Canadian members of Parliament demand justice for the Cuban Five
Havana. July 11, 2008
"We cannot allow this extremely painful situation for these five Cubans and their families to drag on," says letter sent to U.S. Attorney General
Fifty-six members of Canada’s Parliament have just signed a petition demanding justice for the Cuban Five, the anti-terrorist fighters arbitrarily sentenced to long prison sentences in the United States since September 12, 1998. "Nothing justifies keeping them behind bars," the petition says.
Arnold August, a member of the Fabio Di Celmo Committee of the Quebec-Cuba Solidarity Committee and the International Committee to Free the Five, told Granma newspaper, "This is good news."
August, a Canadian writer and lecturer who is visiting Havana, said the petition also demands family visitation rights for the relatives of Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, René González, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernández.The initiative for the petition was introduced by Francine Lalonde, an MP for the Bloque Qubequense por La Pointe-de-l’lle (Montreal), and Libby Davies, a legislator from East Vancouver, and quickly found a hearing among their colleagues, Arnold commented.
The petition — which continues to circulate — was sent to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Canadian Foreign Minister David Emerson, and David Wilkins, U.S. ambassador in Canada.
The action is part of the international campaign to demand freedom for the Cuban Five and to call for compliance with the findings of human rights organizations, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (May 27, 2005) and 110 members of the British parliament, all of them denouncing the conditions of isolation imposed on the Five and their irregular trial in Miami, Florida.
"We cannot allow this extremely painful situation for these five Cubans and their families to drag on," the petition says.
In Quebec, prominent individuals like Claudette Carbonneau, president of the Federation of National Unions, and Elsie Lefebvre, a former member of the Quebec National Assembly, have expressed their support for the cause.
Translated by Granma International
For more information on the Cuban Five: www.freethefive.org/