The Guardian 13 April, 2005
Spanish solidarity with Cuban Five
In an impressive solidarity event in support of the five Cubans serving lengthy prison terms in the United States for defending the island from terrorist gangs operating there, hundreds of people in Barcelona called for their release.
A total of 76 organisations, trade unions and friendship associations, grouped into the Let’s Defend Cuba platform, welcomed Olga Salanueva, the wife of René González, their young daughter Yvette, and Adriana Pérez, Gerardo’s wife, on a brief visit to Barcelona.
That reduced group, arriving from Geneva where they participated in the Human Rights Commission to present the case of the five Cubans, also represents Ramón Labaniño, Fernando González and Antonio Guerrero, the other three prisoners, as well as their wives and relatives.
The meeting took place in the Barcelona Civic Centre, where María Ortiz Arroyo, president of the platform, explained to invited guests and people who thronged into the hall that all the organisations, along with Let’s Defend Cuba, have also formed Support the Five committees.
The flood of expressions of support in Catalonia has occurred, she said, because what is at stake is political chicanery that could result in a more serious aggression against Cuba, and fraud such as the illegal trial of those five men, could not be allowed.
The central point of her address was the reading of a letter from Ramón, René, Gerardo, Antonio and Fernando asking those present at the meeting to endorse their firm stand of resisting the ill-treatment to which they are being subjected, and to express their thanks to all those giving them encouragement to continue with their struggle.
Another key point was the presentation of a letter signed by the two women to Jordi Miralles, United Left MP, laying out the case of the Five in general and, in particular, the denial of entry visas to them and Yvette for family visits.