By Circles Robinson

Fernando Gonzalez with his wife at Oxford Federal Prison.
Fernando Gonzalez with his wife at Oxford Federal Prison.

HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 9 – The sentences against two of the Cuban Five were slightly reduced at a hearing held in Miami on Tuesday.

Ramon Labaniño now must serve 30 years, down from life imprisonment and Fernandez Gonzalez, 17 years and 9 months, reduced from 19 years. In October, the sentence of Antonio Guerrero was reduced from life to just under 22 years.

“The new sentences, although still unjust… show the role played by international solidarity in favor of the cause as well as the efforts of the defense team,” stated an article on the hearing published Wednesday in the official Granma newspaper.

Meanwhile, Gerardo Hernandez still faces a double life term and Rene Gonzalez is serving 15 years.

The Cuban Five -in prison since their arrest in Sept. 1998- were accused of conspiracy to commit espionage and other charges after they were discovered by US authorities of having infiltrated terrorist organizations based in Miami with a long history of plotting attacks against Cuba.

The United States maintains a half-century economic blockade on Cuba and has allowed violence-prone exile groups to use Florida as their center of operations for aggressions against the island and its interests.

Ramon Labanino and family at Beaumont, Texas Federal Prison.
Ramon Labanino and family at Beaumont, Texas Federal Prison.

Likewise, Cuba is the only country in the world that the US government forbids its citizens from visiting without special permission.

The US is also the only country in the Americas that does not have diplomatic relations with Cuba, something that remains unchanged under the Obama administration, although talks have taken place on migration and mail service issues.

The time-worn US policy of trying to force a regime change in Cuba is considered by many observers as a holdover from the Cold War with the Soviet Union.


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