Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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Visitation rights for the Cuban Five's wives on International Women's Day celebration in Richmond, California

Mar. 3, 2008
Reprinted from

Richmond, California Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and a number of local groups, including the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, are organizing the First Annual Day of Celebration, Networking and Sharing on International Women's Day.

The day-long event, titled "Women in Solidarity: Honoring Self, Honoring Community," will take place at Lavonya DeJean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, California, on March 8th.

The keynote speaker will be the legendary Yuri Kochiyama, a grassroots civil rights activist who has been involved in a wide range of issues from international political prisoner rights, nuclear disarmament, and Japanese redress for World War II internment.

The focus of this Day of Celebration will be to rally and celebrate local organizations that are responding to violence and injustice in their communities and to connect in sisterhood with women in the Americas who are responding to violence and injustice as well. The event will include round table discussions, music, dance and percussion performed by local artists.

Last year Mayor McLaughlin spearheaded a California mayors' campaign on behalf of Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez, wives of Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, respectively. Her effort resulted in a letter to then US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, signed by another 12 California Mayors, asking Gonzales to grant humanitarian visas to these two Cuban women to visit their husbands in US prisons. Since then, McLaughlin has joined more than 100 personalities from around the world in the newly formed International Commission for the Right of Family Visits. The commission will continue to pursue visitation rights for these two Cuban women.

In addition to a number of issues affecting local women, such as violence and discrimination, members of the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five will elaborate on the issue of visitation rights during the round-table discussions. Participants will also receive a special message from the wives of the Cuban Five.

Local groups organizing this event also include Mothers Against Senseless Killing, the Latina Center, Tent City Peace Movement, Youth Together, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Communities United to Restore Mother Earth, Richmond/Regla Sister City Committee, Ma'at Youth Academy, Haiti Action Committee, and others.


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