7 September 2006 Edition
Camp Havana focuses on Miami 5
From Friday 15 to Sunday 17 September 2006, over 100 people will gather in Glencolumbcille, County Donegal, to erect Camp Havana and walk the surrounding hills and valleys. The camp forms part of a co-ordinated global solidarity event aimed at focusing media attention on the plight of the Miami Five - five Cubans held in prisons in the USA. By September 2006, the Five will have spent eight years in prison for offences they did not commit.
Organisers say that some camp participants will take the challenging hike across the Slieve League ridge, accompanied by a trained mountain guide. Some will use a more relaxed walking route and some will only go as far as the bus can take them. Some may even dance salsa!
All of them will enjoy Europe's highest sea cliffs, which are surrounded by scenery incomparable to anywhere else on this earth. Of course, we are not just gathering to admire spectacular scenery. We will get together in what is going to be the biggest show of friendship with people from another island - at least since last year's Camp Havana.
The organisers have said that the Five are "guilty of nothing but the attempt to stop terrorism and murderous and destructive acts which have killed over 3,500 civilians in Cuba.
"These peaceful men went to Miami to infiltrate the terrorist groups who orchestrate this violence so as to be able to warn the Cuban authorities to take action to protect life and limb. They ended up in US prisons, framed on trumped-up charges. They have spent months in isolation cells; their wives, children and relations have been denied visits. They have been subjected to treatment characterised as 'torture' by Amnesty International whilst in US custody.
We want freedom for these innocent men."
A sponsored mountain walk and the gathering on the evening of Saturday September 16 is aimed at achieving publicity and increased awareness of the case, and pressurising political representatives to act on the issue.
The event will also raise financial support for the campaign and for the Cuban Health and Education project in Cuba. All in all, the camp will be a major contribution to the global week of action in support of the Miami Five and will strengthen the links between campaigners from various countries.
The programme of events includes film showings, traditional music, a sponsored walk, salsa dance classes, political talk and rally and a historic walking tour of Glencolumbcille.
o To join Camp Havana Glencolmcille 2006, get in touch with Eleanor Lanigan, Dublin, at 01-8339766, or Bill O'Brien, Glencolumbcille, at 0872939466 (+353-1-8339766 and +353-87-2939466 respectively from outside the 26 Counties). Email: [email protected] Web: http://student.dcu.ie/~nichuid2/camph/