Emotional political and cultural evening held in Auckland for the Cuban Five

Taking the stage for the Cuban Five

A wide and varied audience filled the Maritime Union of New Zealand clubhouse in Auckland recently to participate in a political-cultural evening in support of the cause of the Cuban Five, entitled "Taking the stage for the Cuban Five". The event, organized by the Cuban Friendship Association, was attended by union leaders, former MP Keith Locke, members of the Communist League, renowned Kiwi writers and poets, Cuban residents, artists, and the Ambassador and Counselor of the Embassy of Cuba and members of the general public.

The emotional event was opened by the Secretary General of the Union "First Union", Robert Reid, who also acted as moderator and host to speakers, poets, writers, readers, musicians and dancers who took the stage in support of efforts worldwide that are carried out to free the Five. Amongst these were former MP Keith Locke, the Ambassador of Cuba Maria del Carmen Herrera Caseiro, the representative of the Friendship Association Annalucia Vermunt, the representative of the Maritime Union of New Zealand Russell Mayn, actor Philip C. Gordon, poets Riemke Ensing and Janet Charman, poet, writer and playwright Vivienne Plumb and writers/readers David Lyndon Brown and Peter Beyer. The evening was enlivened by the musicians Linn Lorkin and Hershal Herscher and the dancer Tupua Tigafua.

Ambassador Maria del Carmen Herrera Caseiro addressing the crowd 
Also significant was the participation of Cubans living in Auckland, Ricardo Morales, Raudell Conte and Daniel Gallo, who also took to the stage for an impromptu performance of Cuban music.

In her remarks, the Ambassador of Cuba recalled episodes in the history of Cuba and the policy of aggression unleashed by the U.S. against the country, referred to terrorist actions against the Cuban people and the impunity granted by the U.S. government to the responsibles, and recounted the injustice committed against the Cuban Five, explaining the current situation of the case. Cheers of joy flooded the place at the mention of the return of René to Cuba, and expressions of support were to the struggle for the return of the four other patriots.

Many left with The Cuban Five, who they are,
 why they were framed, why they should be free
in their hands.
Former MP Keith Locke then echoed the words of the Cuban representative, reaffirming support for Cuba and the struggle for freedom of the Cuban Five. He praised the social gains of the Cuban people and the cooperation offered by Cuba to other peoples of the world.

The reading of one of the poems of Antonio and letters of the Five, and other allegorical poems and prose gave emotion to the evening, which undoubtedly marked a milestone in the expansion of the movement for the liberation of the Cuban Five. Some of those present reaffirmed their support, while others were introduced to the case and joined the cause.

By NZ-CFS Correspondent