Dominican Senate: Free the Cuban 5

Dominican Senate: Free the Cuban 5Santo Domingo, Sep 9. -The Senate of the Dominican Republic approved a resolution calling on U.S. President Barack Obama to release the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unjustly held in U.S. prisons.

The Senate resolution, passed on Thursday, states that Ramon Labañino, Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Gerardo Hernandez, universally known as the Cuban Five, should be pardoned and released.

The resolution, introduced by Senator Euclides R. Sanchez of La Vega Province, states that after their arrests on September 12, 1998, the Five were charged with 26 counts of violating US federal law, but 24 were merely technical, relatively minor charges.

The Dominican Senate noted that under U.S. law, the "Necessity Defense" applies to the Cuban Five, whose mission was to infiltrate and monitor activities by criminal and terrorist groups to report such threats to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, planned against the people and the Republic of Cuba.

Over the last decades, more than 3,000 Cubans have lost their lives as a result of such terrorist actions, the resolution says.

Despite being the admitted ringleaders behind the mid-flight bombing of a Cuban aircraft that killed 73 people, Orlando Bosch Avila and Luis Faustino Posada Carriles have remained in the United States without being charged or punished in any way for those actions.

The Senate resolution also notes the irregularities in the trials of the Five, and highlights that in 2005, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared the detention of the Five to be a violation of the international agreement on civil and political rights, and asked the US government to remedy that situation.

The Dominican lawmakers also referred to Amnesty International's complaint about the inhumane treatment of the Cuban Five with respect to their relatives being denied U.S. visas to visit them, thus denying a sacred principle of humanity.

The Senate decided to send the resolution to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Prensa Latina)