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Who We Are

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The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five is a network of concerned citizens from several countries of Europe, Latin America and from North America. The main objective of the International Committee is to raise awareness about the case of the Cuban Five and the issue of family visits. These men came to the U.S. in the 1990’s, armed only with courage and determination, to prevent further terrorist attacks against their homeland by anti Cuba groups operating in Miami. Since 1959 as many as 3500 people have lost their lives because of such attacks. The injustice of their long imprisonment is further compounded for two of them by the refusal of the U.S. government to grant visas to their wives.


Since 2006, the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five has worked on a number of projects to reach out to wider audiences in the United States in order to build a grassroots movement to counter the lies and slanders of the main stream media about Cuba and the Cuban 5. Every year, members of the committee have participated in Pastors for Peace caravan distributing hundreds of postcards, and speaking in cities and towns throughout the country and Canada.

  • October 2006: Organized National speaking tours in the U.S. with Salim Lamrani, the editor of Superpower Principles and Arnold August, a Canadian writer and scholar. Those who spoke out for the freedom of the Cuban 5 during these tours included personalities such as Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Wayne Smith, Piero Gleijeses, Saul Landau, Michael Parenti and others;
  • March 2007: Provided logistical help to former Congressman Esteban Torres to visit Gerardo Hernandez and Bishop Thomas Gumbleton to visited Fernando Gonzalez;
  • July 2007: Organized the presence of the Cuban Five at the Atlanta Social Forum including a workshop on the Cuban Five with Leonard Weinglass, and Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild;
  • August 2007: Participated at the appeal hearing of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal in Atlanta;
  • September 2007: In collaboration with Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, conducted a campaign that included 13 Mayors in California who sent a letter to then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales asking to grant visas to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez;
  • September 2007: Placed an ad in El Diario La Prensa on the 9th anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban 5;
  • October 2007: Organized the presence of the Cuban Five at the Second and Third Latino Congreso in Los Angeles , including a workshop with Len Weinglass, Jose Pertierra, Marjorie Cohn, Delvis Fernandez and Lucius Walker, where delegates passed two resolutions calling for the freedom of the Five and for the extradition of Posada Carriles;
  • October 2007: Participated in the Braking the Silence Conference in Toronto, Canada;
  • In its November-December 2007 issue, published an ad in NACLA to defend the right of Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva to visit their husbands, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, respectively;
  • December 2007:  Helped in the creation of the International Commission for the Right of Family Visits which includes 170 personalities from 27 countries to demand visas for Adriana and Olga;
  • December 2007: Organized the presence of the Cuban Five at the US/Cuba Labor Exchange annual conference in Tijuana, Mexico with participation of family of the Cuban 5. This effort has continued each year since.
  • March 2008: Helped organize the celebration of International Women’s Day events in Richmond, in 2008, and each March since then bringing the issue of visitation rights for the families of the Five;
  • April 2008: A week-long tour in northern and southern California with Canadian researcher Arnold August held seven events in five days calling for the freedom of the Cuban 5, with hundreds of people participating. Three radio interviews were aired reaching thousands of people not only in California, but in other parts of the USA;
  • April 2008: Collaborated with students from Sonoma State University to include an article of the case of the Cuban Five in Project Censored 2008;
  • September 2008: Organized the first concert in the United States for the Cuban 5  on  the tenth anniversary of their arrest with recognized international musicians Danny Rivera, and Victor Victor. The Concert was entitled “Five Stars and one Song” and was held at the Hostos College in New York. Despite threats by right wing Cubans and a demonstration in front of Hostos College, more than 600 people attended including a number of UN Ambassadors. Telesur TV broadcasted the concert that aired twice all over Latin America;
  • January 2009: Made a presentation at the ILWU board meeting resulting in the President of the Local 10 sending a letter to President Obama asking him for the release of the Cuban Five and for the right of family visits;
  • February 2009: Organized two postcards campaign; one directed to then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to demand visas for Adriana and Olga. Printed 60,000 postcards and 20,000 posters with the photos of Adriana and Gerardo and Olga and Rene. More recently launched an international postcard campaign SI SE PUEDE directed to President Obama, Eric Holder, and other elected officials calling for the freedom of the Cuban 5. Distributed 50,000 in the US and in 30 other countries;
  • March 2009: Contributed to the production of the documentary “Posada Carriles: Terrorism made in the USA”
  • April 2009: Made an “international call for humanitarian visas for Adriana Perez” denouncing the cruelty of such new denial by the US State Department. In response to the call, Melvin MacKay, President of the ILWU Local 10 sent a letter to Hillary Clinton in support of Adriana Perez visitation rights;
  • April 2009: Worked closely with City Council of Richmond California to unanimously pass a resolution calling for the release of the Cuban Five, the right of family visits and the normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S; the following year the committee worked on the passage of a similar City Council resolution in San Pablo.
