8 Days Remaining

Monday 10th
posted by Joana Ramiro in Britain

An international Commission of Inquiry called on US President Barack Obama to free the remaining Miami Five.

An international Commission of Inquiry called on US President Barack Obama at the weekend to free the remaining Miami Five.

On the second day of the inquiry, set up to look into the case of the five Cubans jailed by the US while investigating anti-Cuban terror groups based in Miami, the judges concluded that their trial and imprisonment was in potential breach of the human rights charter.

Reading out a preliminary sentence Justice Yogesh Sbharwal said pardoning the Five - three of whom remain in US prison - could mean a vital contribution towards "world justice and world peace."

He added to cheers from the audience that granting "unconditional presidential pardons" could "demonstrate the adherence of the President of the United States of America and its government today to universally accepted norms of morality, fairness and justice."

The decision was read out after the last hearings in which wives of three of the men spoke about the consequences of US oppression on their families.

The wife of Gerardo Hernandez Adriana Perez tearfully recounted how she was never allowed to visit the US to see her husband who was sentenced to two life terms.

Mr Hernandez was arrested when Ms Perez was in her twenties.

"I need glasses to read now, that's how much time has passed," she commented.

The commission also heard from Rene Gonzalez's wife Olga Salanueva, who - together with their daughter Irmita - represented her husband whose visa was denied by the Home Office.

"Since his release from prison I never thought we would have to be apart again," Ms Salanueva said.

His daughter, now 29, recounted her days back in Miami when her father infiltrated the Cuban American National Foundation.

"It was all about hate or about money," Ms Gonzalez said as she described the Cuban counter-revolutionary community in Florida.

Her eyes welled up as she continued telling the story of her family, broken by the injustices of the Miami legal system.

The day was marked by an unexpected call from still-imprisoned Antonio Guerrero to his mother Mirta Rodriguez while she was delivering a keynote speech about her struggle as a mother of one of the Miami 5.

"Thank you for your friendship," he said through the phone's loudspeaker.

"I am very happy with your work and your support."