a burning sun, right at midday on September 12, a
group of activists gathered outside the White House
to demand that U.S. President Barack Obama
immediately release the Five.
The vigil was organized by the
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban
5, to mark the 15th anniversary of the unjust
imprisonment of the Cuban anti-terrorists.
Placards in English and Spanish read
"15 años es una vergüenza" (15 Years is Shameful);
"Basta ya, libertad para los Cinco" (Enough, Freedom
for the Five); "A los 5 libertad, a Posada cárcel
ya". (Freedom for the 5, Jail for Posada Now).
Participants toured the White House
sidewalk exclaiming "Obama, Give Me Five" and "15
años es demasiado, Libertad a los Cinco Ya". (15
years is Too Long, Free the Five Now).
At the end of the vigil, a group
approached the entrance to the White House with a
letter to be handed to Obama, but despite their
insistence, the guard on duty did not allow them to
present the letter.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro
also advocated the liberation of the Cuban anti-terrorists.
"Dear heroes of Cuba and all of America, from the
Venezuela of Bolívar and Chávez, we admire and love
you. Freedom now!" he wrote on the Twitter social
The Nicaraguan government reiterated
its commitment to fight for the liberation of the
Five. "The Five never committed any crime; they are
revolutionary people, devoted to the cause of their
people, and have worked to fight against terrorism,
this plague which has brought so much misfortune to
our planet," affirmed Rosario Murillo, head of the
Communication and Citizens Council.
In Moscow, Lena Lozhkina, president
of the All Russia Committee for the Five, affirmed
that the campaign in favor of their immediate
release has grown on a par with the steadfastness of
these men, imprisoned since September 12, 1998.
Lozhkina stated that the cause of
the Five is known from Moscow, St. Petersburg,
Novosibirsk and Magnitogorsk (Urals) to Vladivostok
in the far east of the country, where Russian
solidarity groups demanded freedom for the Cuban
anti-terrorists outside the U.S. consulate on this
Representatives of the Spanish
solidarity with Cuba movement confirmed in Madrid
their commitment to the case of the Five, four of
whom have been incarcerated in U.S. prisons for 15
Also in Spain, activists convened by
the Madrid Committee for the Freedom of the Five
gathered outside the U.S. embassy in the capital to
demand that President Obama release these fighters.
In Haiti, as on every September 12
since 2006, the Friends of Cuba Club in Léogâne – in
the east of the capital Port-au-Prince – led a new
event calling for the liberation of the Five.
The group, founded seven years ago,
includes approximately 100 Haitians, most of them
youth, demanded that the Five be released.
The appeal was echoed by the
Paraguayan Communist Party, the Chilean solidarity
with Cuba movement, representatives of Brazilian
social movements in the state of Bahía, and
Salvadoran solidarity organizations. (With
information from Cubadebate, PL and
the Granma correspondent in Haiti). •