Justice for the Cuban Five
TORONTO, September 20, 2012 – The public is invited to attend an extraordinary event in Toronto. The Peoples’ Tribunal and Assembly for justice for the Cuban Five will be held at Toronto City Hall, Council Chamber, on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23.
Five Cuban men were jailed in the United States in 1998. They had peacefully monitored the network of ultra-right extremist groups in Miami that have been involved in politically motivated terrorist bombings and attacks against Cuba for many years. 3,478 Cuban deaths were caused. When Cuba reported their findings to US intelligence, the US authorities arrested not the terrorists, but the five Cubans who had harmed no one. The Cuban Five were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the United States, even though US military men testified that the information obtained from only public sources by the Five could not be construed as espionage. Four of five remain in jail, three serving life sentences.
Amnesty International has voiced serious doubts about the fairness and impartiality of their trial. Former US President Jimmy Carter said last year “I believe that the detention of the Cuban Five makes no sense.” Many thousands of organizations and individuals agree, and are intensifying the worldwide campaign for their freedom.
Find out how and why this atrocious miscarriage of justice happened ? listen to victims’ testimonies of their suffering and witnesses who shed new light on the unjust trial. Join peace activist Cindy Sheehan, two wives of the imprisoned Cuban Five, a Canadian whose brother died in the terrorist bombing of a Cuban hotel in 1997, and many other prominent individuals in the Peoples’ Tribunal and Assembly.
On Saturday, Sept. 22, registration starts at 8:00 am at Toronto City Hall, Council Chambers, and the Peoples’ Tribunal begins at 8:45 am sharp. At 4:30 the same day there will also be a rally at the US Consulate on University Avenue demanding freedom for the Five
On Sunday, Sept. 23, starting at 10:00 am, the Peoples’ Assembly will plan actions to pressure the Canadian government to join the worldwide call for U.S. President Obama to use his Constitutional authority to immediately release the Cuban Five so that they can return home.
Participating in the Peoples’ Tribunal & Assembly:
Adriana Pérez & Elizabeth Palmeiro, wives of two of the Cuban Five
Miguel Barnet, distinguished Cuban writer and poet and President of UNEAC, influential Writers & Artists’ Union of Cuba
Cindy Sheehan, peace activist
Marie Clarke Walker, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
Arnold August, author, journalist, lecturer & specialist in Cuba, Montreal
Saul Landau, award-winning writer & filmmaker
Tony Woodley, Executive Officer, Unite the Union, UK
Richard Klugh, Cuban Five legal defense team
José Pertierra, internationally renowned lawyer
Wes Elliott, well known native activist
Ken Neumann, National Director for Canada, United Steelworkers union
Denis Lemelin, National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Raymundo Navarro Fernández, doctor, trade union leader, Deputy to Cuban parliament
Naveen Mehta, General Counsel to United Food & Commercial Workers union
Lee Maracle, expert & instructor in Canadian First Nations’ culture & history
Alicia Jrapko, U.S. National Coordinator, International Committee for Freedom of the Cuban 5
Gloria La Riva, Coordinator, National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, in the U.S.
Stephen Kimber, journalist, broadcaster, professor & author, Halifax
William Sloan, founding member, Canadian branch of American Association of Jurists
Keith Bolender, Toronto, author of ‘Voices from the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba’
Julian Rivas, journalist, trade unionist, political and public opinion analyst, Venezuela
Abelardo Paisán Reyes, representative of Cuba’s National Union of Education Workers (SNTECD)
Father Hernán Astudillo, Anglican priest, Toronto
Julio Fonseca, President of the Association of Cubans in Toronto “Juan Gualberto Gómez”
Isaac Saney, faculty member, Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie universities, & co-chair and spokesperson for the Canadian Network on Cuba
Juan Carranza, Salvadoran-born lawyer & founder of law firm Carranza LLP, voted in 2007 as one of the 10 most influential Hispanics in Canada
Rev. Chris Levan, journalist, university president, & United Church minister; has taught at University of Alberta & Queens University