'Miami five' inquiry details finalised

International commission of inquiry into five Cuban men jailed for spying in 2001 to be held at Law Society in London from 7-8 March

The details for the international commission of inquiry into the case of the "Miami five" to be held at the Law Society next month have now been finalised.

Among those giving evidence will be René González, the only member of the five Cuban men jailed for spying to have been released after completing his 15-year sentence in the United States.

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Open Letter to President of Venezuela

Soon, the Battle for Venezuela

They are already sewing your funeral gown, Venezuela. They are now ready to welcome you back to that world of the lobotomized, destroyed nations that are fully submissive to Western political and economic interests – Indonesia, Philippines, Paraguay, Uganda, Kenya, Qatar, Bahrain, and almost the entire Eastern Europe. There are so many places like that – it is impossible to list them all.

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Venezuelan opposition shows its right-wing, racist and anti-working class character in the streets of Washington, D.C.

Solidarity the Bolivarian Revolution
In front of the Venezuelan Embassy - Washington, D.C., Feb. 15, 2014.

En Español

A tale of two demonstrations: Eyewitness report

Yesterday (Sat., Feb. 15) at a demonstration in Washington, D.C., the racist, privileged and pampered character of the ultra-right-wing opponents of Venezuela’s revolutionary government revealed itself in a grotesque display.

Vividly unmasking the true class nature of the opposition to Venezuela’s progressive government, the enraged children of Venezuela’s upper classes, who live a coddled existence in Washington, D.C., yelled insults and racist slurs against a multi-racial group of demonstrators who rallied for six hours to condemn the U.S. government and the CIA for trying to carry out another coup against the progressive government led by Nicolas Maduro.

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Programme of events for the International Commission of Inquiry, Voices for Cuba Concert and Closing Dinner

cuban 5 london banner

Friday 7 March 2014

Commission Day One -The Law Society, London , 9am-5pm
Day one will establish the scale of terrorist aggression against the Cuban people and the activities undertaken by the Cuban Five in Miami to prevent these harmful attacks. The activities of Cuban groups based in Miami will be scrutinised and expert witnesses will explore the legal right of self-defence of the Cuban nation. Panellists and witnesses will include victims of terrorism against Cuba, René González and Ricardo Alarcon. See here for full list of participants and session details

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What Lies Across the Water: the real story of the Cuban Five by Stephen Kimber

I wrote this book review of Stephen Kimber's 'real story of the Cuban Five' for Science & Society. It is not due to be published until October 2014 (Vol. 78, No.4), but they have kindly given me permission to post it on my blog prior to publication. I wanted to post the review early to draw attention to an important event which takes place in London next month: the International Commission of Inquiry into the Case of the Cuban Five, on 7 and 8 March. The Commission website can be found here: The following day, Sunday 9 March, there will be a rally to demand justice for the Five in Trafalgar Square from 2pm. Details here:


What-Lies-Across-the-Water

Stephen Kimber, What Lies Across the Water: the real story of the Cuban Five, Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing, 2014. 296 pages. $29.95 CAD. ISBN: 9781552665428

Review by Helen Yaffe*

According to the author, this book owes its existence to serendipity. In 2009 Stephen Kimber was in Havana researching for a love story he planned to write when, he explains, he ‘got sideswiped by the truth-is-stranger-but-way-more-interesting story of the Cuban Five.’ (1) Thanks to serendipity, Kimber has produced the first full-length book in English about the case of the Cuban Five. During his research, the Canadian writer, broadcaster and professor of journalism read 20,000-pages of court transcripts, and a mass of books, media reports and documents. He conducted interviews and established correspondence with the Five in prison. The book is organized chronologically into sections which are sub-divided by diary-like entries providing updates on the entire ‘cast of characters’. This work is meticulously researched, factual without being dull and written with sensitivity and honesty - warts and all. It is as gripping as an action-packed movie and deeply moving.

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Cuban Fury - review

Cuban Fury

This is a fun romantic comedy starring British actor Nick Frost. His character (Bruce Garrett), who was a talented salsa dancer as a child, returns to dancing 25 years later when he meets his new boss Rashida Jones (Julia) and seeks to conquer her through salsa.

Bruce seeks out his old teacher (Ian McShane) and his sister Sam (Olivia Colman) to help him get his jive back. All this while competing with his work colleague (Chris O'Dowd ) who also tries to seduce Julia.

The overweight character Bruce breaks the stereotype of a professional dancer and of traditional dance films. He is a funny, amiable character and the film excellently combines English humor with ‘latino spirit’ and dance. Most of the audience will not only laugh through the film, but will also be taken with the urge to dance salsa – whether or not they know the moves.

