Report from Saturday's Miami 5 event

A packed crowd gathered in Manchester at the weekend for an exhibition of paintings by one of the imprisoned Cuban Five. The watercolour paintings by Antonio Guerrero - one of the five locked up after exposing the activities of exiled Cubans mounting terrorist attacks on Cuba from the US - depict life in prison in the United States.

Almost 3,000 Cubans have been killed in terrorist attacks carried out by the exiles, and more than 2,000 have been left with lifelong disabilities. The exhibition in Manchester and a public meeting which ran alongside it was organised by Manchester Cuba Solidarity Campaign as part of the build-up to the International Commission of Inquiry into the Cuban Five in London in March.

Speakers included Father Geoff Bottoms, member of the national executive committee of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC), who has visited the five in prison and campaigns internationally for their release. Mr Bottoms regularly conducts educational tours of Cuba for CSC.

He said newly released documents have exposed some of the lengths to which the US authorities went to have the five imprisoned, and to keep the US public ignorant of their case, including bribing journalists. Most of the US media has ignored the existence of the Cuban Five, who also exposed the complicity of the US Central Intelligence Agency in the terrorists' activities.

"The terrorist groups have been trained and equipped by the CIA with the full knowledge of Washington," he said.
He said the International Commission in London on Friday and Saturday March 7 and 8 was vital to secure the release of the remaining four of the Cuban Five who are still imprisoned.

"We hope this will be the beginning of a co-ordinated, international campaign," he said. "At the moment there are a lot of small groups campaigning for their release and a lot is being done by CSC in London. My hope is that out of the commission will come a network of organisations working together internationally in a way that will make a difference."

This article was published in the Morning Star