Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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Breaking the Silence Conference Nears

Nov. 4, 2007

This weekend in Toronto, hundreds of Cuban Five solidarity activists will gather in Toronto at the "Breaking the Silence" conference organized jointly by the Canadian Network on Cuba, La Table de Concertation de Solidarité Québec-Cuba, and the National Network on Cuba (U.S.). This conference is a result of recent momentum developed in the movement to free the five Cuban anti-terrorists unjustly jailed in the U.S. since 1998. Their only “crime” was to inform U.S. and Cuban authorities about planned terrorist acts of Miami-based, anti-Castro groups responsible for 3,200 deaths in Cuba since 1959. Leaders of these violent groups like ex-CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles, who have ties with the Bush family, walk free. Besides bringing the public and the media up to date on the case of the Cuban Five, the conference will discuss future strategies for freeing them. Activists and prominent figures in the struggle for constitutional and human rights will present their experiences and ideas while discussing outreach steps and coordination in Québec, Canada and the U.S. to link the movement to other movements and further 'break the silence'.


Preliminary schedule for the conference:

Friday November 9  
10:00 – 11:00 am Registration
11:00 – 12:00 am

Press conference

Guest speakers, Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of one of the Cuban Five, Livio Di Celmo and reps of 3 organizing networks will be in attendance

12:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch break/Registration
2:00 – 2:30 pm

Welcome to the conference

Opening remarks and introduction to the conference from CNC, La Table, NNOC. (Recognize special guests from Cuba, Canada, Québec, U.S.). Messages of greetings and support received.

2:30 – 5:30 pm

Plenary Session

Sharing and learning: Free the Five (FTF) Committees from the three sponsoring organizations and other activists, including other movements, discuss experiences, challenges and what has worked in our campaigns to 'break the silence'.

Action plan.

Co-chaired: Tim Louis and reps from Networks

7:00 – 9:30 pm

Public meeting

Title: “The Cuban Five – A travesty of justice”

Cuban Ambassador, Leonard Weinglass, Elizabeth Palmeiro, Livio Di Celmo, Gloria La Riva, Soffiyah Elijah and other prominent guests will be in attendance.

Saturday November 10  
10:00 – 12:00 am

Lawyers’ panel

Important issues of the legal case: A panel of lawyers discusses the current status of the legal procedure about the Cuban Five and provides a framework for action.

Action plan.

Leonard Weinglass, Bill Sloan, Paul Copeland, Juan Carranza.
Chair: Judge Claudia Morcom

12:00 – 1:30 pm Lunch break
1:30 – 3:30 pm

Where do we go from here?

Panel discussion on:

1 - Next steps for the campaign - resources and tools, focus, strategy, actions, programs, coordination, etc.
2 - Expanding and building the movement, and outreach to other movements in Canada, Québec and the U.S. (political prisoners movements as well as peace, gender justice, social forum, first nations, people of color and other movements); how to work with government, parliamentarians, congress people.
3 – Action plan.

Panelists: Isaac Saney, Teresa Gutierrez, Soffiyah Elijah, Gloria La Riva, Tim Louis, Alicia Jrapko.
Co-chaired by the Networks

3:30 – 4:00 pm Break
4:00 – 6:00 pm

Cuban Five and Human Rights

Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of Ramón Labañino one of the Cuban Five
Silvia García, member of the Cuban National Assembly
Basilio Gutierrez Vice-President of ICAP
Javier Dominguez, Head of the North American desk of ICAP
James Cockcroft
Livio Di Celmo

6:00 – 6:30 pm Conclusions and Action plan
7:30 pm Noche Cubana – Cultural event (food and music courtesy of the Cuban Consulate in Toronto)

For more information, visit the conference website.


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