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February 24, 2010
Public Forum

Free the Cuban 5 Political Prisoners in US Jails:
A Task of the Antiwar Movement in Light of 50 Years of the US War on Cuba

Organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)


February 24 MAWO Forum Report

On Wednesday February 24 anti-war activists and peace loving people gathered at the Britannia Community Centre in Vancouver to discuss the case of 5 anti-terrorist Cuban Heroes. These 5 men have been locked up in U.S. prison for over 11 years and the night’s forum organized by Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO) was organized to discuss “What should be the anti-war movements position on the case of the 5?”

The event started with a series of short films and media outlining the case of the Cuban 5. The films showed to participants, interviews with lawyers of the Cuban 5 and the movement around the world to demand the U.S. government immediately free them.

The first speaker of the forum was Alison Bodine, co-chair of MAWO, video conferencing from New York City where she works for the Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba. Alison explained some of the updates in the case of the Cuban 5. She highlighted some recent news regarding an admitted anti-Cuban terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, who walks freely in Miami while the 5 Cuban Heroes remain political prisoners in the U.S. Posada, she explained was supposed to appear in court on March 1, 2010 on charges of lying to U.S. border guards, but his court date was postponed proving more that the U.S. government is not interested in bringing this terrorist made in the U.S. to justice for his crimes.

The next speaker was Tamara Hansen, co-chair of the Canadian Network on Cuba (CNC) and coordinator of Vancouver Communities in Solidarity with Cuba (VCSC). Tamara explained how the Cuban 5 Heroes are part of the U.S. government’s 50 year war against Cuba hoping to overthrow its progressive government. Tamara explained many of the gains that have been made in Cuba since the revolution and contrasted the U.S. destruction and wars with Cuba’s effort to raise health levels by sending doctors around the world, including to countries that the U.S. sends troops.

A lively discussion followed the presentations. The focus of participant’s comments and questions revolved around if the case of the 5 Cuban Heroes is one that matters to the anti-war movement and how we should campaign for their freedom.

If you would like more information on activities in Vancouver to free the 5 Cuban Heroes please visit: