September 12, 2009 marked the 11th anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero. They are known internationally as the Cuban 5 heroes, imprisoned in the United States for defending their people against US sponsored terrorism against Cuba. This anniversary occurred during a very important period in the case of the Cuban 5, as two months earlier, on June 15, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its decision that it would not review the case of the Cuban 5.
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On September 12, hundreds of thousands of peace loving people around the world came together to demand FREE THE CUBAN 5 NOW! Various actions and demonstrations took place in 12 cities across the United States and four cities across Canada. Actions were also held in Mexico, Guyana, Colombia, Argentina, England, Scotland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Philippines, Australia, Czech Republic, Lebanon and Nigeria.
Here in Vancouver, over 100 people responded to this international call for action and gathered together outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at a protest organized by the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver. The rally featured international solidarity greetings from Jorge Soberon, the Cuban Consul General in Toronto; Alicia Jrapko, coordinator of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five; and Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five in the US. Throughout the rally, over 120 postcards were signed addressed to US President Barack Obama demanding "Yes we can - Free the Cuban 5!"
The year 2009 has proven to be a more important time than ever in the case of the Cuban 5 heroes. Undeniably, the struggle for their freedom has continued to grow and to strengthen around the world more rapidly and more broadly over the last two years. We must join the international community to accelerate organizing our efforts to demand the immediate and complete freedom of the 5 Cuban heroes. To find out more about the case of the Cuban 5 heroes or to get involved in organizing with the Free the Cuban 5 Committee-Vancouver please visit: