Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network sends its hearty congratulations to the people of Cuba, and to Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, and Antonio Guerrero and their families on the occasion of the release of the final three of the five Cuban political prisoners held in U.S. jails for sixteen years.
The Cuban political prisoners were freed today in a prisoner exchange with the Cuban government for USAID agent Alan Gross. Two other Cuban political prisoners – who together with Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio together made up the Cuban Five – Fernando González and René González, were earlier released from U.S. jails.
The Cuban Five came to the United States in order to protect Cubans from violent attacks by private right-wing militant groups based in the United States and supported by U.S. imperialism. Their case, of five people imprisoned in the heart of U.S. imperialist jails for seeking to defend their country from attacks from U.S. soil, inspired fighters for justice around the world, including many activists, advocates and lawyers within the United States, who took the streets, protested, struggled in the courtrooms, marched, rallied and built a movement to demand freedom for the five Cuban political prisoners in U.S. jails.
Today, and the release of the Five, is a true victory for the Cuban people and all who struggled for justice in the case of the Five. Just as we celebrate when every Palestinian political prisoner is freed, we celebrate today with the Cuban people that their own prisoners of freedom today will join their compatriots in their homeland as free people.
We celebrate and welcome today Antonio, Gerardo and Ramon! We also join in the call to free all of the political prisoners held in US jails, including Mumia Abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, Ricardo Palmera, the political prisoners of the Black Liberation Movement, and the Palestinian political prisoners in US jails, including the Holy Land 5 – and to free the prisoners around the world who are held in the interests of U.S. imperialism, domination and hegemony and those of its allies, including every Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails.