Cuban prisoners finally free after years of union-backed campaign

Tim Lezard Cuba, Europe, South America, UK, USA, RMT, UK unions,

Cuba Solidarity CampaignUnions have welcomed the news that all the ‘Miami Five’ have been released.

The so-called Miami Five were arrested by the FBI in September 1998 and charged with spying, shortly after they had passed information to the US government about terrorist groups operating from Miami who were planning attacks against the Cuba people.

British trade unions, through the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, have campaigned for their release and were delighted with yesterday’s news that they have finally been freed as relations thawed between Cuba and the US.

CSC director Rob Miller: “This is the right thing to do. It is truly wonderful news for the Five, their families, all those who have campaigned to see this day and above all for the Cuban people.

“We now hope that this will see the end of 50 years of the failed policy of aggression and blockade and the beginning of a new era of friendly relations between two countries and two peoples.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We welcome this rare – if overdue – example of common sense prevailing over petty politics and posturing.

“We are delighted that the remaining members of the Cuban Five are free and will be able to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones, from whom they have for too long been kept apart.

“We very much hope that this signals a new era for US-Cuban relations, and that President Obama will move immediately to end the decades-long illegal embargo which has blighted so many lives.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The decision by the US to release the remaining members of the imprisoned Miami Five is great news and follows years of relentless campaigning by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, work supported by RMT.

“RMT will be issuing immediate invites to the Miami Five to next summer’s annual RMT Cuba Garden Party ‎which we hope they will be able to attend. Our support and solidarity with the Cuban people will continue. “

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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