Free The Five


JULY 26, 2008
Free the 5 Cuban Heroes Unjustly Held in US Jails!
Cross-Canada Day of Action - Picket Action at the US Consulate in Vancouver, BC Canada

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On July 26th, 2008 the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver organized the Vancouver section for a Cross Canada Day of Action to protest the recent unjust decison by the US government to permanently deny visitation rights for Olga Salanueva, wife of Rene Gonzalez. Social justice activists also gathered into Toronto at a picket organized by Toronto Forum on Cuba.

Approximately 25 people attended in Vancouver to demand the release of the 5 anti-terrorist Cubans held as political prisoners in U.S. jails and jail for admitted anti-Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

The picket began with a special announcement by Sarah Alwell, organizer with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee- Vancouver. She welcomed the recent development of 56 Canadian MPS who have signed a statement demanding freedom for the Cuban 5. Sarah then led people into a strong picket line demanding, “Justice for the Five Now!”

Thomas Davies, organizer with the Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC) and recent a Pastors for Peace Caravan participant also spoke. He described the growing movement in solidarity with the 5 he witnessed in the U.S., and also the huge importance of the campaign to the Cuban people.

A special guest, Melanie Langlois, addressed the picket via telephone. As an organizer with the International Committee to Free the Cuban 5 in San Fransisco, she thanked Vancouver for its hard work, and reminded everyone about the call-out for actions on September 12th, which will be the 10th anniversary of the imprisonment of the Cuban 5. She was followed by Fred Muzin, President of the Hospital Employees Union (HEU), who spoke passionately about the need to end the 40 year immoral and unjust blockade on Cuba.

Mike Larson, organizer with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee- Vancouver spoke out against the hypocrisy of the US “War on Terror.” He asked how 5 Cubans who have done nothing wrong have been imprisoned, while real anti-Cuban terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles walk freely in Miami. Carriles master-minded the bombing of the 1976 Air Cubana flight which killed 73 people, among many other attacks.

The picket closed with loud chanting, and the reading of a heart-felt letter from Rene Gonzalez which thanked all the supporters of the Cuban 5 for their continual struggle for justice in their case. With his words it became clear how important it is to continue organizing and coordinating actions, until the Cuban 5 are all free.