September 23: March and Forum to Free the Cuban 5
Read about last week's legal setback and how you can help
Dear Friends of Cuba and the Cuban Five:
Many of you have signed petitions, helped to organize events and contributed funds to win their freedom. For all those efforts we—and the Five—are most appreciative.
Now we must ask for your support again to help make the Sept. 23 Public Forum and March to the White House in Washington DC a success.
The Cuban Five suffered a major legal setback this week. On Aug. 9, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals full panel of 12 judges ruled 10 to 2 against granting the Cuban Five a new trial in their second round of appeals.
The first appeal decision, issued on Aug. 9, granted the Five a new trial and overturned their convictions, due to the atmosphere of anti-Cuba intimidation and prejudice in Miami, combined with the prosecution’s misconduct during trial. It was decided unanimously by three judges.
However, last October the 11th Circuit granted the U.S. attorney prosecutors a new “en banc” hearing, thus setting aside the Cuban Five’s victory in order to have all 12 judges hear new appeals.
On Aug. 9, that decision rejected the Five’s appeal for a new trial. The legal battle is far from over and the Five and their defense will pursue all legal options to exonerate them. You can read the en banc decision itself, (including the 58-page dissenting opinion) and a transcript of the press conference, on the website: www.freethefive.org/legalfront.htm
With this setback on the legal front, the political struggle by supporters of the Five in the U.S. and around the world becomes all the more urgent.
In the United States, a demonstration and public forum has been called to take place on Saturday, September 23. This action now assumes greater importance than ever. The march will gather at the Justice Department and march to the White House, where we will demand the immediate freedom of the Five, since they should never have been arrested or put on trial. They were conducting a mission to save lives and oppose terrorism.
At 2:00 pm on September 23rd, a public forum will take place at George Washington University, featuring speakers who will explain the Five’s legal case, the campaign for their freedom, and the 50-year history of U.S. state terror against Cuba and Latin America. Among the speakers are Leonard Weinglass; Francisco Letelier, son of Orlando Letelier, who was assassinated along with U.S. activist Ronnie Moffit on Sept. 21, 1976 in a car bombing engineered by Cuban terrorists; Livio Di Celmo, the brother of Fabio Di Celmo who was killed by a terrorist bomb in Havana in 1997; Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild; Gloria La Riva, National Coordinator of the Committee to Free the Five; Saul Landau, author of “Assassination on Embassy Row,” and family members of the victims of the Cubana airplane bombing in 1976.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, along with the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, the National Lawyers Guild, National Network on Cuba, FMLN-USA, and the Cuban progressive coalition of Miami, La Alianza Martiana are co-sponsors. A list of endorsers and all other information on Sept. 23 March and forum are available at http://www.freethefive.org/sept23.htm
What you can do:
More material on the case:
Click here to read an LA Times article on the Cuban Five