CPUSA statement on Appeals Court decision June 4 in the case of the Cuban Five.
The Communist Party USA rejects unequivocally the decision announced June 4 by a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that puts off freedom for five Cuban men who as of September 12 will have served ten years of unjust imprisonment. They are Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramon Labanino.
Their supposed crime was to have taken non-violent actions in defense of their nation. For aljost fifty years, thugs and criminals, encouraged by successive U.S.governments, have directed murder and mayhem against the Cuban people. Five men, courageous and principled, volunteered to watch over unseemly private groupings, gangs we say, to report their plotting to Cuban authorities.
The Communist Party condemns the U.S. government for its complicity with this terror campaign. We view that government – judges included – as party to continuing persecution of the Cuban Five. They have, in fact, put the Cuban revolution in the dock. The valor and idealism of our brothers who are in jail exemplify revolutionary ideals.
We take to heart Gerardo Hernandez’ words in response to this skewed decision: "This is the same system that has unjustly incarcerated Mumia for more than 20 years along with Leonard Peltier and the Puerto Rican political prisoners." He asserts that, "We will endure as many years as necessary," adding that, "As long as one of you is resisting, we will also resist until there is justice." We resist too.
The Communist Party USA was gratified by Amnesty International’s denunciation of U.S. persecution of the Cuban Five contained within its annual report issued May 28. Our Party recalls the designation by a United Nations working group in 2005 of their detention as "arbitrary."
We point to phrasing early in the Appeals Court decision demonstrating either bias or incompetence. We say the former. Judge William Pryor, writing for the Court, asserts that "Each Cuban agent was convicted of espionage charges…" In fact three were convicted of "conspiracy to commit espionage," among other charges; none of espionage.
On another occasion, Leonard Weinglass, appeals attorney for Antonio Guerrero, indicated why this lapse is significant: "By using the charge of conspiracy the government is relieved of the requirement that the underlying crime be proven."
Our Party will not rest until these five Cuban combatants against terrorism – defenders of the Cuban revolution – are freed. Additionally, the Communist Party USA pledges continuing dedication, with allies, toward bringing arch terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to justice.