through the usual offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
With astounding cynicism, United States officials argued that the statements made by both Olga and Adriana against the constant denial of their visa requests and in defence of their spouses made them think that the reasons why they wanted to travel to the United States were “no longer humanitarian”, because they had become actively involved in a “political campaign” against the United States Government.
It is impossible to imagine a greater absurdity.
Actions such as these prove how relentless the United States authorities have been in denying visas to Olga and Adriana on three occasions during the past two years and, in fact, limiting the elemental right to maintain relationships with their spouses, even under the harsh conditions imposed by their unjust and illegalconfinement in United States jails.
With this new decision, the United States Government is continuing to violate the human rights of René, Gerardo and their relatives. It is vainly seeking, through actions of unfettered cruelty, to punish the gallantry shown by our five comrades and their families throughout this whole rigged process.
Olga and Adriana have the right both to demand justice for their spouses and to visit them. Any denial constitutes a violation of international law and also of United States laws.
This decision by the United States authorities violates their international obligations as contained in the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under AnyForm of Detention or Imprisonment; and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, among others.
The United States Government has sought to justify these denials with the ridiculous argument that Olga and Adriana “constitute a threat to the national security of the United States”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has continually requested the United States authorities to reconsider these arbitrary denials and comply with their international obligations by allowing Olga and Adriana to exercise the inalienable right to visit their spouses and little Ivette to see her father.
Furthermore, the relatives who have been able to visit our Five Heroes have had to wait months to receive their visas and, as a result, our comrades have not received visits from their families for long periods.
At this time, several relatives of our comrades are still waiting for their visas, although they were requested from the United States Interests Section in August and September 2003. The time that has elapsed is already much longer than the eight weeks required, according to the United States authorities, to process visas for travel to the United States.
Moreover, in violation of the obligations and duties set out in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Department of State has continued to place obstacles in the way of Cuban consular officials complying with their duty and their right to provide consular assistance to these Cuban citizens. On two occasions theyeven went so far as to deny travel permits to our officials for consular visits to René González Sehwerert and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo during 2003. Everything indicates that in 2004 the pressure will be stepped up and the obstacles will increase.
In addition, the Department of State has begun to question, hedge and deny the possibility for officials of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington to accompany the relatives of our Five Heroes during their visits to the United States.
The relatives have to travel long distances to reach the places where their loved ones are imprisoned and to stay in alien environments during their visits. They deserve all necessary support, out of an elemental sense of humanity. And it is precisely this support which the United States authorities are questioning and blocking.
A few examples will suffice:
– On 17 June 2003, the Department of State informed the Interests Section that it would not authorize the travel of a Cuban official during the entire stay in Colorado of Antonio Guerrero’s mother and son, and that he had to return to Washington on the days when there were no prison visits.– On 27 July and 6 August, a similar decision was conveyed with regard to the official who was supposed to accompany Ramón Labañino’s family to Beaumont, Texas and Fernando González’s family to Wisconsin.– On 8 August, an official in the Cuban Interests Section was denied a permit to accompany René González’s daughter on her road journey from Miami, Florida to Edgefield, South Carolina.– On 17 December, a Cuban diplomat who was supposed to accompany relatives of Gerardo Hernández to Lompoc, California was denied a travel permit.
It is clear that the United States authorities are seeking, in violation of international law, to intensify their actions to prevent or block consular access to our Five Heroes and support for their relatives. They are seeking to punish the example of heroism and patriotism which radiates from them in an obvious attempt to satisfy the most irrational whims of the Cuban mafia in Miami.
Cuba demands that the United States Government put an end to the attacks and hostility against our Five Heroes and their relatives, stop the manoeuvres with regard to the legitimate rights of our comrades, and comply strictly with its international, legal and moral responsibilities.
Havana, 13 January 2004

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

JUST one year after the decision of a panel of three judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, who unanimously overturned the Miami trial of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters and annulled the sentences handed down, the plenary of that judicial instance has just announced its decision on a reconsideration of the finding of August 9, 2005.
