US Court Denies Cuban Five Appeal

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals of Atlanta, Georgia has denied the request from the Cuban Five’s defense attorneys to reconsider the court’s latest ruling in June that upheld their clients convictions.

During a press conference on Thursday in Havana, Cuban Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon said, "We will continue to seek justice. We are going to fight until the Cuban Five are free."

The five Cuban men have already spent nearly 10 years in US prisons after what legal experts consider a biased and politically charged trial in Miami.

Alarcon said the next move for the defense is to appeal the case to the US Supreme Court and "Any and all courts." "What’s important is to mobilize people around the case…when the general public finally learns the truth, the US people will react and our compatriots will be released."

The ruling ratifies the June 4 decision of the three-judge panel to uphold the guilty verdicts of the Cuban Five, maintain the sentences against Gerardo Hernandez (two life sentences plus 15 years) and Rene Gonzalez (15 years), and that Judge Joan Lenard, of Miami, can initiate the process to dictate new sentences to Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez.

A worldwide campaign is underway to raise awareness in the lead up to September 12, the 10th anniversary of their arrest. Julio Martinez, first secretary of the Young Communists League (UJC), said that a youth and students rally will take place in the morning of the 12th at the Jose Marti Anti-Imperialist Square in front of the US Interests Section in Havana.

The defense now has until December 1, 2008 to request that the US Supreme Court review the case.

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The Singular Story of the Cuban Five By Leonard Weinglass