Fernando González Llort, one of the heroic “Cuban Five”, the courageous Cuban citizens and revolutionary heroes unjustly arrested and convicted in a Federal Court in Miami, Florida, and subjected to long sentences of imprisonment, visited Belfast on Wednesday, and Dublin on Thursday, for events organised by ICTU and the Cuba Support Group. Workers Party members, as longstanding supporters of the Cuban Revolution and participants in the campaign to “Free the Five”, were present at both.
Fernando, a graduate of International Economic Relations, served as an internationalist combatant in the People’s Republic of Angola between 1987 and 1989. As a result of an increase in terrorist activity against Cuba he travelled to the U.S. in 1993 to obtain information about counter-revolutionary and terrorist organisations based in Florida. Instead of taking action against the terrorists, the U.S. authorities arrested Fernando and his comrades. He was held in custody for 33 months (in isolation for 17 months and for 48 days after the verdict was issued). He received a sentence of 19 years in prison later changed to 17 years and 9 months.
The unjust treatment of the Cuban Five sparked a massive international solidarity campaign. In 2001, in common with his four comrades, Fernando was conferred with the status of “Hero of the Republic of Cuba”. In April 2017 he was elected to the National Assembly of People’s Power. He is currently President of Cuba’s Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).
The U.S. economic, commercial and financial sanctions against Cuba remain in place despite the clear commitment of the Cuban government and people to establishing normal bilateral and trading relations between sovereign nations. The U.S. continues to ban exports to Cuba of products and equipment important to key sectors of the economy, while preventing Cuba from freely exporting products and services to the U.S.
The punitive elements of the economic embargo/blockade, extraterritorial in scope, continue to operate to the detriment of Cuba, blocking transfers of funds, withholding payments due, even in currencies other than the U.S. dollar; while foreign banks and other concerns with links to Cuba continue to be fined. These cruel actions constitute a flagrant, massive and systematic violation of the human rights of the Cuban people.
The Workers Party reaffirms the longstanding solidarity of the Workers Party with the Cuban people and the Communist Party of Cuba. The WP recognises the right of Cuba to develop the full potential of its economy and its people and demands an immediate, total and unconditional end to the unjust and criminal blockade/embargo against Cuba.
Workers Party of Ireland