Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Cuban Heroes visit Scotland

With all the sound and fury surrounding the PLP 'rebellion' against Jeremy Corbyn, it might be a salutory reflection to think what people elsewhere suffer for their beliefs. Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez worked for Cuban Intelligence, as spies infiltrating the network of anti-Castroterrorist grouops based in the ex-pat Cuban community in Florida - especially the ones associated with Luis Posada Carriles - the former CIA agent widely considered to be guilty of the bombing of Cubana flight 455.

After the FBI used information provided by the Cuban government for the purpose of convicting Carriles to identify the agents, they were arrested and sentenced to terms ranging from 15 years to life.

After many years of campaigning against such hypocritical sentences for agents working to stop
terrorism, the 'Miami 5' - including Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González as well as Gonzalez and Hernandez - have now all been released.

Rene and Gerardo have now (finally) managed to get visas from the Home office (it took a High Court order btw) to visit Britain, and say thank you to UK campaigners for their release.

The only Scottish date is tonight at the STUC, where the Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign hosts them in a meeting and social occasion - free, but ticketed (here) - at 7.00pm. As the event will also feature latin-american band Voces del Sur, their lead singer Valentina Montoya Martinez, and rising Gaelic singer, Maeve Mackinnon it looks set to be a major occasion!

Other Cuban news hints at a welcome repeat of the Havana/Glasgow Film Festival being planned for November this year. Its inaugural run last year, was very successful, and provided an unusual outing for some excellent Cuban films, that rarely (if ever) get a showing ion the UK. A formal announcement on the programme for this year is awaited next month. Keep an eye on the website here.

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