Free The Five


In Solidarity with the
Five Cuban Heroes
Held in U.S. Jails

The International Campaign to Free the 5ive Cubans Held in U.S. Jails from Sept 12th to Oct. 8th was kicked off this year in Vancouver with the latest monthly picket organized outside the US Consulate by the Free the Cuban 5 Committee – Vancouver (FC5C-Van) and Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC). The ambitious program for this month of action included the first –ever student week in solidarity with the 5ive and concluded with a surprise visit by the Cuban Consul General from Toronto Laureano Cardoso who joined in for 3 of the events!

Simon Fraser University
October 1st

On Monday October 1st the Student Week for the Cuban 5ive began at Simon Fraser University. Twelve people attended the event which was co-organized with the Mobilization Against War & Occupation club (MAWO-SFU). The event was opened by Brazil Pejvik (the treasurer of MAWO-SFU) who talked a bit about how she learned about the Case of the 5ive on a recent trip to Cuba with the Che Guevara Volunteer Work Brigade. The event featured the film Septiembres y Mas, about the U.S. sponsored terrorism against Cuba that the Cuban 5 were investigating in Miami. After the film, Nita Palmer, an organizer with FC5C-Van, gave updates on the recent Aug. 20th court appearance of the 5ive and what this means for the development of their case. Nita was also joined by Alison Bodine, a young US citizen who was recently arrested by Canada Border Services Agency, and was targeted because of her social justice activism both here in Canada and in the U.S. (For more information visit: A lively discussion soon followed, about why both of these cases are important for people who oppose war and occupation.

Langara College
October 2nd

The second day of events on campuses began at Langara College on October 2nd. Supporters of the 5 Cuban Heroes arrived on campus at 9am to poster and leaflet and bring this important issue to student’s attention. The event began at 12:30 with event MC Sophie Ziner (an organizer with FC5C-Van) introducing the film Septiembres y Mas to the over 20 people who had gathered for the event. Esteban Gonzalez Arteaga (Organizer with VCSC) followed the film, outlining recent updates in the case and talking about why the case exposes the hypocrisy of the U.S. government’s “War on Terror”. He explained, “The U.S. President George Bush said that any government harbouring terrorists is a terrorist government. At the same time Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles [both responsible for the deaths of the 73 people killed in the 1976 Air Cubana plane bombing] walk freely today in Miami. However, the Cuban 5 who went to the U.S. to expose these terrorist organizations were arrested and are beginning their 10th year in U.S. prisons.” Next, Alison Bodine explained more about her case. The event concluded with Sophie encouraging everyone to get involved in the year round campaign for the Freedom of the Cuban 5.

Capilano College
October 3rd

October 3rd marked the third event in the student week to free the Cuban 5. Capilano College was buzzing as organizers with FC5C-Van, VCSC and organizers from the Capilano Students’ Union were hard at work promoting this event. Over 20 people gathered for the meeting during the lunch hour, with MC Noah Fine (an executive with the Capilano Students’ Union and coordinator of FC5C-Van) welcoming everyone and introducing the film Septiembres y Mas. The speakers were Sarah Alwell (coordinator of the Free the Cuban Five Committee – Capilano) and Alison Bodine. The film and speakers lead to some dynamic discussion as students were eager to learn more about what happened during the 5ive’s trial date on August 20th. Sarah explained, “The Cuban 5 currently have 10 points they are appealing in the Atlanta Circuit Court of Appeals. One of those points, the bias of their original trial venue - Miami, was first ruled in their favor by a 3 judge panel. This meant that their convictions were all overturned, however the U.S. government directly intervened, and that point of appeal went to a 12 judge panel, where the original unjust convictions were upheld. On August 20th the lawyers of the five presented 3 more of the points of appeal. No decision has been made by the courts on these points, but we will continue our fight until all of these five heroes are free.”

University of British Columbia
October 4th

October 4th was an exciting morning because it was the final campus event for this year’s student week in solidarity with the Cuban 5 and it was a special event because VCSC, the FC5C-Van and the Coalition Against War on the People of Iraq & Internationally (CAWOPI – UBC) were honoured to have the Cuban Consul General of Toronto, Lauearno Cardoso, come to speak with UBC students. The program began with MC Nita Palmer (organizer with CAWOPI and the FC5C-Van) introducing the film Septiembres y Mas. The film was followed by Noah Fine (coordinator FC5C-Van) and Alison Bodine. Soon after, Laureano Cardoso was introduced to the room of over 25 people and talked about why this case is so important for people across Cuba. Laureano explained how these 5 young men left their families and friends to go expose and infiltrate anti-Cuban terrorist organizations operating out of Miami. He explained how these men are great heroes for the people of Cuba as they are truly giving their lives to defend their country and people against terrorism. Laureano’s talk covered many important and serious issues around the case but he also made many jokes and had the crowd smiling and laughing with him. An enthusiastic discussion period left everyone wondering how they could get involved in defending the Five Cuban Heroes Held in U.S. Jails.

The student week in solidarity with the Cuban 5 was a great success for VCSC and the FC5C-Van. This marked a new school year of promoting this case on campuses across the lower mainland and making students more aware about this important case. FREE THE CUBAN 5 NOW!