Close to half of the Court document’s 120 pages are devoted to the arguments of the 10 judges who acted against the defense and the rest to the two others – both from the August 9 panel last year – who reaffirmed their points of view.
The ruling will have to be closely studied but what stands out a priori is that the full panel ratified the decision of the Miami court where our compatriots were tried and sentenced and rejected the application for a retrial, and decided to send back to the three-judge panel the rest of the questions that they did not discuss. Thus they have returned to the three-judge panel its analysis of issues such as the charges of conspiracy to commit espionage and the erroneous application of the Classified Information Procedures Act, among others.
Without any doubt, this ruling extends and makes indefinite the imprisonment of five men who will have completed eight years of an unjust incarceration on September 12.
Five men who tried to save Cuba and the United States from acts of terrorism promoted by individuals like Luis Posada Carriles, confessed killer and active terrorist, for whom a whole show is being prepared on this August 14, in an attempt to grant him U.S. citizenship in virtue of the criminal acts he perpetrated under orders of George Bush Sr.
The news came out shortly after the August 9 edition of the “Informative Roundtable.” This new decision has been awaited since the hearing before the full 12-judge panel on February 14, when the two sides put forward their verbal arguments. Six months have gone by and 12 since the earlier ruling until the current decision.
This is an unprecedented decision in that country’s legal history.
By accepting the reconsideration of the previous appeal ruling, delivered in that instance in the interest of justice, the incorrect conduct of the case by the prosecution has been legitimated and what we have reiterated ad infinitum has been confirmed: that this has been a political case since the very beginning and in the legal proceedings against the Five all the hatred and desire for revenge has been heaped on these combatants.
But all this is taking place in an unprecedented manner at a point when there are calls in Miami to do away with a sovereign nation, invoking terrorism and bloodbaths and proclaiming political assassination and genocide at the top of their lungs in the media.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The road could be long...

Having Leonard Weinglass at the Round Table -- a prestigious U.S. jurist and the defender of difficult causes, usually more political than criminal -- was extremely interesting for the Cuban audience, especially since Weinglass is one of the lawyers who represents The Five antiterrorist fighters sentenced by a Miami-Dade court to long prison terms.
Weinglass does not appear to be a man who turns wishes into realities. His experience has taught him to be objective. For that reason, throughout his appearance at the Round Table of Friday, Aug. 18, he pointed out that "the road could be long" in the process of freeing The Five.
Among other issues, he stated: "The more than 200 pages of contradictory rulings on the case of The Five demonstrate that it is impossible to see the case from a legal point of view, in terms of U.S. law, because this is an essentially political trial and, in particular, a trial of U.S. policy against Cuba."
When analyzing the ruling issued Aug. 9 by part of the plenum of the 11th Circuit Court of the Court of Appeals of Atlanta, Weinglass said that in reality there had been two rulings. Two of the judges held on to their opinions, issued one year earlier, declaring the Miami trial as null and void because the city's environment did not permit an impartial trial. However, ten judges ruled the opposite.
The lawyer described that position as "a tragedy and a monument to the use of the law in a superficial manner to achieve purposes that are not those of justice." Let us remember that it was Judge Charles Wilson, a former Miami prosecutor, who wrote the majority opinion.
Those ten judges were blind to reality, Weinglass said. "They did not see the case in a substantial manner. It was a mechanical analysis that did not take into account the atmosphere or the reality of what happened in Miami; only what happened in the courtroom. In 68 pages, they don't talk about Miami. They focus on the atmosphere in the Court, not in the city, as if the trial were being held in New York."
The lawyer also described as extraordinary -- because of the impact and because of its rarity -- the 52 pages of the document written by the two dissenting judges who, "abiding by the best tradition of the U.S. judicial system," invited the defense lawyers to take the case to a higher court and insisted that any analysis must take into account the circumstances surrounding the trial of The Five.