  • June 2009: Collaborated with KPFK host of Cantos sin Fronteras in Los Angeles to dedicate programs to Gerardo Hernandez who listens from his cell in Victorville;
  • Jan. & Feb. 2009: Worked with lawyers to help on gathering information for the Amicus presented to the US Supreme Court;
  • August 2009: Organized an art exhibit “From my Altitude” of original paintings of Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five. The opening took place At La Pena and had the participation of poet and writer Alice Walker;
  • August 2009 Produced a 7 minute you tube with Alice Walker talking about the case of the Cuban 5;
  • October 2009: Worked closely with a teacher of the American Federation of Teacher Local 2121 that resulted in the passing of a Resolution asking for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 and the right of family visits; this was followed by collaborating with union members to pass a resolution in support of the Cuban Five and the right of family visits by the San Francisco Labor Council;
  • November 2009 set up workshop and literature table at the gate of Fort Benning Georgia protest to close the School of the Americas to bring the case of the Cuban 5 to thousands in attendance;
  • November 2009: Participated in the 5th International Coloquium in Holguin, Cuba in support of the Cuban Five;
  • January 2010: New postcard campaign asking Obama to join 10 Nobel Prize winners to call for the freedom of the Cuban Five. Printed 50,000 in English, Spanish, and French. The postcard was reproduced in other languages including Arabic, Portuguese and others;
  • January 2010: Participated as witnesses in the re-sentencing of Antonio, Fernando and Ramon in Miami;
  • January 2010: Participated in the Congreso Latino in El Paso, TX and passed two resolutions in support of the Cuban 5;
  • March 2010: Forged a letter from the US members of  the International Commission for the Right of Family Visits that was sent to Hillary Clinton and Janet Napolitano asking for visas for Adriana and Olga;
  • March 2010: Led workshop on the Cuban 5  at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT at “Cuba & the USA – Time for a Change” conference;
  • May 2010: Organized art exhibit “From my Altitude” at Social Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), in Venice, with the participation of Ed Asner and a message from Danny Glover; organized an event at the same venue with Dolores Huerta
  • May 2010:  Produced three YouTubes with Danny Glover advocating for the release of the Cuban 5;
  • June 2010: Participated in the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit speaking in a number of workshops on the casee;
  • June 2010: Organized an art exhibit at Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center in downtown in Detroit, during the US Social Forum;
  • August 2010: Launched an emergency appeal to get Gerardo Hernandez out of “the Hole”;
  • August 2010: members of the committee met with Dolores Huerta to strategize on the launching of a grass roots campaign;
  • August 2010: Dolores Huerta and Bill Martinez agreed to be co-chairs of an Advisory Board of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five. Other personalities joined the Advisory Board including Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Father Miguel D’Escoto, Noam Chomsky, Wayne Smith and others;
  • August 2010: members of the committee participated in a concert to celebrate the 80 birthday of Dolores Huerta with an informational table on the case;
  • September 2010: for the 12 anniversary of the arrests of the Cuban 5, the International Committee launched a new campaign of Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the Cuban 5. As a result, 23 known actors and artists sent a letter to President Obama asking for their release. This campaign prompted actors, artists and intellectuals from all over the world to join in;
  • September 2010: the committee produces a new YouTube with Dolores Huerta speaking on the case of the Cuban 5;
  • December 2010: started a new campaign on the 5th of each month for the Cuban 5, asking people from all over the word to write letters, send e-mails or make phone calls to Obama to demand their freedom.
