“This report will help impress upon the US authorities that legal opinion amongst some of the world’s most distinguished judges considers that the only just resolution of our case is for a complete and unconditional release of our three brothers remaining in prison.” René González, first of Cuban Five to be released
The report of the proceedings of the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban (Miami) Five, held at the Law Society in London in March 2014, is now available in a new publication.
The two Commission Coordinators, Sara Chandler, chair of the Law Society Human Rights Committee and leading barrister Elizabeth Woodcraft launched the report at a packed meeting at the House of Commons in London on 10 September, hosted by Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn and Baroness Angela Smith.
Olga Salanueva, wife of René González, the featured speaker at the London meeting, recounted the latest visa denial by the British Government banning her husband from entering the country.
In a 44-page magazine format, written in English and Spanish, the outstanding success of the Commission and its associated events is recorded. It presents the concluding statements of the three presiding judges Yogesh Sabharwal, Zak Yacoob, and Philippe Texier, who, after hearing two days of testimony from witnesses, called upon President Barack Obama to grant “unconditional pardons” to the Five and to release “immediately and unconditionally” the three who remain in prison.
The report also records highlights from the Commission proceedings with special mention of the testimony from Amnesty International that focussed on the unfairness of the trial and, recognising the urgency of the case, pledged to continue to appeal for justice.
A section of the Commission report recounts how the British government refused key witness René González entry into the UK. The launch events were due to be attended by René González but he has again been banned from entering the UK.
Rob Miller, Director of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and one of the organisers of the Commission said
“It is ridiculous that René is able to attend events in Portugal and France this week but has again been banned and is not allowed a visa to come here to meet with MPs and help with the launch of this report. Britain looks destined to become the only European country to which René is denied entry. We will continue to campaign vehemently against this extra ‘unilateral’ punishment to René as well as to campaign for justice for the Five.”
The report is illustrated with numerous photographs bringing to mind the intensity of these days of concerted activity – from the concert and dramatic readings performed at London’s prestigious Barbican Centre in front of an audience of 2000, two panel discussions, an exhibition of the paintings of Miami 5 prisoner Antonio Guerrero, as well as the closing dinner. Also featured are words from special guests such as novelist Alice Walker, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, and former President of the Cuban parliament, Ricardo Alarcón.
The success of the Commission would not have been possible without the broad support it enjoyed, more than evident in a list of the internationally renowned personalities drawn from many countries who endorsed this initiative including actor Emma Thompson, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, international fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and writers such as John Le Carré, Günther Grass and Fernando Morais.
Report and full testimonies of all the witnesses available at the website Voices for the Five which was instrumental in organising the Commission of Inquiry:www.voicesforthefive.com/commission/report/
Voices for the Five Cuba Solidarity Campaign, c/o Unite, 33-37 Moreland Street, London EC1V 8BB, UK