The Guardian 13 July, 2005

Mother of Cuban political prisoner in US
meets with Belgian lawmakers


The mother of one five Cuban political prisoners in US jails met with Belgian lawmakers, friends of Cuba and journalists in Brussels.

"We have found some incredible people here", said Irma Sehwerert, the mother of Rene Gonzalez, who noted that the struggle for the release of the Cuban men is being joined by acts of solidarity from all parts of the world.

"The Cuban Five" — Rene Gonzalez Sehwerert, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez — were sentenced in 2001 in a trial in Miami which Irma Sehwerert dubbed as political and unjust.

The five men were convicted of espionage and sentenced to extremely long and unfair sentences for having fought against terrorist threats to Cuba.

Irma Sehwerert pointed out that that the trial was held precisely in the US city that harbours the principal right-wing anti-Cuba organisations which have promoted and carried out terrorist actions against the island over the past 40 years with the consent of successive US administrations.

For the past 16 months the Cuban Five have been waiting for the Atlanta's Court of Appeals to announce a decision on their appeal request.

Sehwerert also objected to the hurdles posed by US authorities to block visits by relatives of the Cuba Five to US jails which, in some cases, have included the expressed denial of such visits.

Irma Sehwerert, who is a Cuban parliamentarian, also visited France, Germany, Luxemburg, where she presented the case of the Cuban Five from when they were arrested in 1998.

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