Thursday, 14 August 2008

Union leaders back petition for Miami Five

BEVERLEY Naidoo, Iain Banks, Harold Pinter and Susannah York last week joined Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, joint general secretaries of the union Unite, last week called on the US government to grant family visiting rights for the Miami Five.
Next month marks the 10th anniversary of the arrest of the Miami Five – five Cubans jailed for trying to stop US-based terrorist attacks against their country and Unite is backing a campaign for justice for the imprisoned men and their families.
The campaign is particularly focused on the visiting rights for two of the wives of the prisoners, Olga Salanueva, wife of Rene Gonzalez, and Adriana PĂ©rez, wife of Gerardo Hernandez who have both been denied the right by the US authorities to even see their husbands for eight and 10 years.
To coincide with the anniversary of their arrests in Miami on 12th September 1998, British personalities, including several trade union general secretaries are adding their name to an appeal for justice for the five and their families.
Signatories include many famous names from the world of politics, law, music and arts including writers Iain Banks, Beverley Naidoo, Harold Pinter and actors Julie Christie, Susannah York and Maxine Peake.
Unite’s joint general secretaries, Tony Woodley and Derek Simpson, Unison’s Dave Prentis and CWU’s Billy Hayes have also signed the petition.
The full list of signatories will be published in the national media in September and there is still time for personalities and individuals alike to add their names to this petition by contacting Cuba Solidarity Campaign.
Tony Woodley said: “The Miami Five were acting to defend their country and have paid an enormous price. They are locked up in prison thousands of miles away from their children and wives.
“Unite is giving its support to gain family visitation rights and is seeking, ultimately, the release of the Miami Five.”