Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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2nd International Colloquium to Free the Five held in Holquin

Nov. 27, 2006
Article and photographs by Bill Hackwell

Over 200 people attended the 2nd International Colloquium to Free the Cuban Five in the Eastern City of Holguin, November 9-10. Participants came from 30 countries for the event that included a day of cultural events followed by a political forum on the direction of the international solidarity movement for the freedom of the five. Fourteen members of the families of the five attended the 2 day conference as well as family members of the victims of the terrorist bombing of the Cuban airliner in 1976. Other victims of U.S. sponsored terrorism also attended and gave testimony. The 2 day event was covered extensively in the Cuban national and local media.

The colloquium opened with an internet discussion between the family members of the five and Cuban solidarity activists from many countries. This was followed by the opening of an art exhibit at the Museo de Arte in the center of Holguin, featuring the art of Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero. Also included in the exhibit was, Impronta de la Hermandad, the work of Cuban photographer Jorge Valiente and U.S. photographer Bill Hackwell. The afternoon was dedicated to the launching of a new book of poems by Ramon Labinino. Selections of the book, Gaviotas Blancas, were read by his wife Elizabeth Palmiero. The conclusion of Friday's events was an official ceremony by leaders of the Popular Assembly of Holguin recognizing 3 solidarity activists working on the case of the five. The city seal of Holguin was presented to Giustino DiCelmo, father of Fabio DiCelmo the Italian killed in a terrorist bombing of a Havana hotel in 1997 and activists Graciela Ramirez from Argentina and Alicia Jrapko from the U.S.

The events on Saturday were inaugurated by the laying of a floral arrangement in the shape of the recognizable logo of the Cuban 5 by 3 of the mothers at the monument of Che Guevara in Holguin. The forum opened with a political and legal analysis of the case of the five by the Cuban lawyer Roberto Gonzalez, brother of Rene. Gonzalez discussed the need to continue the work that is required to be done to gain their freedom. Solidarity activists from many countries contributed interventions explaining what they are working on in their respective countries. The final talk of the forum was given by Ricardo Alarcon, President of the Cuban National Assembly. He outlined the injustice of the case of the 5 and called on more events world wide in solidarity with the five December 12-27 to coincide with the 5th anniversary of their sentencing in Miami. The colloquium was presided over by the Holguin head of Cuban Institute for the Friendship of the People (ICAP), Amaury Torno Gonzalez and Sergio Correrei, the national President of ICAP.


Holguin- Students perform at the launching of Gaviotas Blancas, a book of poems by Ramon Labanino 11/9/06

Holguin- Irma Sehwerert, Mother of Rene Gonzalez and his daughter Ivette

Holguin- Participants at the 2nd International Coloquim for the Liberation of the 5 heroes

Holguin- ICAP President, Sergio Corrieri, viewing the opening Gerardo Hernadez's cartoons. 11/9/06

Holguin- Family members of the victims of the bombing of the Cuban airliner in 1976.

Holguin-Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of Ramon Labanino, dedicates his new book of poems. Gaviotas Blancas 11/9/06

Holguin- Aili Labanino, oldest daughter of Ramon signs his book, Gaviotas Blancas at its dedication 11/9/06

Camaguey- Irma Sehwerert, mother of Rene Gonzalez, being greeted by students

Holguin- Lizbet Labanino, youngest daughter of Ramon, with the floral wreath at the Che Memorial

Holguin- Three mothers of the five dedicate a floral wreath in the name of the 5 heroes at the Che Memorial

Havana - Billboard of the Five

Holguin- Che Memorial

Holguin - Billboard

Holguin-Magali Llort, mother of Fernando Gonzales and his niece Laura

Holguin-Family of Ramon

Holguin-Olga Salanueva, Wife of Rene Gonzalez and his father Candido Gonzalez

Holguin - Roberto Gonzalez, brother of Rene

Holguin - Ricardo Alarcon speaking at the 2nd International Coloquio for the Freedom of the Five Heroes 11/10/06


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