This I believe is the 50th anniversary of ALD being held on May 25. It is not a happy time for African liberation. The rich white man’s plunder and destruction of Africa has not ceased. Over 5 million have been killed in the Congo, the land of Lumumba, in imperialism’s looting of their resources. This by those who proclaim they alleged noble values of white Western civilization. We saw them depose Aristide in Haiti, who got 92% of the vote in his election. Last year in Chicago 63 Blacks were killed by the Chicago police. A great number remained in jails after being tortured by the Chicago Police Department. All throughout the world, peoples of African descent are trapped the lowest rungs of society, in what is really an international apartheid system.
Cuba is a shining example of real civilized values, the example that a new world is possible.
We in the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5 recognize the example of Cuba, we recognize what people in the US can learn about what they can achieve and how they can fight for their rights if they knew more about Cuba. And that is the same reason the US rulers have a hatred for Cuba on par with their hatred for Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.
Two of the Cuban 5 served in Africa. Fernando Gonzalez, sentenced to 18 years, and Gerardo Hernandez, sentenced to two life terms, were volunteers in Angola. They were part of the Cuban armed forces fighting the apartheid army during the years 1987-1990. Between 1976 and 1990, 380,000 Cubans fought in the struggle against the apartheid army. 2,400 Cuban fighters lost their lives.
Today thousands of Cuban workers are providing services in 31 nations of the Continent in order to contribute to the promotion of its development in the health, education, agriculture, athletics and construction sectors. Over 40,000 Africans, from the 50 of the 54 African countries, have been trained and educated in specialities in Cuba.
As you may know, Assata Shakur, a Black freedom fighter, granted political asylum in Cuba, is now being targeted by the FBI and the Obama administration, put on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list with a $2 million bounty on her head, like some runaway slave. Assata Shakur was a victim of the US government’s Cointelpro program. This new attack on Assata Shakur is an attack on the Black liberation movement here. It is an attempt to smear Cuba as a supporter of terrorism. It is an attempt by the US government to intimidate all those in the US who seek revolutionary change as being possible terrorists.
We find the US government has used real terrorists in Miami to plant bombs in Cuban hotels, blow up a Cuban civilian airliner, attempted to kill with Fidel Castro like they did with Che Guevera, Patricia Lumumba, Malcolm X. The US government even locked away these Cuban 5 who were monitoring and exposing these terrorist groups. Cuba provides safe haven for freedom fighters, the US kills them or locks them up.
What are we in the Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5 doing? We do not work just on educating people about the need to defend the Cuban 5. We are working with Stan Willis to bring the new film on Mumia Abu-Jamal to a commercial theater here. We are active in organizing activities around Bradley Manning at several upcoming 4th of July parades. We are working to bring an Afro- Cuban woman featured in the film Maestra to the National Organization of Women convention in early July. This was a documentary about the Cuban literacy campaign in the early 1960s, and the impact it had on changing the lives of young Cuba women volunteers.
Most importantly we will be in Washington DC for the 5 Days for the Cuban 5. Danny Glover, Dolores Huerta, Glen Ford, Angela Davis, Ramsey Clark will all be speaking there.
Quote from thecuban5.org website:
“A series of 18 major events for the Cuban 5 will take place in Washington DC between May 30 and June 5. The Cuban 5 are five Cuban agents sent to the U.S. in the 1990’s to monitor the terrorist activities of anti-Cuban exile groups in Miami. They have been imprisoned here for nearly 15 years, mostly on conspiracy charges. The highlight of the activities will be a June 1 demonstration in front of the White House saying “Enough is enough, release the Cuban 5 now!”
Along with calling for the freedom of the Cuban 5, the protest at the White House will include demands for ending the travel ban, removing Cuba from the list of countries that promote terrorism, ending the criminal economic blockade of Cuba and closing Guantanamo Prison.