They Are Finally Home!

This morning after more than 16 years, the 3 remaining members of the Cuban 5 were finally freed and are now home in Cuba with their loved ones. Gerardo has now been reunited with Adriana, Ramon is back with Elizabeth and his 3 beautiful daughters and Antonio is with his mother Mirta, the 84 year old tireless inspiration of this struggle, who feared she would die before she saw her son back in Cuba. And of course they are now reunited with their 2 other brothers, Rene and Fernando. This is a moment in which everyone in the solidarity movement with Cuba can rejoice. It is also a victory for the resilient people of Cuba who never wavered in their support for the Five who were always considered heroes of the homeland.

Cuba-US: The new normalization?

Normalizing relations between the two nations will require a series of presidential actions. Here is a roadmap for how that could happen…whenever. A president can exercise his or her pardon powers set out in Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution to end the incarceration of the three remaining Cuban intelligence officers: Commutation of sentences (reducing them to time served) is inherent in the president’s power to pardon. In the case of the three remaining members of the original “Cuban Five” who are still in prison, a commutation of their sentences would, at this date, mean they will have served 16 years in prison. An additional advantage, apart from addressing the Cuban people’s sense of injustice, is that a commutation could help facilitate the release of USAID contractor Alan Gross, who is jailed in Cuba and not yet one-third of the way through a 15-year prison sentence. Article published in Americas Quaterly by US lawyer Robert Muse

NY Times: Letters to the Editor

"Your Nov. 3 editorial “A Prisoner Swap With Cuba” presented a reasonable resolution to a major obstacle in normalizing United States relations with Cuba, but did not mention some key facts." ART HEITZER, chairman of the Cuba subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild. "Two examples of prisoner exchanges between the United States and Cuba are particularly relevant. At the time, both of these swaps were politically controversial, requiring presidential grit and determination. But, as President Obama should note, they advanced United States national interests and returned imprisoned Americans to their families." WILLIAM M. LEOGRANDE and PETER KORNBLUH, co-authors of “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana.”

The New York Times breaks the media blockade

In my article currently circulating in Nueva Réplica I regretted that the New York Times had not raised the case of Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio in its editorial last October in which the paper called for ending the US blockade against Cuba. When I wrote it, I did not imagine that with that document, the New York paper would start an important debate, which has lasted a month and includes several editorials advocating a substantial change in the relations between the two countries. The latest one, published Sunday, November 2, proposed that the three be released and that in exchange, Cuba for humanitarian reasons would free Alan Gross who was sentenced here for participating in illegal activities to overthrow the revolutionary government. This is a fair and reasonable position. The paper is right when it defines the release of three Cuban heroes as a vital step towards civilized coexistence between two countries that are and will always be neighbors. By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada

Delegation presents final report from the International Commission of Inquiry to US Government at the US Embassy in London

This morning a high level delegation representing millions of people from across the globe met with US Government officials to hand over the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five. The delegation was made up of parliamentary representatives, Trade Unions, lawyers and NGOs and included two members of the British Parliament Cathy Jamieson MP, and Grahame Morris MP. Len McCluskey, General Secretary of UK’s largest trade union Unite, represented the global trade union movement and barrister Elizabeth Woodcraft, who was one of the coordinators of the International Commission of Inquiry, came on behalf of the legal community. Rob Miller, Director Cuba Solidarity Campaign, represented the thousands of supporters and organisations who made up the international coalition 'Voices for the Five' which had organised the Commission of Inquiry in March 2014.

Rene Gonzalez's Blog: "I'm a spy, they say,"

This post constitutes my presentation to the world of the blogosphere. To write it I’ve counted on the politeness of people who have preceded me on this field. Not all of them share the same views, but they all wish for a better Cuba and share an intellectual honesty which I respect. They are also together on the support for the Five. In this regard they represent millions of people both in Cuba and around the world.

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Who are they?

René González Fernando González Antonio Guerrero Ramón Labañino Gerardo Hernández

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