10/14/13 - Prensa Latina - US Historian Calls Imprisonment of Cuban Antiterrorists as Disgrace
Deisy Francis Mexidor
Havana, Oct 14 (Prensa Latina) U.S. historian and analyst James Cockcroft
says he considers it a disgrace for the legal system of his country that
four of five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters arrested on September 12, 1998
in Miami are still in prison.
In exclusive statements to Prensa Latina via email, Cockcroft called for
the immediate unconditional release of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino,
Antonio Guerrero, and Fernando Gonzalez.
Rene Gonzalez was released from prison in 2011 after completing his
sentence, and commenting on this, Cockcroft said, "15 years in captivity is
shameful, 15 years, enough already."
Referring to disclosures about 44 journalists from Miami, secretly paid by
the government to write inflammatory articles against the Five, Cockcroft
said that the State Department had been sued in federal court to force it
to disclose the materials in its possession on this issue.
However, "the Five will not be released through legal proceedings because
they are political prisoners. Only the increasing pressure of public
opinion in the United States and around the world, will achieve the return
of Fernando, Gerardo, Ramon, and Tony to Cuba," he pointed out.
In terms of U.S. law and the Constitution, the Habeas Corpus petition is
one avenue for the immediate release of the Five, but the judicial system
will not do such a thing without immense public pressure or action from
President Barack Obama, Cockcroft warned.
A member of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five
and La Table de Concertation de Solidarité Québec-Cuba, Cockcroft also
insisted that the democratic president should use his prerogatives under
the Constitution and, for humanitarian reasons, "release them, so they can
return to Cuba without conditions."
The Five were arrested while monitoring plans by violent groups based in
southern Florida who were dedicated to planning the kinds of terrorist
actions against Cuba that have caused more than 5,000 deaths and permanent
injuries over the last 50 years.
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