Voices of Support


LATINO CONGRESS

THE SECOND ANNUAL LATINO CONGRESO

The Second Annual Latino Congreso took place in Los Angeles, California, from the 5th to the 9th of October, 2007 MORE>

Workshop entitled “The War on Terror and its Implications for Latinos in the United States: The Case of the Cuban Five at the Latino Congreso MORE>

Resolution 6.10 approved unanimously by the National Latino Congreso on Day Two Saturday October 6th, 2007 MORE>

Whereas, Cuba has been the target of terrorist activities directed from the United States of America for over 47 years that have caused 3,478 deaths, 2,099 injuries and millions of dollars in losses for the Cuban economy; and

Whereas, a great number of terrorist attacks have been carried out against Cuba, including against civilian installations, economic and tourist targets, which were organized by criminal Cuban-American groups based in South Florida; and

Whereas, Cuba has repeatedly requested that the government of the United States take measures in order to put an end to such attacks; and

Whereas, a state of necessity led the Cuban government to send a group of men to South Florida with the aim of infiltrating and monitoring the aforementioned terrorist organizations in order to detect and avoid such actions; and

Whereas, the government of the United States, instead of acting to prevent future terrorist attacks with information gathered by the Cuban Five accused the men of multiple crimes never committed and submitted them to a trial held in Miami, where these men had no possibility of the right to a fair process due to the prejudice against Cuba existing in that community; and

Whereas, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and René González neither had firearms, nor afflicted any civil, economic, political, military objectives, nor the National Security of the United States; and

Whereas, their rights were violated since the moment of their detention on September 12, 1998, subjected to solitary confinement during 17 months and were condemned to four life sentences, plus 77 years collectively for non-judicially proven crimes; and

Whereas, a panel of three judges revoked their sentences, ordering a new trial and that the Group of Arbitrary Detentions of the United Nations declared their detentions illegal and expressly requested that the government of the United States put an end to their detentions; and

Whereas, Amnesty International has denounced as a “grave violation” the government of the United States’ refusal to grant visas to Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva for the past seven years, these women being the wives of Gerardo Hernández and René González, respectively; and

Whereas, these five men, acting in defense of the lives of Cuban, U.S. and third-country citizens, have offered their lives to the world fight against terrorism;

1. Therefore Be It Resolved, that the National Latino Congreso demands the immediate release of Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and René González, also known as the Cuban Five, who are political prisoners held in the United States, and

2. Be It Further Resolved, that the National Latino Congreso demands that until these men are freed the government of the United States must comply with its obligations under international law to allow the right of regular visits to all of the prisoners’ relatives, including the immediate granting of humanitarian visas to Adriana Pérez and to Olga Salanueva in order that they may visit their husbands Gerardo Hernández and René González, respectively.

THE THIRD ANNUAL LATINO CONGRESO

July 21, 2008

The Third National Latino Congreso took place the 18th and 19th of July, in the city of Los Angeles, California. The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five was one of the 165 organizations that endorsed the congress. Besides the organizations, the congress was also endorsed by local and national elected officials. All the endorsers sent delegates and observers to the congress.

The Conveners of the congress were the Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON), National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC), the William C. Velazquez Institute (WCVI) and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP).

The National Latino Congreso has become an important vehicle to discuss relevant themes that affect the Hispanic community in the United States. The organizers attribute the great attendance at this congress to among other things, the presidential elections that will take place in November, where the Hispanic vote has become highly important for the presidential candidates. In addition to participation of Hispanic residents in the United States, participants from Mexico and other Latin-American countries also attended.

In this congress, the organizers selected a number of resolutions that were presented by its author and discussed among the delegates and a panel of experts. The different resolutions that were discussed were related to the war, immigration, the economy, climatic changes, health, education and other themes.

At the closing and with the attendance of all the delegates and hundreds of observers, several amendments from 2006 and 2007 resolutions were approved.

The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five proposed an amendment to the resolution 6.10 unanimously approved at the previous congress. The amendment includes an update of the situation that the family of the Five suffers particularly the case of Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva.

The amendment was approved by the delegates and the resolution continues to ask for the immediate freedom of Rene, Ramón, Fernando, Antonio and Gerardo and the demand of the right to visits of all the families of the Five.

The International Committee had an informational table with books, buttons, videos, and brochures. Close to 1,000 postcards were distributed in English and Spanish to be sent to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice demanding humanitarian visas for Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez.

Resolution 6.10 – Resolution about the Cuban Five Political Prisoners

Whereas, Cuba has been the target of terrorist activities directed from the United States of America for over 48 years that have caused 3,478 deaths, 2,099 injuries and millions of dollars in losses for the Cuban economy; and

Whereas, a great number of terrorist attacks have been carried out against Cuba, including against civilian installations, economic and tourist targets, which were organized by criminal Cuban-American groups based in South Florida; and

Whereas, Cuba has repeatedly requested that the government of the United States take measures in order to put an end to such attacks; and

Whereas, a state of necessity led the Cuban government to send a group of men to South Florida with the aim of infiltrating and monitoring the aforementioned terrorist organizations in order to detect and avoid such actions; and

Whereas, the government of the United States, instead of acting to prevent future terrorist attacks with information gathered by the Cuban Five accused the men of multiple crimes never committed and submitted them to a trial held in Miami, where these men had no possibility of the right to a fair process due to the prejudice against Cuba existing in that community; and

Whereas, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and René González neither had firearms, nor afflicted any civil, economic, political, military objectives, nor the National Security of the United States; and

Whereas, their rights were violated since the moment of their detention on September 12, 1998, subjected to solitary confinement during 17 months and were condemned to four life sentences, plus 77 years collectively for non-judicially proven crimes; and

Whereas, a panel of three judges revoked their sentences, ordering a new trial and that the Group of Arbitrary Detentions of the United Nations declared their detentions illegal and expressly requested that the government of the United States put an end to their detentions; and

Whereas, the case has been in appeal since December 2001 and that these five people continue to be detained in prisons of maximum security; and

Whereas, Amnesty International has denounced as a “grave violation” the government of the United States’ refusal to grant visas to Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva for the past seven years, these women being the wives of Gerardo Hernández and René González, respectively; and

Whereas, Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of Ramon Labañino and their two minor daughters have waited for 26 months for the granting of their visas, therefore denying this prisoner visits from his wife and minor daughter for over 2 years; and

Whereas, the mothers and family of Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Gerardo Hernandez have waited more than one year for the US to grant them visas to visit their relatives in prison; and

Whereas, the most serious violation of the right of family visits have been applied to the prisoners Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez whose wives Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, have been denied entrance into the U.S. without any legal reasons; and

Whereas, the U.S. government on eight separate occasions has refused visas for Adriana Perez and Olga Salanuvea, therefore denying them to see each other for a decade; and

Whereas, the right of family visits have been violated in all five cases, impeding regular visits to their loved ones in prison; and

Whereas, these five men, acting in defense of the lives of Cuban, U.S. and third-country citizens, have offered their lives to the world fight against terrorism; and

1. Therefore Be It Resolved, that the National Latino Congreso demands the immediate release of Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and René González, also known as the Cuban Five, who are political prisoners held in the United States, and

2. Be It Further Resolved, that the National Latino Congreso demands that until these men are freed the government of the United States must comply with its obligations under international law to allow the right of regular visits to all of the prisoners’ relatives, including the immediate granting of humanitarian visas to Adriana Pérez and to Olga Salanueva in order that they may visit their husbands Gerardo Hernández and René González, respectively.

Comments are closed.