Bernie Dwyer Presents “Mission Against Terror” documentary on the Cuban Five

 

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Thursday, February 10,   11:30 am

Rafael Cintron-Ortiz Cultural Center UIC

Thursday, February 10,   7 pm    

Puerto Rican Cultural Center, 2739-41 W Division

Friday, February 11,   7 pm                                              

DePaul University Schmitt Academic Center, Room 154 2320 N Kenmore

Bernie Dwyer has interviewed important figures for Cuban radio, including Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Leonard Weinglass, and Saul Landau. She will be speaking and showing “Mission Against Terror,” a 48-minute documentary directed by her and Cuban Television producer Roberto Ruiz Rebo. There will be three engagements in Chicago on February 10 and 11.

Bernie Dwyer has interviewed important figures for Cuban radio, including Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Leonard Weinglass, and Saul Landau. She will be speaking and showing “Mission Against Terror,” a 48-minute documentary directed by her and Cuban Television producer
Roberto Ruiz Rebo.

Dwyer is touring the U.S. from January 28 to February 28, to debut “Mission Against Terror” in 25 cities.
The documentary follows the case of the Cuban Five–five men from Cuba who are unjustly imprisoned in the U.S. for doing nothing more than preventing terrorism against the Cuban people. They were arrested on September 12, 1998 by the FBI and have been in prison ever since. The men, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, and Fernando Gonzalez, were sentenced in Miami federal court to four life terms and 75 years collectively. Their case is on appeal before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Mission Against Terror” shows historical footage of terrorism against Cuba and provides a moving depiction of the case of the Cuban Five. It features interviews with Cuban National Assembly president Ricardo Alarcon, former CIA agent Philip Agee, attorney Leonard Weinglass, Cuban activist from Miami, Andres Gomez, and family members of the Cuban Five.

Filmmaker Dwyer is an Irish woman who lives and works in Havana as a journalist with Radio Havana. She has worked there for the past four years. Dwyer was previously a lecturer in Women’s Studies at University College in Dublin.

She and Ruiz Rebo have made four documentary films together:
1999: “Che: The Irish Legacy” (Che Guevara’s Irish links)
2001: “Che in Ireland” (Che Guevara’s visit to Dublin in 1964)
2002: “The Footprints of Cecilia McPartland” (Irish mother of Cuban revolutionary Julio Antonio Mella)
2004: “Mission Against Terror” (Case of the Cuban Five)

Their documentaries have been screened throughout Europe and at the Havana Film Festival. They have won several filmmaking prizes in Cuba. “Mission against Terror” was featured at the 2004 Havana Film Festival in December.

Write up:

Irish film maker and journalist Bernie Dwyer was in Chicago on February 10th and 11th where she showed the film “Mission Against Terror: Case of the Cuban 5” The film was written and directed by Dwyer and Roberto Ruiz Rebo. Dwyer showed the film at four public meetings. She would introduce the film and then do a question and answer session. At each of the meetings there were a multitude of questions, mainly dealing with the Cuban 5 but also with Cuba in general. These were skillfully answered by the speaker who made a most favorable impression on her audiences.

On Thursday morning after arriving by train from Milwaukee Dwyer went to a meeting organized by the University of Illinois Latino Cultural Center. There were twenty-five students in attendance. A reporter for the University newspaper, The Flame, interviewed the filmmaker and the interview appeared in the Monday Feb. 14 edition of the paper that has a press run of 26 thousand copies.

Bernie Dwyer was interviewed by Mike James for the “Live from the Heartland Show” on Thursday afternoon. The show is very popular in Chicago’s progressive milieu. It is broadcast every Saturday on the Loyola University radio Station WLUW that also carries the Amy Goodman,” Democracy Now Show”.

On Thursday evening Dwyer spoke to a meeting organized by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, which had over forty people. The many young people from the Puerto Rican community, in attendance, gave a very warm reception both to the film and the filmmaker.

On Friday morning Bernie Dwyer was interviewed for nearly a half hour on the “Cliff Kelley Show” a morning drive time radio show on Station WVON. It is popular in the African American community and the show has an audience of some 700,000 listeners. The host of the show was quite favorable to his guest’s message on the Cuban 5 prisoners.

Thirty-five students heard Dwyer speak at the Loop campus of DePaul University, later that morning. The National Lawyers Guild DePaul Students and the Latino Law Students Association sponsored the meeting. After the film there were many questions from the law students about the case.

An audience of eighty people gathered at the Schmitt Academic Center of the Lincoln Park Campus of DePaul University to see the film and hear Bernie Dwyer. The DePaul University sponsored the meeting Center for Latino Research as well as the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban Five, which sponsored the Chicago tour. Other speakers in addition to Bernie were Felix Masud, Director of the DePaul University Center for Latino Research; James Fennerty, Past President of the Chicago National Lawyers Guild (who spoke on the Lynn Stewart conviction).

Gisela Lopez; Gilda Martinez, Stan Smith and Beth Massey of the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban Five.

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