Giving continuity to the actions that are taking place all over the world demanding the freedom of the Cuban 5, the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 has organized several events in the North and Central California and in the city of Boston, Massachusetts.
On Saturday, September 25th, several city blocks in the South End of Boston were turned into a lively concert venue, attracting thousands of music-lovers. Given the strong influence of Cuban jazz musicians, the annual Beantown Jazz Festival became the perfect gathering at which to distribute literature about the case of the Cuban Five. A colorful banner demanding Freedom for the Five created curiosity and made it possible for supporters of the five Cuban heroes to hand out hundreds of brochures describing the circumstances of their incarceration in the U.S.
People who had never heard of the Cuban Five were especially impressed with the support they had recently received from well known performers on the 12th anniversary of their arrest including US celebrities such as Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Benicio del Toro, Michael Moore and Oliver Stone among others. Copies of the letter sent to President Obama by Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the Cuban Five were warmly received. Everyone was encouraged to go to the website of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five to see how they can get involved.
On October 7, at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, more than 60 people attended the premiere of the documentary "The day the Diplomacy Died" directed by the Irish filmmaker *Bernie Dwyer and Roberto Ruiz Rebo.
The documentary exposes the story behind the lock up of 75 so called "independent" journalists, trade unionists, and librarians in Cuba in 2003 through the eyes of four ex-Cuban state agents working undercover. The former agents speak out for the first time on film about the inner workings of the dissident groups they infiltrated and the various plans, supported by the U.S. government, that were being developed to destabilize Cuba. The documentary clearly exposes the responsibility of the Bush administration encouraging and paying these subversive plans.
The writer Diana Block from the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 chaired the event and reminded people that October 8 was the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Che Guevara in Bolivia by the CIA.
Nina Serrano, nominated best local poet in 2010 by Oakland Magazine recited two very moving poems dedicated to "Che". Alicia Jrapko US coordinator of the International Committee presented an update of the case of the Cuban 5.
The filmmaker and journalist Saul Landau responded to a number of questions from the audience. Landau and Jack Willis are currently finishing a new documentary "Will the Real Terrorists Please Stand Up?", a film about 50 years of hostile US Cuba relations that includes interviews with leading Cuban exile terrorists, a member of the Cuban 5 and former FBI agents.
*Bernie Dywer is a member of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5.
On October 13, Nancy Kohn, member of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 in Boston, made a presentation and an update on the case of the Cuban 5 to the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) at their monthly series.
On October 16, another public event took place in Paso Robles, California. This was also an opportunity for local people to watch the documentary "The Day Diplomacy Died" and to learn about the case of the Cuban 5. Before the documentary started, Geri Afshari a local musician performed on the Latin Harp and other rhythm instruments from Cuba.
SAVE THE DATE: December 3 to 5
Join us to welcome a family member of the Cuban 5, on Friday December 3, 2010.
An opening exhibit of cartoons by Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban 5
Short video of Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmers Workers Union (UFW)
A panel discussion with representatives of the Cuban delegation as well as organizers from the United States involved in the international campaign to free the Cuban 5.
December 3rd, 6pm
Hotel Palacio Azteca
Blvd Cuauhtemoc Sur #213
Partial list of sponsors: U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange, Federation Sindical Mundial, International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, International Action Center ( IAC), Union del Barrio.
This event is part of the Cuba/Venezuela/Mexico/North America Labor Conference - VII
For more information about the weekend-long conference call 313-575-4933
For more information about Friday's event call 510-219-0092