In another appearance at the Round Table, Weinglass said the document issued by the ten judges in the Court of Appeals in Atlanta represents a violation of "the sacred right every defendant has to a fair trial."
He also said he trusts that, in the long run, The Five will be freed. "The United States cannot be an accomplice to a crime and at the same time try the people who oppose it. You cannot support a war against Cuba and at the same time try those who attempt to oppose it," he said.
However, and with all due respect to the opinions and convictions of this prestigious lawyer, that's exactly what the successive governments of the United States have been doing since 1959. And it doesn't seem that the administration will change its stance, if we judge its behavior in other legal processes that involve true, self-confessed terrorists such as Luis Posada Carriles and other persons, such as Santiago Álvarez, Osvaldo Mitat and Robert Ferro, who at this point are in prison, awaiting trial.
Or the way in which justice has dealt with the confessions of José Antonio (Toñín) Llama about the plans by members of the Cuban American National Foundation to commit terrorist acts in Cuba in the 1990s.
Or, more recently, the interview granted by Orlando Bosch to a Spanish newspaper, in which he says his fondest wish was to kill Fidel Castro and that a Cuban airliner, a civilian aircraft, is a military objective. Bosch referred to the Cubana de Aviación airplane blown apart by a bomb over Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976, with the deaths of 72 passengers and crew. Luis Posada Carriles is sought by Venezuela for that crime.
It is the same double standard that has characterized the famous war on terrorism, in the wake of the abominable terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, whose fifth anniversary will be commemorated in a few days.
But the double standard has been present before, in previous U.S. administrations. Who created Osama bin Laden or the death squads in Central America? Who spawned the Operation Condor in South America in the 1970s and '80s? Who backed military dictatorships in Latin America throughout most of the 20th Century? Where did Latin American and other military officers learn the techniques of torture? It was at the notorious School of the Americas, once based in Panama but now located on U.S. soil, with another name.
To the Bush administration, there is a "good" terrorism -- the one promoted by it and other administrations -- and a "bad" terrorism -- the one engendered by its own worldwide political hegemony. The terrorism that arises as a result of oppression, humiliation, exploitation and despair, along with factors of a religious or ideological nature, as in the case of Islamic terrorist groups that in many cases were organized by the Central Intelligence Agency. The Talibans in Afghanistan are a good example, though not the only one.
Returning to our topic, it is evident that Leonard Weinglass is not counting on miracles. He knows that the White House's policies obstruct justice and that The Five antiterrorist fighters cannot be released so long as the U.S. has a government that promotes state-driven terrorism in all its manifestations and supports other governments that also practice it, such as Israel.
The victim of this double standard is, of course, the prestige of the United States and of its people, who have seen their freedoms diminished by the so-called Patriot Act and has been the target of surveillance and espionage, in violation of the country's own laws on individual privacy.
If anything characterizes the current state of U.S. relations with the rest of the world is the almost total lack of credibility of U.S. politicians and institutions, the need to impose their interests by force, coercion or blackmail. And among the great powers, that method has never been a sign of strength but of weakness. U.S. allies in the European Union are experiencing more or less the same.
Despite all that, so far seven governments allied to the U.S. have refused to receive Posada Carriles as a political refugee, regardless of the pressures exerted on them. Even the government of El Salvador, a country that was Posada Carriles' base of operations, has refused to accept him.
What's happening? The refusals from Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and El Salvador have many likely readings. Are the pressures exerted to find a refuge for Posada Carriles real, or does the White House prefer to hold him in a "golden cage" before it sends him to another country?
Some analysts say that Posada Carriles will die in prison, not because he's a notorious and self-admitted terrorist but because releasing him does not suit the interests of Doublya Bush. Posada knows too many secrets about Bush Senior's participation in delicate operations during his tenure as CIA director, Vice President and President of the United States.
