for the website Fwd: Presence of Cuban 5 Felt at USSF in Detroit

Posted on June 29, 2010
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From: International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 <>
Date: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 11:25 PM
Subject: Presence of Cuban 5 Felt at USSF in Detroit

Logo International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 

Presence of the Cuban 5 Felt at the US Social Forum in Detroit


USSF 2010


On Saturday June 26, with great enthusiasm, the Second United States Social Forum (USSF) ended in Detroit. For 5 consecutive days, more than 15,000 people from cities and towns across the US and around the world had converged on this economically hard hit city to share common problems and to plan strategies to help alleviate the grave problems facing humanity from the unequal distribution of the world’s wealth and resources. Notable participation came from such countries as Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, South Africa, Palestine, Honduras and Nepal.  The format of the USSF encompassed as many as 1000 workshops and 50 People’s Movement Assemblies. Also at the forum there were cultural expressions, art galleries, children’s Art Village and Youth Space, and a massive people’s media center.
C5 TALLERAlong with the numerous topics brought to the forum Cuba was present through out. Six Workshops and a PMA had various themes relating to the blockade of Cuba and the struggle for the freedom of the Cuban Five. Interventions on Cuba were made by representatives of the National Network on Cuba, the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5, US Women and Cuba Collaboration, Barrios Unidos and other organizations and individuals.
Lit TableThese groups also collaborated on a large table centrally located in Cobo Hall loaded with literature on Cuba. Over the course of the USSF thousands of people visited the table to pick up literature and to sign up to be kept informed on Cuba.  Material specifically relating to the Cuban Five included brochures, postcards to send to Obama demanding their release, CDs of music, documentaries, bottoms, pins, T-Shirts, etc. Many people left their signature on a petition directed to the US Department of State and Homeland Security asking for the granting of visas for Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva who have not been allowed to see their incarcerated husbands for over 10 years.  As a testimony to the great media silence surrounding the case, it was apparent that even amongst this progressive audience many of those who came to the table had never before heard of the Cuban Five. 
USSF MarchOn June 22 the USSF was inaugurated by a lively march of thousands through the streets of Detroit with signs, banners, and musical bands.  In the middle of the march high above was a banner demanding the freedom of the Cuban Five and the extradition of admitted anti Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. As the march advanced spectators on the sidewalk joined in the chants of “Free the Cuban Five” and “Cuba Yes, Blockade No”. 
The following evening at the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center in downtown Detroit “From My Altitude”, the exhibit of original paintings created in prison by Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five opened to a large crowd of people. An article announcing the exhibit appeared the same day in the Detroit News.  This exhibit recently closed at the SPARC Gallery in Los Angeles and for over a year has appeared in galleries all across the US.


The opening program included music by local group Bill Meyer and Friends and well known troubadour David Rovics. Former Detroit Judge Claudia Marcom gave the welcoming remarks to those present at the gallery followed by Alicia Jrapko, US coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, who delivered an update of the case including the denial of the visas for Olga and Adriana. Jrapko reminded the audience that the only way to bring about the freedom for the Cuban Five was to sway public opinion to the side of justice. 
Pres of GaleryThe president of the cultural center, Oliver Ragsdale, Jr. proudly announced his interest in showing this exhibition and also expressed his support for the right of Cubans to safeguard their country and people against terrorist attacks emanating from the United States. Participants to the forum continued to visit the exhibit in the following days and residents from Detroit will have the opportunity to visit the gallery until July 7th, when a closing event will take place for the 21st Pastors for Peace caravan on its way to Cuba. 
The Social Forum offered an excellent opportunity to bring the case of the Cuban Five to a whole new layer of people. When informed about the details of the case people could see the hypocrisy of the US government’s phony war on terrorism.

Ramón Labañino relocated to a medium security prison 

Last December, Ramon Labañino’s sentence was reduced from life imprisonment plus 18 years to 30 years. As a result of that reduction, as well as of his exemplary behavior throughout 11 long years in prison,  Ramón has now been moved from the maximum security facility in which he was imprisoned to a medium security prison in Jesup, Georgia. His new address is:

Ramon Labanino

Luis Medina
No. 58739-004
2680 301 SOUTH
JESUP, GA  31599

Please make sure to use the new address to write to Ramón.
Although this is good news for Ramón, the fight for real justice for the Five continues.
 International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
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