CUBA: Ricardo Alarcon – “American People Could Help Release the Five”

Posted on September 5, 2007


Ricardo Alarcon, former Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations and present head of the Cuban National Assembly, talks about how we can help free the Cuban 5. September 12 will be the ninth anniversary of their arrest.

Alarcon Says American People Could Help Release the Five

Havana, Sept 5 (acn) The head of the Cuban Parliament, Ricardo
Alarcon said the possibility of having the Five men imprisoned in the
U.S released earlier depends very much on the support they receive
from the American people.

“The first step is to let that people know the truth. This is what we
need to keep on demanding,” said the Parliament president.

In the daily TV Round Table show, Ricardo Alarcon, gave legal and
ethical details of the Five’s case, showing the double standards of
the U.S’ policy and its hostility towards Cuba. The statements were
the continuity of an interview he gave last August 27 also
broadcasted on Cuban TV.

The President of the Cuban parliament said the American government is
aware of the effect that the support of the American people could
have on international opinion. For that reason the media has been
instructed to refer to the Cuban men only as “spies.”

Alarcon said the American government has turned a blind eye on news
releases that show Washington’s political bias against the Five. He
mentioned the articles posted by London’s BBC and the New York Times,
which were very objective, but they are not willing to follow the
case.

It will be nine years on the coming September 12, since Gerardo
Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and
Rene Gonzalez, were sent to American jails.

That day in 1998, the Five Cuban men were arrested and later
subjected to a politically biased trial in Miami. The judicial
process ended in

2001 with the judge handing down harsh sentences on the men, whose
only crime was to infiltrate Miami-based extreme right groups that
operated with Washington’s consent, organizing and conducted
terrorist actions against the Cuban people.

Alarcon pointed out that the U.S does not have evidence proving that
the Five were conspiring to commit espionage or murder. However, they
are serving outrageous terms in jail.

All the evidence is available online to all news agencies willing to
report on the issue, Alarcon said. He mentioned the internet portal
of the U.S Justice Department, on the South Florida Court, “look up
the U.S. case against Gerardo Hernandez,” he pointed.

Alarcon said on one occasion, the American government decided to
remove the second charge -conspiracy to commit espionage- from the
files of three of the defendants -Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio-, as
long as they pleaded guilty to other crimes. However, the third
charge would not be taken to the negotiating table. Instead, seeking
to please the Miami-based Cuban-American community, a charge of
quadruple fist degree murder was added to the case.

The U.S government ended up recognizing in writing before the Court
of Appeals of Atlanta, that the charges had been manipulated. Now we
have to wait until the Court overrules such allegations, explained
the Cuban official.

The head of the Cuban parliament went on to say that the Cuban Five
acted under the principle of “State of Necessity,” comparing the case
with that of former U.S president Jimmy Carter’s daughter, who was
arrested in the late 1980’s for taking over a building to protest
against the CIA. Eventually, she was released on the grounds that she
and the other 14 people accompanying her had committed minor crimes
to avoid a greater one.

Likewise, Alarcon mentioned the case of Zacarias Musagüi, accused of
being involved in the Sept 11 attacks. He noted that the mother of
Moroccan-born Musagui was allowed to visit her son. Meanwhile, the
mothers of the Five Cuban men are patiently waiting in line to get an
entry visa to the U.S to be able to see their sons. “It is the right
of any prisoner, irrespective of the crime they committed, and in
this case the Five did not even threaten nor shoot any body, nor did
their relatives,” Alarcon stressed.

Ricardo Alarcon concluded the interview by saying that no one should
think that is doing too much for the Five. “We are Not even doing a
fraction of what they are doing themselves, with their constancy,
resistance and leading the battle for justice and for their release.

Posted in: Cuba, US