Cuban Five Prisoner Ramón Labañino Turns 47

Ramon y Eli

Eli y Lis Aili y Lisb
By Teresita Jorge (AIN)

Ramon Labañino will celebrate his 47th birthday on June 9th in a US prison for having
infiltrated extreme right wing Cuban American organizations based in southern Florida to stop
them from carrying out terrorist activities against the Cuban people.

This fighter in favor of freedom and justice was detained in 1998 and submitted to a biased trial in Miami in 2001, where his other four brothers, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez were also sentenced to long unjust prison terms.

Another birthday will be celebrated far from his daughters and wife Elizabeth Palmeiro, whom he has been married to for 20 years. Although his conditions in prison are harsh, Ramon maintains his strong revolutionary convictions.

In his defense at the trial of the Cuban Five, Ramon said: “We who have devoted our lives to fighting terrorism, to preventing atrocious acts like these from taking place; we who have tried to save the lives of innocent human beings not only in Cuba but in the United States as well, stand in this courtroom today to be sentenced precisely for preventing similar acts”.

Since September 12th, 1998, date in which the Five were detained, these five anti terrorist fighters have been able to see for themselves the horrors of the US penitentiary system.

In a letter to his wife, Elizabeth Palmeiro, Ramon described their experience of 17 months in total isolation suffered by the Five: “We even had the fear of losing communication capabilities, we were eager to hear the words of another person in any language”.

Labañino, Gold diploma graduate in Economy from the University of Havana, during his defense on December of 2001 when he was sentenced to life plus 18 years, said that the Five had never looked for information that could have put in danger US National Security.

“At no time have we sought out information that could place the national security of this country in danger. This is pure manipulation, which we will never accept, and a reason for which we decided to come to this trial, in addition to clearly exposing the truth about all of the criminal acts perpetrated from U.S. territory against Cuba and the United States itself.” said one of the Heroes of the Republic of Cuba.

He sends love letters to his beloved daughters showing the quality of an exemplary father. In one of the letters he says: “I want you to know that I left due to my love for you and all.
Where ever I have been and will be, you are always and will always be present.”

His thinking will wander in this occasion, as it occurs each day, once again towards his daughters to transmit confidence in victory and a secure return. After the re-sentencing in 2009 that changed his initial prison term of life plus 18 years, Ramon is serving an unjust sentence of 30 years.

In another warm letter he expressed: “When I return we will recover my absence and reconstruct all our dreams and desires”.

Labañino unjustly accused for having saved lives not only in Cuba but also in the United States, is a victim of Washington’s criminal policy against the island.

His firmness and heroism is implicit in his defense allegations which ended proclaiming: “I will wear the prison uniform with the same honor and pride with which a soldier wear his most prized insignias!”

For more information about the case visit: www.thecuban5.org

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