[Ppnews] "5 Days for the Five in Washington DC" through Images and Videos

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jun 11 14:14:22 EDT 2013

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International Committee for the Freedom

of the Cuban 5


/A step forward in the struggle to free the Cuban 5/

*"5 Days for the 5 in Washington DC" *

*through Images and Videos*



Photos: Bill Hackwell


>From May 30th through June 5th, representatives from 22 countries 
gathered in Washington DC to demand that the Obama administration change 
its hostile policies towards Cuba and free the Cuban 5, unjustly 
imprisoned in the U.S. since 1998.

During these days, a number of public events were organized with 
renowned personalities, including a press conference, a panel about Cuba 
in Africa and the Cuban 5 in Angola, a meeting of attorneys, a panel of 
intellectuals, presentations by known authors of newly released books 
about Cuba and the Five. On June 1st a rally took place in front of the 
White House followed by an ecumenical-cultural event. There was also a 
community event, a concert, an event with labor rank and file from the 
U.S. and abroad, and lobby activities on Capitol Hill. The series of 
actions ended with a video-conference with participants in Cuba and in 
the United States and an evening meeting at the Bolivarian Hall.


Press Conference to Announce Beginning of 

The second "5 Days for the Cuban 5 in Washington DC started with a press 
conference that included the participation from Havana via Skype of 
*René González*, who is back in Cuba after completing his entire 
sentence and the additional year and a half he had to spend under 
supervised probation. Participants in the press conference from the 
National Press Club in Washington were *Wayne Smith*, ex-Chief of the 
U.S. Interests Section in Havana during the Carter administration, 
*Dolores Huerta*, renowned leader for the rights of immigrants and farm 
workers, and *Ignacio Ramonet*, ex-editor in chief of Le Monde 
Diplomatique, and author of the book /"One Hundred Hours with Fidel"./

On May 30th an event covering the role of Cuba in Africa, and the Cuban 
5 in Angola took place at Howard University. Panelists included the 
Cuban Ambassador in Washington *José Ramón Cabañas*, the Angolan 
Ambassador in Washington *Alberto do Carmo Bento Riveiro*, *Eugene 
Puryear* from the ANSWER Coalition, *Mary-Alice Waters* President of 
Pathfinder Editorial and *Glen Ford*, co-founder and Executive Director 
of the Black Agenda Report.

June 1st Demonstration for the Cuban Five 


On June 1st, hundreds of people gathered in front of the White House to 
demand that President Obama free the Cuban 5. Buses arrived from New 
York, and an important delegation traveled from Quebec as well as Cubans 
residing in Miami and many supporters from different cities across the 
United States.

Angela Davis Speaks in Support of the Cuban 5 -- 5 Days for the Cuban 5 
in DC II 

Also on June 1st, in the evening at Saint Stephens Church, close to 500 
people heard the interventions from political activist, author and 
scholar *Angela Davis*, *Nacyra Gómez Cruz* from the Reformed 
Presbyterian Church of Cuba, *Rev. John L. McCullough*, Executive 
Director of the Church World Services, *Rev. Edgar Palacios*, from the 
Baptist Alliance, the Cuban Ambassador *José Ramón Cabañas* and *Sofia 
Clark D'Escoto*, ex-First Secretary of the Nicaraguan Embassy in 
Washington DC. The audience was also treated to the music of the *DC 
Labor Chorus* and *Mighty Gabby*, Cultural Ambassador from the island of 
Barbados, along with poetry by English actor *Andy de la Tour*.



On Sunday June 2nd, a group of supporters of the Five were welcomed by 
the Mayor of Takoma Park, Maryland and from there marched through the 
streets of the city led by the Salvadorian activist *Sonia Umanzor* 
demanding freedom for the Five. The march ended at Casa Rutilio for a 
community event organized by the Takoma Park Committee to Free the Cuban 

That same day in the afternoon at the Plymouth Congregational United 
Church of Christ a cultural event in solidarity with U.S. political 
prisoner Eddie Conway and the Cuban 5 took place. Welcoming remarks were 
given by *Rev. Graylan Hagler*. The audience enjoyed Hip Hop music by 
*Head Roc* and the music of *Mighty Gabby*.