Other key characters in the film are played by Rory Kinnear, Kayvan Novak, also known as the Phone Jacker, and the stunning Yanet Fuentes, a Cuban dancer who featured on the BBC1 competition ‘So You Think You Can Dance?’ The background music is authentic and vibrant, including tracks by Tito Puentes and Juan Formell - Los Van Van.

Despite debates about the origins of salsa as a dance form, it is an integral part of Cuba’s culture and Cuban salsa – both music and dance – has been enriched with a particular style and rhythm. This film is bound to be a hit with salsa lovers and be a big conversation topic in salsa classes across Britain. Whether or not you’re interested in dance, I recommend everyone see this great, entertaining film.

Daniesky Acosta.
Cubanos en UK

Cuban Fury is at cinemas now

Floridians Lead U.S. in Favouring Normalisation with Cuba

By Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, Feb 12 2014 (IPS) – If President Barack Obama wants to move more quickly to normalise ties with Cuba, it appears he has gained the political space to do so, according to analyses of a major new bipartisan public-opinion poll released here Tuesday by the Atlantic Council.

The survey, which was conducted last month, found that 56 percent of U.S. adults nationwide now support normalising ties or engaging more directly with Havana, while just over a third (35 percent) are opposed.

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Rock Around the Blockade - Street rally for the Cuban Five

15 years of incarceration and injustice!

trafalgar square

On 7 and 8 March, Rock around the Blockade will join legal professionals, writers, academics and solidarity activists from around the world at the International Commission for the Cuban Five, which takes place in London.

The Cuban Five are five Cuban men arrested in Miami in 1998, convicted on trumped up charges and condemned to long prison sentences. They were in fact trying to prevent acts of terrorism against Cuba by infiltrating violent anti-Cuban groups in Miami. None of the charges against them involved violence, weapons or damage to property. Since 1959, nearly 3,500 Cubans have died and over 2,000 have been injured as a result of terrorist attacks or aggression – mainly launched from Miami. To read more about the history of the Cuban Five click here.

Rock around the Blockade will be inviting participants of the International commission and everyone who supports the Cuban 5 to join us for a rally in Trafalgar Square, central London, on Sunday 9 March at 2pm. The rally will be held on the north pavement outside the National Gallery, with music, an open microphone, placards, and a giant Cuban flag. Everyone is welcome.

In 2011, one of the Cuban Five - Rene Gonzalez was released after serving 13 years in US prisons. He is now back in Cuba and will travel to London for the International Commission. On 27 February, the second of the Cuban Five, Fernando Gonzalez will be released after 15 years. The rally will join the international campaign both celebrating his release and demanding his safe return to Cuba. We will also be demanding that the remaining three Cubans - Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero - be released immediately.

Rock around the Blockade will be organising additional protests in Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow. More information uploaded soon.

Supporting organisations:

US National Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver

London Guantánamo Campaign

Cubainformación TV

Marcha Patriotica

Cubanos en UK

Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

MERU Verdadero

Coordinadora de Cubanos Residentes en Francia

Colectivo entre Amigos (Francia)

Revolutionary Communist Group

Rock Around the Blockade

Contact us for more information atEsta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..

We would be happy to help you organise an event in your area. 

(Taken From: Rock around the Blockade )

Today the Embargo on Cuba Turns 52 years old

Lift Cuba embargo by Latuff

by The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Zuleika on February 07, 2014

On February 7th, 1962 President John F. Kennedy laid the groundwork for the infamous economic embargo on Cuba. As a result of the Cuban government nationalizing some U.S. companies and becoming buddies with the former Soviet Union, President Kennedy slapped trade sanctions on Cuba prohibiting the importation of any Cuban goods. The following year, 1963, the embargo was tightened to include penalties that prohibited foreign companies that traded with Cuba to also trade with the United States. The ban on travel for U.S. citizens was also implemented that year. While a whole lot has changed since 1962, the embargo on Cuba remains the same.

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Professor and author Piero Gleijeses sends a letter to Obama

Piero Gleijeses

Piero Gleijeses is a professor of US foreign policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. His most recent book is Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976-1991, Chapel Hill, 2013.  His other books include The Cuban Drumbeat: Castro's Worldview, Seagull Books, 2009; Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington and Africa, 1959-1976. Chapel Hill, 2002; Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944-1954, Princeton, 1992; The Dominican Crisis: The 1965 Constitutionalist Revolt and American Intervention. Baltimore, 1978 (revised edition: La esperanza desgarrada: la rebelión dominicana de 1965 y la invasión norteamericana, Dominican Republic, 2012).


Letter to Obama

 

February 5, 2014

Mr. President,

 I will not address the juridical flaws of the case against the Cuban Five. These flaws are well known and others have written you about them. The Five were tried in a kangaroo court and received very heavy sentences because of the crimes of Fidel Castro.

What are these crimes? 

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