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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Cuban Five hero Fernando González to be freed from U.S. prison on Feb. 27, 2014

Cuban Five hero Fernando Gonzalez

Important that we remain alert and ready to act to assure Fernando's return home to Cuba  

On February 27, 2014, when Fernando González is released from Safford federal prison in Arizona, he will have completed
15 years, 5 months and 15 days of an unjust imprisonment imposed after a U.S. government political prosecution.

Each day has been a cruel punishment for Fernando and his Cuban Five brothers, who courageously sacrificed their well-being to defend their homeland and people of Cuba from the scourge of terrorism that emanates from Miami, with the full knowledge and protection of Washington.

But Fernando will not simply walk out of Safford on Feb. 27. As one of his appeals attorney Richard Klugh explains, since Fernando is not a U.S. citizen, he will be detained temporarily by Immigration authorities.

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Havana hosts important regional summit

CELAC CUBA

By Helen Yaffe*

On 28-29th January 2014, Havana hosts the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC in Spanish), with the participation of the heads of states, chancellors and other representatives of all 33 independent nations in the region. The Summit rounds off Cuba’s one-year presidency of CELAC, which focussed on combating regional poverty, hunger and inequality. Cuba is part of CELAC’s three member troika, along with Chile, which held the presidency in 2012 and Costa Rica which takes over in 2014. Over 30 documents are being drawn up for discussion and analysis, including a Plan of Action, and standards and principles which will govern cooperation. The Summit was preceded by two days of discussions by national experts on 25-26 January and a meeting of chancellors on 27 January. The Summit is expected to emit specific statements, for example, demanding that Britain return Las Islas Malvinas (the Falkland Islands) to Argentina and that the US blockade of Cuba be lifted.

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Cuba Prepares for a Different Relationship with the European Union

Cuba Union Europea

BRUSSELS, Belgium – After years of debate, the European Union is in the final stages of eliminating an existing agreement concerning Cuba and establishing a bilateral agreement with the island nation on several issues.

Earlier this month, Holland’s Foreign Minister, Franciscus ‘Frans’ Timmermans, urged the European Union to encourage more dialogue with Cuba while on a state visit to Havana. “We simply need more human contacts,” he said. “We have seen that not meeting each other and not talking about the issues that divide us does not really help. Dialogue could really bring the relationship forward.”

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Celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution (+Video & Photos)

Photos: Virgilio Ponce -Martianos-Hermes-Cubainformación.

On 20 January, the 55th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution was celebrated at a cultural and political event in the Venezuelan Embassys Bolivar Hall. The event was attended by diplomats from the Cuban Embassy and the embassies of other countries which are members of ALBA – the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas. Also present were British trade unión leaders and ex - miners, members of solidarity organisations in solidarity with Cuba and Cubans living in Britain.

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A Call for Justice -- Free the Cuban 5: An Interview with Netfa Freeman

Cuban 5

by Gregory Elich

Netfa Freeman is a longtime activist/organizer who has worked on Cuba solidarity issues for several years.  A frequent traveler to Cuba, Netfa talks about his visit last November in support of the Cuban 5.

Gregory Elich: You've recently returned from Cuba, where you attended the Ninth International Colloquium to Free the Cuban 5.  In 1998, five Cubans who were monitoring the activities of U.S.-based anti-Cuba terrorist groups were arrested by the FBI and imprisoned on charges of espionage.  What can you tell us about the current status of the Cuban 5?

Netfa Freeman: Well, all five were arrested in September of 1998.  As far as their current status, I suppose the first thing people should know is that one of them, René González, was released from the Federal Correctional Institution in Marianna, Florida on October 7, 2011, after serving his entire 13-year sentence.  On April 22, 2013 René returned to Cuba for his father's funeral and on May 11, Judge Lenard allowed him to stay there provided that he would renounce his United States citizenship.  Soon to be released from the Fed pen in Safford, Arizona is FernandoGonzalez, in February.  This will also be because Fernando's sentence will have been served.

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René González, Alice Walker and Ramsey Clark to attend International Commission in London

Rene Gonzales

Booking now open for major event in global campaign for the Miami Five 

14 January 2014

*London Commission of Inquiry to hear key witnesses from Cuba and beyond in the case of the Miami Five

*René González, former Miami Five prisoner to attend London event

*International personalities including Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, actors Martin Sheen and Emma Thompson

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Response to The Guardian article about Cuban cars

Here is the original article which this reponse relates to: Cuba's classic cars are icons of oppression that deserve scrapping

This is an anti-communist diatribe, without a single fact but full of distortions and outrights lies. Not even Amnesty International claims that Cuba’s prisoners are tortured – or in any other way abused. In fact, the only place where there is torture in Cuba is in the US base on illegally occupied Cuban territory at Guantanamo.

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Let's start 2014 with simultaneous Tweets for the Cuban 5!

Twitter Cuban 5

www.freethefive.org

This Sunday January 5th, Send messages to Obama via Twitter: @BarackObama

Main labels:

#ObamaFreethe5Now!

#ObamaFreetheFiveNow!

#ObamaGivemeFive

#ObamaHumanitarianGestureforthe5

Follow us on twitter: @thecuban5; @Madresdelos5

Or call the White House to join the worldwide demand for their freedom.

Different ways to reach the White House   

By phone:

202-456-1111  (If nobody answers the phone leave a message)

If calling from outside the United States, dial first the International Area Code

+ 1 (US country code) followed by 202-456-1111

By Fax: 202-456-2461


If fax is sent from outside the United States, dial first the International Area

Code + 1 (US country code) followed by 202-456-2461


To send an e-mail: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

To send a letter:

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20500

United States

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