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Group urges US to release Cuban Five

Group urges US to release Cuban Five

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Vincentian and Cuban nationals gathered at the Venezuelan Institute for Culture and Cooperation on Wednesday, September 9, to mark the 12th anniversary of the imprisonment of the Cuban Five.{{more}}

The local assembly, which is in its fifth year, saw organizations such as the Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, the Vincentian Association of Cuban trained Professionals, parents of Vincentian students studying in Cuba, and the Vincentian/ Cuban friendship Society, as well as ministers of

government, joining in solidarity with the Ambassador of Cuba Olga Chameros Trias and other Cuban citizens and organizations in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to call on the United States not only to release the five men but also to end the fifty-year-old blockade against the Caribbean nation.

The local organizations, through its representatives and messages, pledged their support to the Spanish speaking country as they called on the current US administration to bring an end to the

economic sanctions and to release the Cuban Five, who they claim are held unjustly by the Americans.

The five: Fernando and Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez are Cuban intelligence officers convicted of espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, and other illegal activities in the United States.

The men were jointly sentenced to over 100 years in prison, and are viewed as national heroes in Cuba, and portrayed as having sacrificed their liberty in the defense of their country.

In October 1960, the United States imposed an economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba, following the rise to power of Fidel Castro.

The blockade, which limits American businesses from conducting business with Cuban interests, is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history.

The act has been decried as a crime against humanity by a number of organizations and individuals.

At Wednesday’s conference, the organizations present reaffirmed their support for the Cuban government in their appeal for the men’s release.(JJ)