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S. Africa civil organization urges U. S. to release Cuban political prisoners


08:22, June 06, 2013

JOHANNESBURG, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The Friends of Cuba Solidarity on Wednesday staged a protest outside the U. S. Embassy in Pretoria to press for the release of four Cuban political prisoners being incarcerated in American jails.

The protest was staged to mark the anniversary of the Free the Cuban Five Solidarity Campaign.

These political prisoners, including Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez and Ramon Labanino, were wrongly convicted by the U. S. courts after being accused of espionage for fighting against terrorism directed at the people of Cuba and the U. S., the organization said.

Another prisoner, Rene Gonzalez, has since been released and sent back to Cuba.

This anniversary coincides with the official visit to the country by U. S. President Barack Obama later this month. Several civil organizations, including the SA National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (NEHAWU), have planned protests against the Obama visit in the country.

"We find it deceitful and intolerable that the United States of America continues to strengthen its genocidal economic embargo against the Cuban people by shamefully retaining Cuba on its list of countries that sponsor terrorism," the NEHAWU said in a statement.

"This is the same America that has aided and abetted terrorist activities in Cuba for decades. Well known terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles and the late Orlando Bosch were sheltered in American soil following their terrorist activities against the Cuban government and other people of the region."

This year will mark the 36th anniversary of the bombing of Cubana flight 455 in Barbados on Oct. 6, 1976, when 73 innocent people died.

The NEHAWU called on the South African government to support the call for the lifting of the devastating U. S. anti-Cuban policy of financial, commercial and economic blockade during President Obama's visit to the country.

The Americans should respect Cuba's sovereignty including its political and social systems, the organization said.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Yao Chun)

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