From the World Congress of the International Marxist Tendency
On the 12th of September, 1998, five young Cubans were arrested in the United States. They had infiltrated the extreme right wing of the Cuban-American mafia in Miami, the nerve center of terrorist activities against Cuba , carried out with the tolerance and complete impunity of the U.S. authorities.
The campaign of terror against the Cuban Revolution has not stopped in the 50 years of its existence. This has included sabotage, assassinations, bombs, and the criminal terrorist attack on a Cuban airliner in Barbados, in which 73 people lost their lives. Those responsible for this atrocity, Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, spend their time leisurely in Florida, without interference from the U.S. justice system.
In contrast, the five Cuban comrades: Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González, whose activities helped prevent terrorist attacks and save innocent lives, were given harsh prison sentences following a rigged trial, during which not a shred of real proof against them was presented. The jury that convicted them had a clear anti-Cuban bias.
Then, on June 4, 2008, after a long and protracted appeals process, and after several months of waiting, the 11th circuit court of appeals in Atlanta threw out almost all the arguments of their appeal, saying that they "had no merit". It upheld the convictions against all five Cuban fighters, as well as two of the sentences; those of René González (15 years) and Gerardo Hernández (two life terms).
At the same time, it nullified three of the sentences: Ramón Labañino (life imprisonment plus 18 years), Antonio Guerrero (life imprisonment plus 10 years) and Fernando González (19 years) sending them back to the Court in Miami to be reviewed by the same judge, Joan Lenard, who imposed the lengthy sentences in the first place, sentences which the Supreme Court now considers questionable (in June 2005, a three-judge panel of the same Atalanta court described the Miami jury as biased and lamented the absence of "a noncoercive atmoshpere" in the 2001 trial).
These five comrades are nearing ten years of long, cruel and unjust imprisonment. They have been subjected to inhuman punishments, deprived of regular visits from family (two of them have been denied any visits from their wives). The only reason they are in prison is because they were Cubans fighting against the terrorist groups based in the south of Florida with the protection of the U.S. authorities.
The struggle to free the Five, along with support for the work they were carrying out, has to be linked with explaining and exposing, once and for all, the terrorist machinery of the Cuban-American mafia. These reactionaries are responsible for the mourning and suffering felt in thousands of Cuban households whose family members and loved ones have been killed or maimed by these terrorists. We must also denounce the protection and encouragement they have received from every Republican and Democratic administration. It is necessary to strongly denounce U.S. imperialism for its hypocrisy when it comes to the "war on terror". We know that it is impossible to trust in bourgeois justice, which is implacable when it comes to condemning revolutionary fighters. This is why international solidarity is so important, as only the mobilization of the working class and the youth around the world can bring about the release of these comrades who are being unjustly held.
The International Marxist Tendency considers that these comrades are in the front ranks, at the vanguard of those who fight for world socialism. They were fighting against the reactionary attacks of the extreme right against the Cuban Revolution, which stands as a beacon of hope for the workers and oppressed of the world. Therefore, the struggle to bring about their release is the duty not only of the Cuban people, but of all those who believe in the socialist future of humanity.
Barcelona, August 2nd 2008