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Saturday, Mar. 21, 2009 at 5:53 AM
The Cuban Five
Host: Loyola Law School Chapter - National Lawyers Guild
Date: Monday, March 23, 2009
Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Donovan Hall
Street: 919 Albany Street
City/Town: Los Angeles, CA
Contact: Veronica email@example.com
Gloria La Riva. As coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban
Five, Ms. La Riva has spoken
extensively on the case as well as the worldwide campaign to win their freedom. She
has spoken on the Five at
forums in the United States, Europe, Brazil, India, Japan, Bolivia, Venezuela,
Argentina, Canada and Cuba.
Co-Sponsors: International Law Society, ACLU, La Raza of Loyola, NLG
Food: Of Course!!!!
What: Gloria La Riva will be speaking about the recent developments in the Cuban
Five’s pending Supreme Court
Case, as well as the history or their legal struggle.
The Cuban Five’s mission:
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men imprisoned in the United States since 1998. Their
story begins in the early
1990s, when each one entered Miami from Cuba. They came to infiltrate extremist
organizations to prevent those groups from carrying out terrorist attacks on Cuba.
After Cuban dictator
Batista was overthrown in 1959, thousands of reactionaries left Cuba for Miami.
Using the most violent of
these exiles, the U.S. government launched a program of terrorism to try to
destabilize and overthrow the
Cuban government, a policy that continues today. Since 1959, 3,478 Cubans have died
from terrorist attacks.
Despite the Cuban Five’s mission to monitor and stop the terrorists’ attacks, the
FBI arrested them on Sept.
12, 1998 in Miami. They were charged with failure to register as foreign agents and
conspiracy to commit
espionage, among other charges. But the Five never committed espionage nor planned
to, nor was the U.S.
government their target. The object of their monitoring was the Miami terrorists.
“The Five were not prosecuted because they violated American law, but because their
work exposed those who
were.” Leonard Weinglass, appellate attorney
The Five’s seven-month trial took place in Miami in an atmosphere of deep anti-Cuba
prejudice. The climate of
bias in that city assured the Five’s convictions. The judge repeatedly refused to
grant a change of venue,
even to Ft. Lauderdale, 25 miles away. Yet one year after prosecuting the Five in
Miami, the same U.S.
attorney’s office argued in another federal trial that Miami was not suitable for a
case linked with Cuba.
The world demands freedom for the Five
In May 2005, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions declared the Five’s
detention illegal and
arbitrary, and their sentences a violation of the International Convention on
Civilian and Political Rights.
In August 2005, the Five won a sweeping victory:
A federal appeals court overturned their convictions and ordered a new trial,
declaring that a “Perfect
Storm” of Miami prejudice and the prosecution’s misconduct denied the Five a fair
trial. But the Bush
administration appealed the decision and a year later, their convictions were
upheld. In January 2009,
defense counsel filed a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking a
hearing on the Five’s case.
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