Friday, September 16, 2011

Ricardo Alarcon: The Cuban Five Must be Unconditionally Freed

Speech given by Ricardo Alarcón at the central
event held at the Astral theatre in Havana during
a day of solidarity for the Cuban Five, September 12, 2011.

Translation: Machetera

I will be brief in order for the artists present
to raise their voices in solidarity with Gerardo,
Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René.

Today marks the completion of thirteen years of
an injustice that has gone on far too long for
the Cuban Five. They have received the worst
sentences and most cruel treatment, which among
other things, has impeded their families from
visiting them, and reached inhumane extremes with
the prohibition against Adriana and Olga
reuniting with Gerardo and René. They have also
been punished by the total silence imposed by a
media tyranny which aims to extinguish the
solidarity that they deserve and hide the larger
truth: the Cuban Five are in prison for opposing
the terrorists who are enemies of Cuba and its people.

On a day just like today, Washington had them
arrested and tried in a fraudulent and extremely
arbitrary proceeding, for one reason alone: to
protect and support the anti-Cuban terrorism that
was created by the United States half a century
ago and which has always relied on its active
support or complicit tolerance.

Very soon, the current rulers will have to deal
with the dilemma of whether or not to continue
the immoral cynicism of their predecessors. On
October 7th, René González Sehwerert will leave
prison after having completed the very last minute of his unjust incarceration.

For René, this would open up a three year period
of so called "supervised release" which
constitutes a certain risk for him and an unjust
additional punishment for him and his
family. But it also signifies a challenge for
the Obama administration, which one would hope it
will face with wisdom and common sense. From
that day forward, we will see one of the most
revealing, and for that reason, one of the most
silenced aspects of the sordid process to which
our companions have been submitted.

I've said before that the case of the Cuban Five
is irrefutable proof of Washington's complicity
with the terrorists. Believe me, I wasn't
exaggerating. It is proven in the trial record
and other documents from the Miami trial. The
prosecution urged that the harshest and most
exaggerated sentences be imposed, but
furthermore, it insisted that for Washington
there was something just as important as a
maximum prison sentence. This something, that
they called "incapacitation," consisted of taking
measures so that after concluding their prison
terms, none of the accused could ever be able to
try do to anything to stop the terrorists or their

In the sentence pronounced against René, this
demand was expressed in these words: "As a
special additional condition of supervised
release, the accused is prohibited from
associating with or visiting specific places
where individuals or groups such as terrorists,
members of organizations advocating violence, and
organized crime figures are known to be or frequent."

This was proclaimed by a U.S. federal court in
December of 2001, scarcely three months after the
abominable terrorist act of September 11th, and
it was made at the formal and express request of
the farceurs who unleashed a so-called "war on
terrorism," based on illegality and lies, that
has caused the death and suffering of countless
innocent people all over the world.

While it launched this effort - as cruel as it
was hypocritical - the Bush regime recognized
that in South Florida there are individuals and
terrorist groups, whose location and activities
are known. But instead of capturing them and
putting them on trial, as was its duty, the
regime shamelessly protected them and demanded
that neither René nor anyone else bother them.

What will the current government do? Asking that
it cancel this sanction against René and dare to
send its agents to arrest the known terrorists in
the places where they are "known to be or
frequent" might be too much. The possibility
remains, however, to avoid the problem by letting
René return to Cuba now, to his home and his
family. If René is forced to remain in the
United States one single day after October 7th,
President Obama will have to choose which side he
is on in the struggle against terrorism.

Washington ought to answer for other things. The
gross manipulation of the government's supposed
"proof" against Gerardo in order to accuse him of
murder and later find itself obliged to
acknowledge on May 30, 2001, that it was
impossible to prove the accusation and ask for it
to be withdrawn in what was called "an unprecedented

The full dimension of the government's conspiracy
with the local media in Miami and with its fake
"journalists" which it financed with federal
money so they could lie and create an atmosphere
of hatred against the Cuban Five, to convict them
beforehand. The satellite imagery that it has
hidden for fifteen years because it shows that
the incident of February 24, 1996 took place over
Cuban territory and therefore Washington had no
jurisdiction or legal basis whatsoever to accuse
anyone of anything. Its refusal to admit
Gerardo's Habeas Corpus petition or to grant him
a hearing in which he might speak and where the
government would have to openly discuss its false
allegations. What is Washington afraid of?

The official U.S. attitude is essentially one of
coverup. If the citizens of that country know
little or nothing about the subject, they will
not ask essential questions. When they
understand the truth, they will be able to
persuade President Obama to do what he must: free
the Cuban Five, each and every one, unconditionally.

Breaking this wall of silence therefore, is of
the utmost importance. We will attempt to do so
by every means possible. Let song, poetry and
love puncture that wall.

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the
international network of translators for
linguistic diversity. This translation may be
reprinted as long as the content remains
unaltered, and the source, author, and translator
are cited.

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