Archive for September 15th, 2013

HOPE IS ETERNAL, JUSTICE INEVITABLE, FREEDOM SOON!

September 15, 2013

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As we mark the 15th Anniversary of the unjust incarceration of the Cuban Five, I pause to reflect on the many millions of people of all backgrounds across the United States and around the world who have come to understand, to empathize, and to support Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González’s quest for freedom to return to their homeland, to embrace their families, to stand securely with fellow citizens in enjoyment of their national achievements and in defense of their independence.

Throughout my adult life I have worked with thousands of people across the United States to demand that our justice system uphold its highest standards to humanely treat the incarcerated and to openly, and quickly correct its failings. This is the character of civilized nations that our leaders and institutions should urge other nations and peoples around the world to uphold. I join millions calling for my nation, the United States of America to live up to its supreme principles.

I was first introduced to the Cuban Five wives in 2003 in Porto Alegre, Brazil at the World Social Forum. But not until my great friend and comrade, Saul Landau, engaged and involved me in their struggle did I feel I could be useful in increasing the awareness and support of their plight. Reading the poetry of Antonio Guerrero, visiting Gerardo Hernández with Saul on numerous occasions at the federal penitentiary in Victorville, CA, and developing creative messaging in support of the Five through YouTube and other social media platforms, have been just a few examples of the ways in which we have been able to engage and inform others about the Five’s struggle. Saul Landau’s resounding and steadfast commitment to the freedom of the Cuban Five continues to energize and deepen my own commitment, and has strengthened my resolve to advocate for the release of these brave men.

Each time I meet with the wives and family members of the Five I am seared by the inhumanity of the injustice my country’s court system has condemned them to. But I am inspired and rededicated by the self-sacrifice of the Five to the independence, self-determination, and security of their nation and its people. I am moved by the love and commitment of their parents, wives, children, neighbors and government representatives who ensure that the Five are sustained by respect, love, and unfailing support for their freedom and return. I am very encouraged by the expanding support of my fellow citizens and peoples around the world (students, jurists, ordinary people, artists, athletes, and children) who communicate directly with the Cuban Five, who petition for their governments to support the release of the the Five and their return to Cuba. Nothing could be more rewarding than this show of humanity for the Five except their unconditional release.

In this 15th year of heroic courage and fortitude shown by Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González the Cuban people and their government, and the millions of Americans and others across the world who have steadily and increasingly come to understand, question, and confront the unconscionable prison terms, I call upon mainstream media to bring this case before the American people. I call upon governments and civic organizations around the world to make the case of the Five a priority point of justice and just resolution in international affairs. I call upon the justice system of the United States of America to stand forth pride fully and correct the injustice of the incarceration of the Five.

And to the Five, I send the respect, hopes, and support of millions of Americans and millions more around the world, and the message that we will not be moved from working for and achieving your release and return to your beloved homeland Cuba.

Danny Glover

September 10, 2013

Breaking News on PCJF Lawsuit on Cuban Five Case: State Dept. Now Under Court Order to Produce Records

September 15, 2013

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Lawsuit was filed after State Dept. refused to produce materials
on U.S. government payments to Miami-based journalists during
Cuban Five Prosecution
[Reporters for Hire]
The PCJF filed a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit against the
U.S. State Department for its refusal to produce materials in its
possession about secret payments by the U.S. government to
Miami-based journalists who were reporting on the case of the
Cuban Five prior to the trial, during the trial and while the
jury was deliberating.

Now, as a result of the PCJF’s lawsuit, the State Department has
been ordered to expeditiously produce responsive documents in its
possession. The first round of production is ordered to begin in
October.

“This is a major step forward in the effort to expose the
truth about a terrible miscarriage of justice in this case. The
documents that the State Department was refusing to produce cover
a critical time period for the Cuban Five. The documents that
were requested would cover the U.S. government’s payments
to Miami-based journalists at the very time the U.S. government
was prosecuting the Cuban Five,” stated attorney Mara
Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for
Civil Justice Fund.

Background

Attorneys from the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) have
filed a Freedom of Information Action (FOIA) lawsuit in June 2013
against the U.S. State Department for its refusal to produce
responsive materials in its possession about secret payments by
the U.S. government to Miami-based journalists who were reporting
on the case of the Cuban Five prior to the trial, during the
trial and while the jury was deliberating.

The FOIA demand was filed by Liberation Newspaper in October 2010
requesting documents about the government’s covert
payments to journalists in Miami from 1998-2002. The Cuban Five
were arrested on September 12, 1998, and the seven-month trial
began in November 2000.

Attorney Carl Messineo, Legal Director of the Partnership for
Civil Justice Fund, explained the purpose of the lawsuit at the
time of its filing in June 2013: “It appears the
government manipulated domestic public opinion to advance their
political and prosecution goals. This lawsuit seeks underlying
records. They have no right to hide their misconduct.”

Click here to read the complaint.

Please make an urgently needed donation to continue this work
.
This is an ongoing struggle to expose the truth. The PCJF will
continue to demand from the State Department and other government
agencies that all of the documents they possess related to the
payment of Miami-based journalists during the prosecution of the
Cuban Five be released to the public.


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