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    Picket Action in Vancouver: Activists Demand the Freedom for 5 Cuban Heroes

    By Janine Solanki
    On July 12, the Free the Cuban 5 Committee - Vancouver at their 19th picket demanding the freedom of the 5 Cuban heroes, also stood in support with an organization that takes inspiration from the Cuban 5 and travels through the US (with the faces of the five colorfully painted on their busses) to defend the gains of the Cuban revolution and demand an end to the US Blockade on Cuba. Along with the demand of “Free the Cuban 5 Now!” more than 35 people at the US Consulate also demanded “Release the Aid to Cuba!” in response to the confiscation of aid stolen from Pastors for Peace on it’s way to Cuba, seized by US Homeland Security at the Quebec/Maine border.

    Noah Fine, coordinator of the Free the Cuban 5 Committee – Vancouver (FC5CV) opened up the picket explaining how the demands were being echoed in the Cross-Canada day of action, and outlined the case of the Cuban 5. This point was reinforced as a recorded message of Ellen Bernstein from Pastors for Peace carried a voice of solidarity from Texas, emphasizing the struggle that Cuba endures living under a 48 year blockade, and how Pastors for Peace and solidarity work through Canada and Vancouver plays an important role in the fight to end the blockade and free the 5!

    After a resolute and loud line of picketing, April Desilets, an organizer with Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC), outlined the history of the Cuban revolution and the gains Cuba has achieved within Cuba and internationally. She concluded saying, “The people of Cuba have fought, and continue to fight US attacks against their nation's sovereignty, and they haven't given up!” Then Thomas Davies, organizer with the FC5CV, wrapped up the picket by asking, “What is so scary about the case of the 5, that the US government has done everything possible to keep people and the media quiet about one of the longest cases in US judicial history?”

    With this question ringing in the air around the US consulate, the picket ended with strong chants to reflect the outrage felt from the recent theft of humanitarian aid by the US government and of the imprisonment of the Cuban 5!

    Release the Cuban 5 Now!

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