Venezuela Acts in Solidarity with the Cuban Five

Mérida, October 1, 2008 ( A range of Venezuelan authorities and organizations expressed their solidarity with the campaign to free the Cuban 5 yesterday and over previous days, as the term served by the prisoners reached 10 years.

Since September 1998, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González (known as the Cuban 5) have been serving life sentences after being convicted in a US federal court in Miami in June 2001 of espionage conspiracy against the U.S, although they say they were monitoring Miami-based terrorist groups in order to prevent terrorist attacks on Cuba.

The Venezuelan minister for work and social security, Roberto Hernandez, said on Tuesday that the judicial process being used against the five Cuban prisoners in the United States violates basic human rights.

Hernandez met with the families of the Cuban 5 on Tuesday, gave his solidarity and said that the Bolivarian Association of Lawyers in Venezuela is preparing a study to demonstrate, using legal argument, the situation of the Cuban 5.

Hernandez expressed his belief that the United States does not have the moral standing to judge other nations about their achievement of human rights, and that the detention of the Cuban 5 shows this, as their families are not allowed to visit them.

In Valencia, in the state of Carabobo, the Corporation of Development of the Central Region (Corpocentro) organized a meeting in solidarity with the Cuban 5.

Close family and friends of the five attended, along with Cuban Authorities, PSUV (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) candidates, the president of Corpocentro, and supporters attended the meeting.

Irma Sehwerert, mother of René González, expressed her appreciation for the support offered by the Venezuelan government and people.

"These activities are being organised in a crucial moment for the rescue of the Five, because it's already been 10 years of continuous struggle and a very strong campaign to obtain their liberation is being carried out."

Mario Silva, PSUV candidate for governor of Carabobo state called for the creation of a communication tool that will allow the world, and especially United States citizens, to know about the reality of what has happened to the Five.

Finally, the Venezuelan minister for women's affairs, Maria Leon, at a meeting in Caracas on Tuesday of the Solidarity Campaign of Venezuelan Women with the Five, also called on the solidarity movement with the Cuban 5 to unite its forces.

"At this time, as the solidarity movement grows, joins, and acts, we have to push it more and more, with all our love and concrete initiatives from every country," she said.
Leon indicated that a range of Venezuelan organizations have agreed on a plan of action demanding the immediate freedom of the Cubans and the cessation of the "double morals" of the United States government towards terrorism.