Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has condemned the British Government for refusing René González, one of the Cuban Five, a visa to visit Britain.
René who was released from prison and returned to Cuba last year was due to be one of the principal witnesses for the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five to be held in London on March 7 and 8.
Conor Murphy MP will attend the Commission hearings on behalf of Sinn Féin.
Deputy Crowe said:
“I condemn the decision of the British Government to refuse René with an entry visa so that he can attend and give evidence to the International Commission of Inquiry into the arrest and imprisonment of the Cuban Five.
“René was imprisoned for over 15 years in the U.S., but the trial which convicted him and the 4 other members of the Cuban Five, was labelled as unjust by Amnesty International.
“The trial is also still the only judicial proceeding in U.S. history that has been condemned by the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and 8 Nobel Prize winners have petitioned the U.S. attorney general, calling for freedom for the Five.
“The Five were in the US to infiltrate armed militant groups who had been conducting violent attacks on Cuba and its citizens. They were bizarrely arrested when they passed on information to the US authorities seeking their support to stop these attacks.
“This International Commission is tasked with investigating the fairness of the trial the Cuban Five received and to deny one of them entry to give evidence is the incorrect decision, and it harms their pursuit for real justice.
“The British Government is acting as if René is somehow a threat to society, and I can conclude that in the highly politicised case of the Cuban Five, that they have taken this decision not in the public interest, but for purely political reasons.
“Those who share concerns over the Cuban Five case and wish to lend their support to the International Commission of Inquiry can do so through the Voices for the Five website*.”