HAVANA, Cuba, June 1.—The five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters held in the U.S. since 1998, sent a message of solidarity on behalf of the Cuban people to Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been incarcerated in a US jail for 31 years now.
“With the same unyielding and moral spirit that we share in common, we send you our strongest hug of solidarity as we reiterate our admiration and affection,” the message reads.
Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez, known as the Cuban Five, said in their letter that today, marking the 31st prison year of Rivera’s imprisonment, is the best occasion to recall how big the brutality of the US irrational penal system is.
“Oscar needs all the solidarity we can give him, and he is an example to follow by current and future generations of Puerto Ricans,” the message reads as cited by Cubadebate website.
“Men like Oscar are indispensable if we are to build a society for human beings, which has encouraged the noblest actions ever, since history began to be written,” the letter reads.
The five Cubans were framed and arrested by FBI agents in 1998 and later submitted to a biased Miami trial that gave them extremely long and unfair sentences after they monitored Florida-based ultra-right organizations that have planned and undertaken terrorist actions against the Cuban people over the past fifty years.
On Thursday, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and activists from around the world gathered in Havana to urge US President Barack Obama to release Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera and the Cuban Five.
In a ceremony organized by the Cuban Friendship Institute and the Puerto Rican mission here, participants demanded the release of all Puerto Rican independence fighters who are imprisoned in US jails.
The coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, Graciela Ramirez, said that every time “we demand the release of the five Cubans, we are asking for the freedom of our Puerto Rican brothers, who were imprisoned for fighting colonialism.”