Saturday, 23 July 2011

US Trade Unionists Give Their Support to the Cuban Five

WASHINGTON, July 22.— Trade unionists from the United States and the United Kingdom will gather in the city of Los Angeles, to give their support to the Cuban Five, the antiterrorist fighters who for almost 13 years have been unfairly imprisoned in the United States, the Prensa Latina news agency reports.

The event will coincide with the birthday of one of the Cuban Five, Rene Gonzalez (August 13), the International Committee to Free the Cuban Five announced in a communiqué.

Taking part in the solidarity meeting will be former Joint-General Secretary of Unite, Tony Woodley, who currently leads the trade union’s movement of support for the Cuban Five in the UK; Trabajadores Unidos (United Workers) leader Cristina R. Vazquez, who is also a member of the Western Region States Board of Directors; and Coordinator of the Committee to Free the Cuban Five Alicia Jrapko.

An exhibition entitled Humor desde el encierro (Humor in Captivity) comprising of political cartoons by one of the Cuban Five, Gerardo Hernandez, will be open during the event. The exhibition has toured other cities in the United States.

A short film by American actor Danny Glover on the case of the Cuban Five —as Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez are known internationally— will be also screened.

“These men are sons, husbands, brothers, poets, pilots, university graduates and artists. For 11 million Cubans they are considered heroes,” the communiqué by the solidarity organization reads.

Taking part at the solidarity meeting will be former Joint-General Secretary of the Unite Union, Tony Woodley, who currently leads the trade union’s movement of support for the Cuban Five in the UK

Sunday, 10 July 2011

UK government signs formal cooperation agreement with Cuba

On Tuesday 5 July 2011, the UK and Cuba signed a formal declaration to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

CSC Director, Rob Miller welcomed the declaration saying:

“CSC has been campaigning vigorously on this issue for many of years through lobbying campaigns of MPs and ministers, Early Day Motions in parliament, and ministerial delegations, all calling for the UK to break from the 'EU Common Position' which has imposed restrictions on relations between EU member states since 1996. CSC and affiliated Trade Unions have consistently called for a policy based on respect for Cuba's sovereignty and independence. We believe that this declaration is a significant first step in this direction.

"CSC hopes that this will signal the beginning of the development of bilateral exchanges in the fields of scientific, educational and cultural links. Most importantly we hope that there will be a real effort to explore and facilitate economic exchange between the two nations. Present trade levels are paltry in comparison to many other Europeann countries and it is in the interests of the people of both the UK and Cuba to see this change for the better.

"The signing of this agreement should be another nail in the coffin of the unjust and discredited 'EU Common Position' which has so hampered the development of relations between our two countries. Now that the UK has, along with many other EU nations, signed forward looking cooperation agreements, we very much hope that this will see a new and better era of relations to the mutual benefit of the people of Cuba and the UK"

A press release from the British Embassy dated 5 July read:

“The UK and Cuba today signed a declaration to strengthen bilateral cooperation. It was signed by British ambassador Dianna Melrose and Cuban Vice Minister Dagoberto Rodríguez.

“Commenting on the declaration, the British ambassador said:

“this declaration formalises bilateral cooperation between the UK and Cuba. It is an important step and part of the British government’s renewed focus on Latin America. With the declaration in place, we look forward to enhanced engagement, deeper dialogue and the opportunity to cooperate more in priority areas including climate change, human rights, trade, investment and counternarcotics.”

Baroness Angela Smith, Chair of the All Party Group on Cuba, and Vice Chair of CSC, stated on behalf of the Campaign: "This bilateral cooperation agreement is an excellent first step in the long overdue development of better UK-Cuba relations. The people of our two countries have so much in common and so much to learn from each other that any moves to better relations based on mutual respect and understanding must be applauded. I very much hope that we can now begin to see real practical steps to increase levels of trade and exchange."

CSC would like to thank all of the members, supporters, trade union affiliates and MPs who have worked with us over the years to pressure the British government to change its policy on Cuba. We are committed to continue working with them both in the UK and Europe until relations are completely normalised and Cuba is fully welcomed with respect as a sovereign and equal state.

The full wording of the declaration between Cuba and the UK can be read here

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Gerardo and Ramón have birthdays in June.

Be sure to send them a birthday greeting!

You can write to them directly at the prison, (address below) and also transmit a greeting to our email address below. We will then mail Ramón and Gerardo your greeting which you e-mail us.

Gerardo Hernández was born June 4, 1965.
His address is:
Gerardo Hernández, #58739-004
U.S.P. Victorville
P.O. Box 5300
Adelanto, CA 92301
Ramón Labañino was born June 9, 1963.
He is registered in prison as Luis Medina, so you
have to address the envelope as:
Luis Medina, #58734-004
F.C.I. Jesup
2680 301 South
Jesup, GA 31599
Then inside the cards and letters, you can write to him as Ramón.

