Cuban delegation arrive in Derry

A delegation from Cuba who visited Derry to campaign for the release of five Cubans imprisoned in the United States said they were moved to see their country’s flag flying over Free Derry Corner.

The delegation included Terrisita Trujillo, Cuban ambassador to the Republic, Magali Llort, the mother of one of the Cuban 5, and Dr Haymel Espinozo Gomes, daughter of the co-pilot of a Cuban aeroplane which was blown up in 1976 killing all 73 people on board.

The Cuban 5 are a group of Cuban intelligence officers who were arrested and imprisoned in Miami 14 years ago after infiltrating anti-Cuban groups in the United States.

Their supporters claim they were attempting to prevent attacks on Cuba and that they shared information with the authorities in the US.

The delegation were met at Free Derry Corner by the Mayor of Derry, Sinn Fein Councillor Kevin Campbell.

“I am honoured to welcome these guests here on behalf of the campaign to free the Cuban 5 and we, the people of Derry, will stand with you until justice is done,” he said.

The Mayor also compared their campaign with that of the Bloody Sunday families. “We stand here where the terrible injustice of Bloody Sunday was carried out. It took many years and the support of people throughout the world to eventually force the British government to admit the truth of that day.

“The families of Bloody Sunday victims have always pledged to stand by others seeking justice in acknowledgement of the support given to their families by others seeking justice throughout the world,” he added.

Ms Trujillo said she was moved by the support of people from Derry. “Derry has been very supportive of this campaign for many years and we were moved to see the Cuban flag at Free Derry Corner. We think that the people of Ireland, and particularly those in Derry, can relate to this campaign because they too have experienced miscarriages of justice,” she said.

Dr Espinoza Gomes said her family has suffered because of attacks against Cuba. “It is important for us to publisise our campaign around the world and to ask people to bring international pressure to bear on the United States,” she said. Mrs Llort said a new legal challenge will shortly be launched against the imprisonment of her son and the four other Cuban men and thanked the international community for supporting the campaign to date.