Follow the Soapbox
 
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by Cindy Sheehan
09/26/2012

Although I don’t want to point a finger of shame at my fellow USAians, I think that we must be the most self-centered and ignorant people on the planet. I would be fully-disgusted with everyone in this country if I didn’t know how propagandized, exploited, and beaten down we are by the propaganda and the mythological “democracy” that we grew up in.

I am somewhat ashamed, though, because, I as one who “woke up” if you will, know how relatively easy it is to obtain the truth about what’s going on inside and outside of our borders. Even though most of us are scrambling to survive we could and do inform ourselves in as little as 10 minutes per day.

I suspect FAR more Americans know about Honey Boo Boo Child then their president’s programs of indefinite detention or targeted extra-judicial executions and I know that more people phone into to vote for the next American Dancing With the Stars Idol than vote for president of the USA.

I try to be sympathetic because before my son was killed, I didn’t go too far out of my way to separate the truth from the B.S. and our family and Casey paid a profoundly unreasonable price for that. Before Casey was killed, I had only traveled outside of the US twice, but now, I have been fortunate enough to travel across the borders extensively.

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One place I have been to several times is a place that few American Cold War Babies have been to and that’s Cuba. I want to tell you that going to Cuba has made me a better human being. The Cubans have taught me that everyone’s needs are superior to anyone’s greed and that wasting anything is a mortal sin to humanity. Instead of throwing away a pair of shoes when the sole has separated from the rest of the shoe (like most USAians), glue it—wear it out, use it up, recycle, reclaim and repurpose! Cubans even cleverly refill and reuse disposable lighters. Cuban society is, by mostly necessity of the immoral US blockade, beautifully resourceful while US society is usually appallingly wasteful.

Even though Cuba has an unjustified reputation for being warlike, on the contrary; and as juxtaposed against the US’s obviously warlike government and profiteers, when there is a problem in the world, Cuba sends doctors, engineers and teachers. Since Cuba helped the liberation movement in Angola and paid a high price, not one Cuban troop has left its soil: The US usually sends harm, Cuba sends help!

PictureAdrianna Perez Me, and Elizabeth Palmeiro
Since I admire the people of Cuba and am grateful to them for making me a better human, I try to help tell the truth about Cuba and their tribulations imposed by my country as often as possible—to this end, I have become involved in the case of the Cuban 5 and their quest for justice.

The Cuban 5 are five men who came to Florida to infiltrate Cuban counter-revolutionary terrorist cells which had already been responsible for almost 4000 deaths in Cuba and tens of thousands of injuries. 

No one in Cuba had been left unscathed by these acts of terrorism. Many tourists were also killed or harmed as some monstrous terrorists like the still-free and US protected, CIA trained, Luis Posada Carriles, targeted major hotels in tourist areas.  

The Cuban 5: 
Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González Llort and René González were also willing to share information with the US which led to THEIR arrests in 1998, not the arrests of the terrorists.

Besides their unbelievable arrest, one of the first unjust things that occurred was when the Five were denied a change of venue by federal judge, Joan Lenard. The trial was held in Miami. Miami is notorious for the violence of the Cuban counter-revolutionaries and the jurors were not sequestered and their license plates were photographed by the Cuban counter-revolutionary terrorists. As one of the witnesses at the Toronto tribunal glibly stated, "If Santa Claus were sympathetic to the Cuban Revolution, even HE would not get a fair trial in Miami."

Recently, the most egregious example of jury tampering and disinformation was revealed: the US government paid journalists thousands of dollars to write false propaganda about the case and about the Five! Normally, in any kind of system that valued justice, this mere fact alone would necessitate an immediate reversal of the verdict, or at least, a re-trial! But no, not in the USA. A writ of Habeas Corpus has been filed, but the same judge who denied a change of venue will be charged with reviewing the new damning evidence against institutions of the US regime that conspired to railroad the Five.

The Five Heroes, as they are known in Cuba, came to the US to courageously and nobly root out terrorism. Subsequently,  my son, Casey (and indeed, all of us) was told he was going to Iraq to do the same thing and he was killed by lies and for profit. It’s profoundly unjust that the Cubans are still imprisoned in the US. Incredibly, two of the Five have never been able to see their wives for the last 14 years as they have been denied travel visas.

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In my support for the Five, I traveled to Toronto for a People’s Tribunal for the Cuban 5 the weekend of September 21st. I took my duties as a “Magistrate of Conscience” very seriously. We heard testimony from legal experts, two wives of the Five and others who were affected by the terrorism.

One of the witnesses, an Italian living in Canada, Livio Di Celmo, had a brother, Favio, who was killed in a hotel in Cuba by the machinations of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Posada Carrilles was asked in a 1998 interview with the NY Times about Di Celmo’s murder and his callous and chilling response was: “The Italian was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I sleep like a baby.” I know how being a family member of a victim of terrorism must feel, because the terrorists in the Bush regime have also admitted to "sleeping like babies" after all the heartache their actions have wrought. The Bush terrorists walk free and part of the reason that I do what I do and that we held the People's Tribunal was to be the “nightmares” to those “people” who kill and torture innocents for their disordered pleasure/profit.

We magistrates came out with our verdict (read here) that the entire process, which led to the arrest, "trial" and conviction of the Five, was a total travesty, a miscarriage of justice. We urge in the strongest terms possible that Obama free the Five as quickly as possible.

I do this to educate the people of the US and to Smash the Silence surrounding this case.

Free the 5 and all political prisoners!

 


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