A local group, the Dominica Cuba Friendship Association, is calling on US President Barack Obama to pardon and release five Cuban intelligence officers popularly known as the “Cuban Five” imprisoned in the US.
It is also calling on Obama to deal with a group known as Alpha 66, which it describes as a terrorist group operating out of Miami.
“Terrorism in all its different forms is still terrorism and indeed is a crime against humanity that needs to be eradicated in all its variation so as to make a better world possible,” head of the Dominica Cuba Friendship Association, Frankie Lowe, said.
The Cuban 5, also known as The Miami 5, are five Cuban intelligence officers convicted in Miami of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and other illegal activities in the United States.
Cuba acknowledges that the five men were intelligence agents, but said they were spying on Miami’s Cuban exile community, not the US government.
According to Lowe the men were defending the Cuban people after a Cuban passenger aircraft, en route from Barbados to Cuba, was blown apart in mid air and several terrorist bombings targeted Cuban hotel and the Cuban tourist industry.
“It is against this backdrop that the Cuban Government was forced to seek ways and means to defend their people, their country and their sovereignty,” Lowe said.
“The Dominica Cuba Friendship Association together with the Local chapter of the Committee for the Liberation of the Cuban Five join hearts and voices with countless people around the world, Nobel laureates, activist groups in requesting that President Obama not only order the unconditional pardon and release of the Cuban Five but at the same time deal with the terrorists groups such as Alpha 66 which operate out Miami with freedom,” Lowe stated. “We declare that terrorism does not depend on the perpetrator or the persons / nation against whom it is being perpetrated.”
The Cuban Five were arrested on September 12, 1998 and June 8, 2001 they were sentenced to maximum prison terms.
The five have been identified as Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Rene González Sehwerert, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernando González Llort.