News on Cuba - October 7, 2013 Print

The Washington Post Publishes Article on the Cuban Five
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) In an unusual action by US mainstream media, The Washington Post published on Friday a large article on the case of the five Cuban anti-terrorists arrested in the US in 1998 and given unfair prison sentences in 2001 by a Miami court.

Under the title “The Cuban Five were Fighting Terrorism. Why did we put them in Jail?” Canadian writer Stephen Kimber addresses countless contradictions of US justice in the legal process against Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five.
“Consider for a moment what would happen if American intelligence agents on the ground in a foreign country uncovered a major terrorist plot, with enough time to prevent it. And then consider how Americans would react if authorities in that country, rather than cooperate with us, arrested and imprisoned the U.S. agents for operating on their soil,” Kimber notes.
“Those agents would be American heroes. The U.S. government would move heaven and Earth to get them back.”
“This sort of scenario has occurred, except that, in the real-life version, which unfolded 15 years ago last month, the Americans play the role of the foreign government, and Cuba — yes, Fidel Castro’s Cuba — plays the role of the aggrieved United States,” the article reads.
Kimber contrasts the behavior of US authorities in the Cuban Five case to that assumed in dealing with terrorists of Cuban origin, who have openly admitted their participation in violent attempts against Cuba. He recalls the case of terrorist Rodolfo Fromenta who, In 1994,  was nabbed in an FBI sting trying to buy a Stinger missile, a grenade launcher and anti-tank rockets that he said he planned to use to attack Cuba.
“Those actions clearly violated U.S. neutrality laws, but America’s justice system mostly looked the other way,” said the Canadian writer who also mentions Luis Posada Carriles, mastermind of the bombing of Cubana airliner in mid air, off the coasts of Barbados in 1976,  along other terrorist actions, including attempts to kill Revolution leader Fidel Castro.
“Now you begin to understand why the Cuban Five — as they have become known — are national heroes in their homeland, why pictures of their younger selves loom on highway billboards all over the island, why every Cuban schoolchild knows them by their first names: Gerardo, René, Ramon, Fernando and Antonio.”
The Post is the oldest newspaper in Washington D.C. with nearly 500 thousand copies Monday through Saturday and over 800 thousand on Sunday. Along the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, The Post is considered one of the most influential publications in the United States.

President Raul Castro Sends Vietnam Message of Condolences for Death of General Vo Nguyen Giap

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) Cuban President Raul Castro extended his deepest sympathies to the Vietnamese people and their leaders for the passing away of General Vo Nguyen Giap.
His example of revolutionary fighter will always prevail among us, as an expression of the historic friendship relations that unite us, said the Cuban president.

The Cuban people will always recall with admiration and respect the figure of the legendary fighter for the liberation of Vietnam, who died at 102 years of age.

Our Revolutionary Armed Forces will always preserve his invaluable contribution to Cuba’s military doctrine, said Raul who concluded his message by expressing: “Eternal Glory to General Giap.”

Cubans Pay Tribute to Victims of 1976 Terrorist Bombing of a Cubana Airliner
HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 7 (acn) Cubans paid homage on Sunday, October 6, to the victims of the 1976 bombing of a Cubana Airlines jet off the coasts of Barbados that killed all 73 people on board, including the Cuban Juvenile fencing team that returned victorious from a regional championship held that year in Caracas, Venezuela.
The ceremony took place at Havana’s Colon cemetery and included the laying of wreaths sent by Cuban Revolution leader Fidel Castro and by President Raul Castro, Granma newspaper reported.
On behalf of the relatives, friends, colleagues and the people of Cuba, Wilfredo Perez, who was the son of the pilot of the plane, demanded the extradition of confessed terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who masterminded the terrorist action and is currently free in the US city of Miami. Perez also demanded the release of the anti-terrorist Cubans who are serving unfair prison sentences in US jails after they prevented terrorist actions against the Cuban people.
The ceremony was headed by Parliament president Esteban Lazo and by the First Secretary of Cuba’s Communist Party in Havana and Cuban Vice-president Mercedes Lopez.
Present at the tribute-paying action was Cuban Hero Rene Gonzalez, who along Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, was arrested in 1998.  The ceremony  was also attended by relatives of the five Cuban anti-terrorists, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba and workers with the Cuban Civil Aeronautics Institute.

Cuban Sportspeople Remember Barbados Crime Victims

Havana, Oct 6 (Prensa Latina) Cuban sports, as every year since 1976, mourned the victims of the heinous crime that occurred on this date, when a Cubana airplane exploded in flight, causing the death of 73 passengers and crew.

Aboard the plane travelled 17 young fencing athletes who had just made their mark, winning all the gold medals at the Central American and Caribbean games of the discipline.

This date is commemorated each year to honor floretists Virgen Felizola and Ines Luaces, Milagros Pelaez and Nancy Uranga, members of the national Cuban team.

Among the men there were sablists Ricardo Cabrera, Alberto Drake and Juan Duany, as well as floretists Leonardo Mackenzie and Jesus Mendez.

Also there were Jose Arencibia, Candido Muñoz, Enrique Figueredo, Julio Herrera, Nelson Fernandez, Carlos Leyva, Jose Fernandez and Ramon Infante.

In all, there were 24 casualties of that sports delegation which included two technicians Luis Morales and Jesús Gil, three trainers Ignacio Martinez, Santiago Hayes and Orlando Lopez and two officials of the Cuban Sports Institute, Demetrio Gonzalez and Manuel Permuy.

The crime whose perpetrators are still unpunished, dealt a severe blow on that sports discipline in Cuba that lost a complete generation of valuable athletes.

Cuban sports felt above all their absence in a season full of victories when it became the undisputed leader in Latin America after the Panamerican Games in Mexico, 1975, with a harvest of 134 medals (56 gold, 45 silver and 33 bronze).

Three years later, however, the fencing athletes of this island could win the regional competition in San Juan 1979, Puerto Rico.

Almost four decades after 1976 and present generations of Cuban athletes evoke their martyrs and claim for justice.

Cuban Ambassador to Iran Welcomes Friendship Association President

Tehran, Oct 7 (Prensa Latina) Cuba''s ambassador to Iran, Vladimir Gonzalez, received Hadi Khansari, president of the Iran-Cuba Friendship Association, in a first working meeting with the group, diplomatic sources said today.

Khansari welcomed the diplomat, who just took office, and expressed his willingness to continue working for solidarity with Cuba.

The ambassador thanked the association and its president for the solidarity actions with the country in recent years, among them, the International Campaign to Free the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters.

Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, and Ramon Labañino are still serving harsh prison sentences after a rigged trial held in Miami, for informing their country about terrorist activities that were being plotted against Cuba in the United States. Rene Gonzalez, the fifth member of the group, completed his prison sentence and returned to Cuba after renouncing his U.S. citizenship.

The Cuban ambassador also confirmed to Khansari an interest in continued united work with the association, to develop new projects in the areas of solidarity and culture.

The Cuban ambassador gave Khansari an official invitation from the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples to attend the 3rd World Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, scheduled for Oct. 31, 2014 in Havana.