Will the government deal similarly with Orlando Bosch, whom Bush Sr. granted a pardon and permanent residence in the U.S., practically free from surveillance and on occasion talking more than he should?
A few days ago, Posada Carriles' lawyer, Eduardo Soto, announced on TV that his client would be free in a few days, walking the streets of Miami, in what might become a new test of strength between the terrorist groups in Miami and U.S. justice on one side, and the Doublya Bush administration on the other. Anything can happen, because this is a visibly dirty game.
The same thing is happening in the cases of Santiago Álvarez and Osvaldo Mitat, for illegal possession of firearms and for bringing Posada Carriles into the U.S. illegally, aboard the yacht Santrina. And what can we say about Robert Ferro, the owner of the largest private arsenal in the U.S., who said the weapons were furnished to him by the government and belonged to Alpha 66. If the U.S. government decides to release these men, it would be admitting that they are protectors and promoters of terrorism against Cuba.
Meanwhile, the lawyers for The Five antiterrorist Cuban fighters weigh the next steps to take. There are still nine charges to be appealed to the Atlanta court and the bid for a change of venue must be raised to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is also dominated by conservatives. It is evident, as Weinglass said, that "the road could be long," but there is a conviction among The Five, the Cuban people and the defense attorneys (all of then U.S. citizens) that justice will eventually triumph. Let us hope so.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Declaration of the Commission on Constitutional and Judicial Affairs of the Cuban National Assembly of People's Power

Havana, August 15, 2006
The Commission on Constitutional and Judicial Affairs of the Cuban National Assembly of People's Power, expresses its indignation at the decision of the full Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia, in ruling against the Cuban Five. By invalidating the unanimous verdict of a panel of three judges that dissolved the celebrated Miami trial of anti-terrorist Cuban fighters Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, René González and Antonio Guerrero, the court departs from legal principle.
This decision is once more evidence of the political character of the trial and the unjust measures adopted, along with the arbitrary nature of the U.S. government and its violations of its own laws and Constitution as well as the most elementary norms of law and, specifically, human rights.
The panel judges, whose sum total professional experience exceeds 80 years, declared in their 93-page ruling that to "empanel an [impartial] jury in this community [of Miami] was not a reasonable probability due to the existing prejudice in the same". "In this case a new trial was mandated by the perfect storm created when the surge of pervasive community sentiment, and extensive publicity both before and during the trial, merged with the improper prosecutorial references".
The ruling adopted by the Atlanta court does not take into account the atmosphere of violence and intimidation that exists in Miami, nor the most recent things that have occurred in the city and been reported by the local press, including the occupation of armories for the purpose of using weapons against Cuba, and public statements by terrorists who with total impunity admit to their crimes. This confirms the need to monitor such groups – work that the Cuban Five were carrying out in Miami to detect the violent actions planned against Cuba that have resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians, and that provide new and dramatic evidence in their defense – especially the universal principle of defense being a state of necessity.
Also ignored was a decision by the U.N. Human Rights Commission Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions that stated that in view of the facts and circumstances in which the trial took place along with the accompanying charges and the severe sentences meted out, the trial did not take place in a climate of objectivity and impartiality necessary for the norms of a fair trial as defined in Article 14 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and declared their imprisonment arbitrary requesting that the U.S. government immediately adopt such measures necessary to remediate the privationsto which these men are being submitted.
We condemn this infamous and ignominious decision and call on parliamentarians across the world, along with all those who care for justice, to unite in this noble and just cause. We call upon and demand of the U.S. government that the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters immediately be freed. They fought for the life and peace of the people of Cuba and the United States itself, and in September will have completed eight years of unjust imprisonment. Great limits are imposed on their family visits where two of them have not even been allowed to see their spouses.
The International Days for the Freedom of the Five, that will take place between September 12 and October 6, should be used to continue and increase the fight for truth and justice for our brothers and for the development of a large movement in parliaments and the law community so that the universal principles of law make possible the return to Cuba of these compatriots.

Online College Degree