The Cardiff public will be able to hear first-hand this week from two Cuban patriots who spent 16 years in US jails for trying to stop terrorist attacks on Cuba. Public services trade union, UNISON Cymru/Wales will host a meeting at 12pm at Cardiff City Hall on Fri 15 July where the guests of honour and main speakers will be Rene Gonzales and Gerardo Hernandez who with three of their fellow Cubans were known as the Miami Five.
The men were imprisoned in the USA after trying to infiltrate anti-Cuban terrorist groups in Miami, Florida. Their time in prison included long periods of solitary confinement and a refusal to allow close family visits from Cuba.
UNISON Regional International Officer Steve Belcher said,
“It was a huge irony and injustice that the USA, a country that claims to be fighting a war against terrorism actually imprisoned these brave Cuban patriots who were guilty of nothing but trying to stop terrorist attacks on the Cuban people. We are honoured and privileged to be able to welcome them to Cardiff and hear first hand of their time in an American prison and also to hear about recent developments between Cuba and the Obama Administration in Washington. The Miami Five attracted huge support from the UK trade union and labour movement in order to secure their release.”
Rene and Gerardo are now in the UK for a speaking tour that will attract big crowds wherever they appear. The massive Durham Miners Gala welcomed them on the weekend. In addition to the Cardiff meeting they will also speak to large crowds at meetings in Glasgow, Manchester, London and culminating with an appearance at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival on Sunday 17 July.