News »

Free the Five is heard at Left Forum

By Tom Whitney

Solidarity with the Cuban Five political prisoners was evident this year at the Left Forum held March 18 – 20 at Pace University in New York City. Under the auspices of the Louisville (KY) Committee for the Five, Cuban Five supporters from New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Kentucky were on hand at a table for the Five in the Forum’s busy exhibit space.

This year, over 5000 students, teachers, researchers, and activists attended the Forum which featured plenary sessions along with some 300 workshops and 800 speakers. It’s the largest annual gathering of progressives in the United States. This year’s themes was “Toward a Politics of Solidarity.”

Many of those filing by the table picked up literature relating to the case of Fernando Gonzalez, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labinino, and Rene Gonzalez. As of September 13, 2011, they will have been imprisoned for 13 years. Information was available covering legal aspects of their case and the background of anti – Cuban terrorism that brought the men to Florida. Passers-by expressed concern over how the men were surviving the rigors of incarceration in widely scattered federal prisons.

Solidarity activists attending the table centered their discussion with those stopping by on connections between injustice done the Five and half a century of U.S. war against Cuba. They also drew attention to U.S cruelty in denying visiting rights for two wives of the prisoners.

Signatures were sought for a recently developed petition on behalf of the Cuban Five. In October, 2010, Amnesty International (AI) issued a report detailing legal and judicial shortcomings in U.S. handling of the case. AI requested that the Obama administration consider clemency for the prisoners. The petition offered at the Left Forum utilized AI arguments to ask President Obama to liberate the Cuban Five.

Readers may go on line to sign the petition to free the Five. It’s accessible at:




Make a comment
  1. Peter Roman / Professor

    Tom Whitney fails to mention that at the “Cuba Update” panel I organized at the Left Forum, in front of a packed room, I presented an update of the case of the Cuban 5, discussing the habeas appeal and Gerardo’s recent affidavit.
    Peter Roman

  2. evemSleerick /

    The interesting name of a site –, interesting this here is very good.
    I spent 4 hours searching in the network, until find your forum!

  3. ed hardy clothing /

    I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing ability has inspired me. Really the article is spreading its wings rapidly.

  4. Russ Hermann / Mr

    My partner has sent xmas presents to the five and some of them have been returned. there seems to be very little humanity in the US.

  5. Babette / Obamashouldreleasethem

    The Obama administration should be making a gesture to better relations with Cuba by granting the Five’s release instead of funding $20 million in efforts to subvert Cuba.
    We should be trying to get along with our neighbors and not trying to subvert them.

  6. xolile / mr

    it is with great pleasure that last month as ANC and SACP activitts we tabled a motion to the Eatern Cape provincial legislature calling for the release of the Cuban Five and for the National parliament, the Minister for International re;lations and the President to act in support of the above. We are the first legislature in South Africa to have made this move.