  • March 2011: participated in the 5th Latino Congreso under the theme “Fight Back, Fight For,” in Austin Texas. Two resolutions in favor of the Five were approved. Also as part of the Congreso’s program, the new documentary of Saul Landau “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up” was shown and Professor Nelson Valdes responded to questions from the audience;
  • April 2011: U.S. Actors and Artists send a letter to Former President Jimmy Carter to thank him for his call to release the Cuban 5;
  • April 2011: Premiere at Brava Theater in SF of Saul Landau’s new documentary “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up”. Danny Glover and the band The Cuban Cowboys joined the evening;
  • June 2011: cartoon exhibit “Humor from my Pen” of Gerardo Hernandez debuts at SPARC gallery together with other artists including Paco Bernal, from Spain. The exhibit coincided with Gerardo’s birthday. Jackson Brown joined the evening and spoke with Gerardo over the phone;
  • August 2011: First major labor event in support of the Cuban 5 happens in Los Angeles organized by the SEIU. Speakers included Mike Garcia, President of SEIU-USWW, Cristina R. Vazquez, Workers United, Western States Regional Joint Board, International Vice-President, and Regional Manager. Also  former national President Tony Woodley of Unite – Britain’s largest trade union;
  • October 2011: Edward Asner, Jackson Browne, James Cromwell, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Peter Coyote, Bonnie Raitt, Elliott Gould, and Others Send Letter to President Obama for the safety and immediate return of one of the Cuban 5, Rene Gonzalez to Cuba;
  • October 2011: organized US tour of La Colmenita, the National Children Theater Group of Cuba. The group performs Abracadabra, a play about the Cuban 5 in Washington DC, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area;
  • January 2012: organized at the Roxie Theater in SF “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up”;
  • January 2012: Produced a popular YouTube with Danny Glover to denounce the media silence on the case of the Cuban 5;
  • April 2012: Organized 5 Days for the Cuban 5 in Washington DC. During these 5 days members of the committee pasted hundreds of posters “Obama Give me Five” all over DC, showed the documentary “Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up”, participated in the launching of a the Takoma Park Committee to Free the Cuban Five and visited more than 50 offices of congress to speak to elected officials about the Cuban 5. In addition a public event was organized to bring awareness of the case of the Five with the participation of US and international guests including Danny Glover, Dolores Huerta, Saul Landau, Salim Lamrani and many others. The five days ended with an event with Cindy Sheehan as the keynote speaker and a rally in front of the white house with more than 300 people;
  • May 2012: together with members of the Cuban Solidarity Committee of the United Kindgom, CSC, the International Committee participated in the SEIU National Convention in Denver Colorado. Both committees distributed information about the Cuban 5 to the 3000 delegates attending the convention;
  • June 2012: a new You Tube with Danny Glover and Peter Coyote was release. The video showed a piece of the trial with General Clapper declaring that Gerardo Hernandez did not commit any act of espionage;
  • June 2012 begin a monthly campaign each month where a known personality writes a letter appealing to Obama to release the Cuban 5
  • September 2012: a public event to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban 5 in Washington DC with a number of speakers including Puerto Rican political prisoner Rafael Cancel Miranda and politician and peace activist Tom Hayden;
  • September 2012: a tour with leading voice of the Cuban Nueva Trova Vicente Feliu and guitar player Alejandro Valdes. They performed in Washington DC, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area;
  • September 2012, members of the committee participated in the Toronto Conference Breaking the Silence;
  • November 2012 organized the participation of Dolores Huerta in the 8th Colquium for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 in Holquin Cuba.
  • January 2013, The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 along  Cuba Solidarity Campaign from the United Kingdom distributed a great deal of information about the Cuban 5 at the Women of Still Conference that took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from March 9 to 13.
  • March 2013, Organized a tour of cartoons made by Gerardo Hernandez “Humor from my Pen” in the North East of the United States including, New London, Connecticut, Somerville, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut.
  • March 2013, Participation along Dolores Huerta at the International Women’s Day celebration in Richmond, California.
  • March, Presentation in San Francisco of the 25 Endemic Butterflies of Cuba painted by  Antonio Guerrero. At the event participated Saúl Landau and the Poet Laureate of San Francisco, Alejandro Murguía.
  • May 30 to June 5: Second “5 Days for the Cuban 5” in Washington DC. Representatives of 22 countries participated including 7 Members of Parliament from Latin America and Europe. The series of activities included public events, a press conference and a video conference, event with jurists, labor, intellectuals, book writers, a rally in front of the White House, an ecumenical/cultural event, a concert and many others. Parliamentarians and supporters managed to visit 43 offices of Congress and Senate. During the press conference and for the first time from Cuba audience could see Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban 5 who spoke from Cuba. Gonzalez completed his sentence and is back in Cuba now with his family. U.S. personalities that participated in the “5 Days for the Cuban 5” included Angela Davis, Dolores Huerta, Wayne Smith and Jane Franklin,  religious figures, lawyers including former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark and José Pertierra. From other countries known intellectual from Spain Ignacio Ramonet, Miguel Barnet from Cuba, Fernando Moráis from Brazil, Arnold August and  Stephen Kimber, from Canada, and a well know musician from Barbados  Mighy Gabby. Also participated ambassadors from Cuba, Angola, El Salvador, Venezuela and friends from all over the world and the United States. People came from all over the states including a significant delegation of Cubans who reside in Miami. During the five days of activities also the new exhibit of Antonio Guerrero “I died the way I lived” was displayed.
  • May-June: Publication of 500 magazines with 12 letters sent to President Obama by US personalities from the US, Canada, South Africa and Barbados. The letters were sent to Obama on the 5th of each month for the last 12 months.
  • September 2013: Vigil in front of the White House to commemorate the fifteen anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban 5.
  • September 2013: East Coast Tour of Canadian researcher Stephen Kimber and his new book “What Lies Across the Water” about the Cuban 5. The tour started in Washington DC, continued in New York and ended in Boston where Kimber spoke along the known US linguist Noam Chomsky at MIT. The tour received important media coverage. Int’l Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

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