5 Days for the Cuban 5 II: 7 Parliamentarians Meet with US Congress 

On Monday June 3rd the lobby activities began. A total of *seven 
parliamentarians*, six from Latin America and one from Italy 
participated in this legislative effort;* Hugo Gutierrez* congressman 
from Chile, *Alejandro Navarro*, senator from Chile, *Armando Aguilar*, 
congressman from Ecuador, *Damián Alegría*, congressman from El 
Salvador, *Alba Palacios*, congresswoman from Nicaragua, *Glauber 
Braga*, congressman from Brazil and the Italian europarlamentarian 
*Gianni Vattimo*. A total of *43* Congressional and Senate offices were 
visited during 3 days. *Seven* were between parliamentarians and members 
of Congress, *18* with Congress people's staff and *18* with Senators' 

Also on the morning of June 3rd an important discussion among attorneys 
from the U.S. and abroad was convened by *Martin Garbus*, a leading 
attorney for the Five. Other attorneys participating were former 
Attorney General *Ramsey Clark*, *Peter Schey* of the Center for Human 
Rights, *Mara Verheydan-Hilliard* of the Partnership for Civil Justice, 
former Judge *Claudia Morcom*, *Beinusz Szmukler* from Argentina, 
*Rafael Anglada* from Puerto Rico,* Fabio Marcelli* and *Tecla Faranda* 
from Italy, and *Patricio Florvilus* from Haiti, among others. Also 
present at the event were *Graciela Rosenblum*, President of the 
Argentinean Human Rights League and two representatives of *Amnesty 

Photo: Sharon Black

At 6pm at the Postal Workers Union Hall, a gathering of U.S. and 
Canadian labor rank and file took place. The welcoming remarks were by* 
Dena Briscoe*, President of the American Postal Workers Union, Local 
140. Among the speakers were *Denis Lemelin*, National President of the 
Canadian Union of Postal Workers, *Santos Crespo*, Local 372 NYC Board 
of Education Employees president and others.

One hour later, renowned intellectuals gathered at Busboys and Poets to 
speak about the Cuban Five. The panel was composed of *Ignacio Ramonet*, 
*Miguel Barnet*, *Gianni Vattimo* and Cuba historian *Jane Franklin*. 
Curator and friend of Cuba, *Gilbert Brownstone*, opened an art exhibit 
of paintings by *Antonio Guerrero* entitled /*"Yo me muero como viví"*/, 
with 15 paintings representing different times in the 17 months that the 
Cuban Five spent in solitary confinement known as "the hole."

II 5 Days for the Cuban 5 in DC: Breaking the Media Silence 

On June 4th, coinciding with the birthday of *Gerardo Hernández*, one of 
the 5 Heroes of the Republic of Cuba, a panel of authors of recently 
released books talked about the case of the Cuban 5. Included were 
*Stephen Kimber*, *Arnold August* (his book /"Cuba and its Neighbours, 
Democracy in Motion"/, purchase at http://www.democracycuba.com/ 
and *Fernando Morais*, journalist, writer and ex parliamentarian whose 
book /"The Last Soldiers of the Cold War"/ has sold 250 thousand copies 
in Brazil. Morais announced that the book is available in English, 
Spanish and Portuguese at www.blitzbookstore.com 
The panel was moderated by *Miguel Barnet*, President of the Union of 
Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC)


The last day in the morning, a Video-conference took place between 
participants in Havana and in Washington DC. From Havana, the Hero of 
the Republic of Cuba *René González* talked to a live audience 
participating in Cuba and in Washington DC. Next to René was *Adriana 
Pérez*, wife of Gerardo and *Kenia Serrano*, President of the Cuban 
Institute of Friendship with the Peoples. In Havana, *Irma Shelton* 
moderated the panel, while in Washington DC, attorney *José Pertierra* 
was the moderator. The Washington panel featured *Ignacio Ramonet* and 
*Alicia Jrapko*, U.S. coordinator of the International Committee for the 
Freedom of the Cuban 5

The second "5 Days for the Five 5" ended with a broad plenary session 
where parliamentarians and Cuban 5 supporters share with the audience 
their plans for future actions in support of the Five.  On display was 
an exhibit of photographs by three young doctors who graduated from ELAM 
(Latin America School of Medicine in Cuba) depicting their ride through 
7 Latin American countries during a 6 month period  to raise awareness 
about the case of the Cuban 5.

A video tribute to the always present *Commander Hugo Chavez* and the 
families of the five moved everyone. During the closing event messages 
of the mothers and wives, Alicia Alonso and recognized Cuban 
personalities were shown.

The songs of *Mighty Gabby* closed the evening. More than one hundred 
postcards /"Returning"/ made by the artist *Kcho*, *Rancaño* and *René 
González* were signed with messages to be sent to *Gerardo* and *Ramón* 
for their respective birthdays. *Ángelo Rivero*, Business Attache of the 
Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,* Dr. Rubén Zamora*, 
Ambassador of the Republic of El Salvador and *José Ramón Cabañas*, 
Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba were all present for the event.

The 5 Days for the 5 brought together personalities and friends of 
Argentina, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada and Quebec, Chile, Cuba, 
Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, United States, France, Greece, Haiti, 
England, Italy, Ireland, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Sweden and 

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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