17 August 2006 Edition

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Support for Miami Five

A sponsored walk in support of five Cubans held in US jails was organised by the West Armagh Community Festival committee last Saturday. The 13km walk went from the Tyrone village of Moy to Armagh city.

During the 1990s, the so-called Miami Five - Fernando González, René González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández and Ramón Labañino - were in the US collecting information on the activities of Florida-based saboteur groups which had carried out a series of murderous attacks on the Caribbean island's people and property.

More than 3,000 people have been killed in such attacks since the revolutionary victory of 1959. When information collected by the Cubans was passed to the US authorities through the government in Havana, FBI agents arrested and charged the five information-gatherers and ignored those organising the terrorist attacks.

To support a campaign demanding the men's release, the weekend walk participants collected €2,600 in sponsorship.

A cheque was presented to Eleanor Lanigan, chairwoman of the Free the Miami Five Campaign group in Ireland, at a céilí held to greet the walkers on their arrival in Armagh.

Among those taking part in the hike was Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy. Murphy welcomed the guest of honour at the event: Noel Carrillo Alfonso, Cuba's ambassador to Ireland. Carrillo said that although people in his country were concerned for the well-being of Fidel Castro, they also knew that his work must continue whatever his state of health.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1