In writing this letter, this group of Cubans resident in the United Kingdom (Cubanos en UK) add our voices to the millions inside and outside Cuba who ask for the release of the remaining Cuban three citizens of the group known as the Cuban Five: Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo y Ramón Labañino Salazar, political prisoners in your country for more than 15 years. These three anti-terrorist Fighters not only protected the lives of Cubans, but also of US citizens who may have been the target of these terrorist actions.
In the last few days a number of activities have taken place in your country, supported by actions in various other countries, to demand the freedom of these Cuban compatriots. There is an abundance of evidence pointing to legal and media manoeuvres involved in securing the injust sentences for the Cuban Five.
In 2009, Libyan Mohmed al-Megrahi, who was serving a life sentence in Scotland accused of the horrific bombing of the Boeing 747 in the air above Lockerbie, was released and returned to his country on compassionate grounds. That bombing killed 270 people, 189 of them US citizens. Mr President you stated that ‘all of us here in the United States were surprised, disappointed and angry about the release’. Mr President it can’t be difficult for you to understand that the people of Cuba feel the same about the abominable terrorist bombing of the Cuban airlines flight in 1976 which cost the lives of all 73 passengers and crew, including the Cuban national fencing team.
The intellectual author of this terrorist act, Luis Posada Carriles, who has confessed his role, enjoys total freedom and protection in your country. The Cuban Five never committed any violent crime or act of terrorism. They are innocent and we demand their immediate freedom. Mr President, we hope you will use the powers granted to your office and earn your Nobel Peace Prize by ending the injustice in this case.
Enemigo by Raúl Capote, Editorial Jose Marti, 2011 (in Spanish)
Review by Raidel López
In Enemigo (Enemy), Cuban writer and university professor of history, Raúl Capote, reveals his life as a double agent; agent Pablo for the CIA, and agent Daniel for Cuban intelligence. This is not a work of fiction or a classic spy novel. It is the real experience narrated by the protagonist about plans by the CIA and its allies to destroy the Cuban Revolution. His story reveals one of the many facets of the US war against Cuba. For over half a century plans of espionage, sabotage, terrorist attacks, assassination, subversion, military, economic and political aggression, have been made and executed from the US. Most of these plans have failed, thanks to the work and sacrifice of men like Capote.
UN Watch has been caught manipulating video footage in a propaganda video it produced with the aim of getting Cuba and three other countries kicked out of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The UN Watch produced a campaign video which included footage supposedly of Cuban police beating peaceful protestors. One of the most alarming clips was in fact taken from footage of Spanish police beating a group of unarmed Spanish youth sitting on the floor.
The video was launched at a lavish event by UN Watch during the VI Summit for Human Rights and Democracy held in the International Conference Centre of Geneva, Switzerland. It was also posted on the home page of the NGO’s website. However, within hours of a campaign of condemnation for this malicious manipulation via social media, UN Watch has edited out the false footage (see their original video here) (see their edited video here). There has been no public statement nor apology made, but the fact that that footage has now been removed is evidence that UN Watch were aware of the false allegation. Clearly, the NGO was driven to manipulate this footage because it lacks evidence of real human rights abuses on the island.
This tactic has been adopted widely in recent weeks in Venezuela, where the opposition has reposted video footage and photos from all around the world where real human rights abuses have occurred. The false propaganda has been picked up and circulated by the mass media, which makes no effort to verify the truth or falsity of this so-called ‘evidence’.
Had UN Watch really wanted to find evidence of human rights abuses in Cuba, they would have found it in the illegally-occupied US military base in Guantanamo where ‘enemy combatants’ have been held in inhuman conditions, tortured, force-fed and denied access to family and legal visits. Most of them have never been charged or appeared in a court of law. The US has carried out similar human rights abuses around the world.
A scandalous video with false images of Cuba was presented by the NGO UN Watch during the so-called VI Summit for Human Rights and Democracy held in the International Conference Centre of Geneva, Switzerland.
The video is part of the ongoing campaign of UN Watch, an NGO known as "The Trojan Horse" of the CIA in Geneva, aimed at achieving that countries such as Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia, stop being members of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy website.
During its presentation at the Summit, the UN Watch NGO, through its director Hillel Neuer, showed false images of Cuba where riot police officers appear beating some supposed Cuban young persons who are seated on the street shirtless.
Next they publish some images of about twenty of the so-called Ladies in White, women paid by the United States who were marching peacefully down a street of Havana and mix them with another group of women who have nothing to do with the Ladies in White.
Not a single police officer or a single image of repression presented by UN Watch corresponds to Cuba. Every person having lived of visited the Island knows very well that those images do not correspond to the Caribbean country. Cuban police officers wear neither those uniforms, helmets, nor those riot shields... to read more click here...
Cubanos en UK, has indentified the source of footage falsely attributed to Cuba by UN Watch:
It was incorporated into this Cubainformación video which shows Spanish police violently attacking unarmed Spanish youth sitting on the ground. Ironically, Cubainformación had used the clip in a video exposing the hypocrisy of the Spanish and other western politicians and media who denounce imaginary ‘human-rights abuses’ in Cuba, while perpetuating them against their own citizens. That video is available here: http://youtu.be/BHQvyifbRfw
We suggest this documentary be seen by UN Watch and multiple other ‘humanitarian’ organisations which act as fronts for imperialist interests around the world, whilst maintaining silence about the murder and abuse of citizens in the west. In the United States, a black man is murdered by US ‘law enforcement officers’ on average every 28 hours. Almost every one of the police responsible has got off without prison time or any other punishment. To understand the full horror of the situation see this shocking video by the US-based Party for Socialism and Liberation:
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.