Cyclists to ride for the Cuban 5 in Italy

On May 5, there will be a 40-mile bike ride through various towns around the Lake Como area in northern Italy as part of the worldwide movement calling for the release of “The Cuban Five.” The Ride For The Five in Italy is only one of many activities planned in many countries on the 5th of each month by those that understand the injustice done to these five Cuban patriots. Of particular interest to us in the U.S. is that there will also be two young American riders participating in the Lake Como bike ride.

GARIBALDINA BICYCLE RIDE 2013 for the Five Cuban patriots

The local Italy/Cuba Friendship Circle, part of the national organization in Italy, will co-sponsor the bike ride. There are more than 250 bike riders expected and all will receive “Free the 5” t-shirts.

The men know as the Cuban 5 were legally in the U.S. monitoring ultra-right Cuban exiles here who, with the support of successive U.S. administrations, committed acts of terrorism against Cuba and its citizens that Cuba says have resulted in 3,400 deaths in that country.

In the late 1990s, the Cuban government had presented evidence gathered by the five to the U.S. government. Instead of following up on the evidence U.S. officials arrested the five! They were indicted for conspiracy to commit espionage, and one of them, Gerardo Hernandez, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder,

Since then, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Gerardo Hernandez have been condemned in what international observers have described as a biased trial.

They have been incarcerated in various prisons while their appeal process drags along. Authorities have denied two of the five, Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, the right to receive visits from their wives, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez, respectively.

Rene Gonzalez has now been released with the requirement that he stay in the United States for an additional three years, and that he not frequent areas where terrorists might be found. The original judge in the trial granted him permission, over the objections of the federal government, to go to Cuba temporarily to visit his critically ill brother.

Starting at the end of May and through the first week of June culminating on June 5, there will be other activities in Washington D.C. Friends in solidarity with Cuba and people of good will from the U.S. and from abroad will be part of this series of actions, including a number of parliamentarians, lawyers, trade unionists, activists and supporters of the Cuban 5 from all over the world and the United States.

Among those participating in the week in Washington D.C are: Angela Davis, legendary activist, scholar and author; Dolores Huerta, co founder of the United Farm Workers (UFW); Danny Glover, activist and actor; Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, former General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States; Saul Landau, filmmaker and author; Martin Garbus, American lawyer member of the legal team of the Cuban Five; Wayne Smith, former Chief of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba, and many more.

For more information and the agenda, click here.

Photo: Creative Commons, Flickr.



Ismael Parra
Ismael Parra

Ismael Parra is the Southern California Chair of the National Writers Union, a musician, and writer.