Archive for August 5th, 2011

Supreme Court Upholds Sentence against US Citizen Alan Gross

August 5, 2011

HAVANA, Cuba (SJ)—The courtroom of Crimes against the Security of the State with Cuba´s Supreme Court issued a definitive resolution disallowing the appeal filed by American citizen Alan Phillip Gross and his lawyer against the sentence previously passed by Havana´s Provincial Court.

Gross had been found guilty of the crime of Acts against the Independence or Integrity of the State and he was given a 15-year prison sentence during a public hearing held last March 4, in which the prosecution proved that he had illegally introduced info-communication means in Cuba to set up internal networks, as part of a program of the US administration aimed at promoting destabilizing actions within the country and subverting constitutional order, reads an article published on cubadebate.

The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the sentence rejects with arguments the elements of disagreement presented by the defendant and his lawyer against the decision of the provincial court. Both, Gross and his lawyer were able to present those elements directly before the judges that heard the case during the public hearing they were granted by the top judicial body of the country on July 22.

During the proceedings related to this case, Alan Gross has enjoyed all guarantees and rights over the judicial process as established by the Constitution, the Cuban law and international instruments relevant to these issues. In this regard, Gross has received the appropriately decent and humane treatment, as Gross himself has admitted openly and publicly in reiterated occasions.

As part of these guarantees and rights, he has been allowed systematic family visits and regular access to assistance and attention by consular officials from the US interest section in Havana.



Activists Step Up Campaign to Free Cuban Five

August 5, 2011
Escrito por Ileana Ferrer Fonte   
viernes, 05 de agosto de 2011
Imagen activa (Prensa Latina) With a call to step up the battle to free the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons, a new international solidarity campaign begins today.

  The International Committee to Free the Five, promoter of the initiative, urged more actions to call for freedom for Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban Five, in line with a recent decision by the National Assembly of People’s Power (Parliament).

Cuban lawmakers supported the proposal to demand that U.S. authorities immediately end their unjust and illegal treatment of Hernandez, whose habeas corpus appeal is in the process of findings.

The Committee also requests that activists tell people about the violations that are being committed against Gerardo, who now faces new and dangerous obstacles due to additional difficulties in communicating with his lawyers and Cuban consular officials.

His access to receive mail, included correspondence related to his case, was also being restricted or blocked.

On the fifth of each month, supporters of the campaign to free the Five are asked to send letters, emails, faxes, and telephone calls to the White House from around the world.

Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez were detained on September 12, 1998 in Miami, and after a trial full of irregularities, they were sentenced in 2001 by a court of that southern Florida city.

The Five, as they are universally known, alerted Cuba to the terrorist plans of Florida-based exile groups to prevent the deaths of Cuban and even U.S. citizens.


Resolution in Favor of the Release of The Five Approved by the Belgian Senate

August 5, 2011

 (acn) The Belgian Senate demanded the participation of the US government
to put an end to the injustice committed against The Five, by way of a resolution approved
after several years of repeated efforts by the Belgian Committee in favor of the release of
the Cuban antiterrorists.
  The resolution, prepared by Fatiha Saïdi, Senator of the Socialist Party, was approved in
early July and was announced recently.
  Senator Fatiha Saïdi took the initiative after the second meeting in October, 2010, of Olga
Salanueva and Adriana Perez, wives of Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, at the Belgian
Federal Parliament, where deputies and senators from seven political parties were present.
  The resolution was presented at the Senate’s Commission for Foreign Affairs by Senator
Fatiha Saidi and Senator and former minister Marie Arena, and won the support of 48 senators
from nine political parties. There were only three votes against and two abstentions.
  In the resolution, the senators state that The Five are suffering harsh sentences, after a
legal process that was questioned by Amnesty International, the UN’s Working Group on
Arbitrary Detention, and many NGO’s. They also state that the visiting rights of relatives are
  The Belgian senators ask their government to use the diplomatic influence available to
achieve the release of The Five and to present the topic on the agenda of bilateral meetings
with the United States.
 The text also requests the government to tell the US ambassador to Belgium that Belgians are
concerned about the situation of these men, their detention and their conditions of detention.
It also asks to convey the request of the Belgian Parliament to the US President that he
pardons the “Miami Five,” commutes their sentences or gives them the opportunity of a fair
trial in another district.
 The text by the Belgian senators ends by inviting their government to present this
resolution to the US authorities (the US Congress and Senate and the US President) to inform
them about the concern of the Belgian people for the “Miami Five.”
 A similar resolution was presented at the Commission for Foreign Affairs of the Belgian
Parliament’s House of Representatives, where its debate is pending.


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