By Mario Mifsud, Secretary, Malta Cuba Society, Ħamrun
The Malta Cuba Society joins the International Solidarity with Cuba Campaign in demanding the unconditional release of the four Cubans (Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González) wrongly imprisoned in the US since 1998 for participating in an anti-terrorist operation to prevent acts planned from southern Florida against their country.
After the release of René González, who became the first of the ‘Cuban Five’ to be released from jail after serving his full term and meeting the conditions of his parole, the Malta Cuba Society continues to support the cause for the freedom of the other Cuban heroes so that justice is served and all five men are freed and returned to their families and homes.
The Malta Cuba Society is also promoting the ‘Voices for the Five’ website (www.voicesforthefive.com), a hub of an international coalition of campaigners, solidarity groups, legal professionals, human rights organisations, politicians, trade unions and international personalities, fighting for freedom and justice for the Cuban Five.
The handshake between US President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro, at a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in South Africa, recently brought new hopes for the restoration of full diplomatic relations between the two countries. Since 1961, two years after the Cuban Revolution, these relations deteriorated substantially and have been marked by tension and confrontation including a trade embargo by the US against Cuba.
The Malta Cuba Society, which has worked locally for more than 30 years to promote cooperation and friendship between the peoples of Malta and Cuba, is now working to develop economic relations and has launched the Malta Cuba Cooperative.
This initiative aims to promote a number of projects involving Maltese investment in the Caribbean island, as well as cooperation in health.