Free The Five


Canadian Federation of Students
500,000 Strong Student Movement in Canada Demands:

June 9, 2008

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President,

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's national students' organization representing more than one half million students across Canada. At our May semi-annual general meeting, students' unions passed a resolution calling on the Government of the United States for their immediate release from prison.

The Cuban Five are five Cuban men currently serving four life sentences in a U.S. prison after being unjustly convicted in a U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001, a decision that was upheld by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia on June 4, 2008. It is our understanding that these five men, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage against the United States, and other related charges. Upon their arrest the "Cuban 5" were kept in solitary confinement for 17 months without access to legal representation or information about the charges to be laid against them.

On May 27, 2005, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled that the detention of the five Cuban political prisoners is arbitrary and in violation of international law. The UN ruling also found that the Cubans were denied access to the totality of the evidence against them and that their lawyers were also denied access to the information needed to defend their clients adequately. In addition, Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, wives of prisoners Gerardo Hernández and René González, have been denied entry into the United States to visit them in jail, violating their human rights, international conventions and treaties, and the U.S Constitution. In a report released on May 28, 2008, Amnesty International also denounced the delay in the appeal process, the lack of evidence against the Cuban 5 and the prosecution's improper conduct.

The ruling of the United Nations and Amnesty International confirms that the case of the Cuban 5 is a highly political trial that was thoroughly unfair and unjust. As such, we urge you to act immediately to allow visitation rights to the family of the Cuban Five and to release them from jail without delay.


Katherine Giroux-Bougard
National Chairperson

c.c. Secretary Condoleezza Rice, Department of State
c.c. Senator Hillary Clinton, New York
c.c. Senator Barack Obama, Illinois
c.c. Senator John McCain, Arizona