The Cuban five placed in solitary
The five Cuban political prisoners in the US were suddenly and without justification thrown into solitary confinement on March 3. They had already been separated into different prisons. It is not known how long the punishment will last. Prison authorities have not given the official reason for their illegal confinement in "the hole", but apparently it is a decision from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, and has the markings of direct political repression against the Five. Leonard Weinglass, appeals attorney for Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five in Florence Colorado prison, said, "None of them belongs in solitary confinement. It is completely unjustified and unnecessary as all of them are model prisoners." Weinglass has urged supporters of the Cuban Five to write immediately to the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington. We ask that you do not write to the individual prisons, as they are not responsible for the confinement order. Weinglass noted that the Black Panther prisoners in the US were similarly rounded up into solitary right after 9/11. The Cuban Five have been imprisoned since September 1998 when they were arrested by the FBI on trumped-up charges of espionage on the United States. In reality they were prosecuted by the US for defending their country of Cuba from US-sponsored and supported terrorism that emanates from Miami. The Five had lived in Miami since the early 1990s where they were on a vital mission of monitoring anti-Cuban terrorist groups and preventing violence against their country. More than 3400 Cubans have been killed by the anti-Cuba violence. Reverend Geoff Bottoms who had flown in from Blackpool, England to see one of the five, Ramsn Labaqino in Beaumont federal prison in Texas, was told without explanation that Ramsn was not permitted visitors. Visitors to Gerardo Hernandez Jrapko in Lompoc prison were told, "It is possible they will not get any more visitors other than their family in the future." Supporters of the Cuban Five are asked to protest to the Bureau of Prisons at their unjust and unnecessary solitary confinement. Their exemplary behaviour does not warrant this kind of treatment. There is reason to believe they are singled out because they are political prisoners. It is also essential that their attorneys have full and unrestricted access to their clients, especially at this critical time when they are preparing for the April 7 appeals court hearing in Atlanta. Weinglass was unable to speak with Antonio for two days although he had authorised collect calls from him. It is undoubtedly very stressful for their family members. They had only just returned to Cuba, after coming to the US to visit their loved ones. The US Government had delayed issuing the families' entry visas for more than six months. Two of the wives, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Perez are still prohibited from entering the US.
* * *The address of the Federal Bureau of Prisons is: 320 First St. N.W. Washington DC 20534. Phone: (0011 1) 202-307-3198. Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.