Much has happened in the last year, in the struggle for the Cuban Five. Gerardo's habeas corpus appeal is currently underway. His attorneys will file a reply in July to the government's response to his appeal memorandum.

Ramón's habeas corpus appeal memorandum will be filed soon. Antonio Guerrero's appeals are also currently in process. In the meantime, you can read the latest developments on the mobilizing efforts for the Five Cuban Heroes, as well as their legal appeals.

you can email your greetings to:

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Cuba Reports Washington Maneuvers against ALBA

Havana, May 18 (Prensa Latina) The organization of a right-wing extremist summit on Capitol Hill in Washington to attacking Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba and Nicaragua was denounced on Wednesday.

The event will take place on May 26 under the slogan: Legitimacy Lost? How 21st Century Socialism Subverts Democracy in Latin America.

The chair of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, is behind the maneuvers against the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

The right-wing assembly will claim that progressive Latin American countries have joined together to undermine rule of law and that they systematically violate rights of their the citizens, Granma newspaper reported.

It remarked the meeting is being promoted by the Americas Forum, a group that spreads dirty propaganda and misinformation against countries that do not obey the instructions of the US State Department.

The extremists and coup-plotters include Venezuelan mercenary Moises Naim, part of the Carlos Andres Perez administration during the massacre of El Caracazo.

U.S. Representative Connie Mack, the right-hand man of Ros-Lehtinen, will also be there; he suggested assassinating Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez during another right-wing meeting.

Mack is developing a campaign for Venezuela to appear on the list of countries the United States considers sponsors as state sponsors of terrorism.


Songworks Concert 4th June2011[1]

this event is well worth attending - the group is fundraising collaboratively with other choirs in the UK to get the Cuban choir "Musica Aurea" to the UK

Monday, 11 April 2011

Battling with Bacardi

10 April 2011
The battle for the ownership of the Cuba’s Havana Club rum trademark continues to rage on both sides of the Atlantic.

In February Cuba won a ruling when Spanish courts, for the third time, refused Bacardi’s attempt to challenge the ownership of the famous trademark Cuban rum in Spain. Ian FitzSimons, General Counsel, Pernod Ricard (who distribute the Cuban distilled rum in Europe) said: "This decision is a victory for the Havana Club brand.

This was a blatant attempt by our competitor, Bacardi, to claim rights in a trademark more than 30 years after an unused registration had expired."

However, in April the latest ruling of the US Court of Appeals stated that the "Havana Club" trademark Pernod Ricard SA uses for its rum in other parts of the world can't be used in the US.

In reaching this ruling, the US court used cited a 1998 law which relates to a “confiscated”business or trademark. This legislation was drawn up by former Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Otto Reich, who was advising Bacardi at that time, when the company was under litigation in New York for using illegally the Havana Club name.

Juan Gonzalez Escalona, head of the Cuban Rum Corporation said the ruling reinforced the economic, financial and commercial blockade the US has kept on Cuba for five decades. He explained that Cubaexport had registered Havana Club trademark in the United States in 1976 and gave the French beverage giant Pernod Ricard the rights to market it throughout the world.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Outrage in El Paso: Posada Acquitted !!

In El Paso today, following a 13-week trial in which the evidence against him was overwhelming, notorious terrorist Luis Posada Carriles was acquitted by a jury after a shockingly short three hours of deliberation.

The U.S. government has been at war against the Cuban people since they carried out a revolution in 1959. As a CIA employee and part of that war, Posada Carriles committed many acts of terrorism against the Cuban people and others.

Today Posada walks free in a mockery of justice, while the Cuban Five
anti-terrorists are still imprisoned for almost 13 years.

If the U.S. had really wanted a conviction of Luis Posada Carriles on his real crimes of terrorism, it would have been easily achieved. But the U.S. government chose to try Posada for the ridiculously minor charges of perjury and immigration fraud.

This is why the National Committee, along with the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition and local activists in El Paso held a "Peoples Tribunal" and protest before the start of the federal trial, to expose Posada's crimes of terrorism to the world.

Today's acquittal, together with the continued incarceration of the Cuban Five heroes who risked their lives to prevent acts of terrorism by Posada's allies, is a clear indication that the U.S. war against the Cuban people and Cuban revolution continues.
The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five is outraged by this travesty of "justice," as are all supporters of Cuba and the Cuban Five.

The verdict of "not guilty" in Luis Posada Carriles's trial in El Paso does not absolve him of his terrorist crimes. And the struggle to bring Posada and his accomplices to justice does not end with today's verdict.

Demand Posada's Extradition!
Act today to demand justice for the 73 plane bombing victims,
for Fabio di Celmo, and for all the victims of U.S.-backed
anti-Cuba terrorism!

We urge everyone to contact the U.S. State Department and demand the immediate extradition of Posada to Venezuela, where he is wanted for the murder of 73 people in the mid-air bombing of Cubana Flight 455.

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520