Che Guevara’s children have arrived on a two-week lobby campaign to drum up support for releasing five convicted Cuban spies held in America. The Star newspaper said the two, Camilo Guevara March and Aleida Guevara March were guests of the South African organization Friends of Cuba Society (FOCUS-SA). Their father, Ernesto “Che” Guevara was killed after his capture in Bolivia on October 8, 1967, while attempting to foment a Marxist revolution. The Guevaras said South Africa was special to them since a small contingent from the ANC’s armed wing took part as observers in the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale in southern Angola in 1988, which Cuba hailed as a victory. A street in the port city of Durban has been renamed after Guevara.
FOCUS-SA Secretary General Chris Matlhako severely criticized the U.S. for denying visitation rights to the five Cuban prisoners, held in maximum-security prisons. He said this denied their basic human rights. Aleida Guevara said: “It is very important that the people be made aware of this case. If people are not made aware of it, they cannot react to it. We are trying to make people aware…They will decide whether to support us.”
The five prisoners are Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, Rene González and Gerardo Hernandez. Lawyers have been urging re-sentencing hearings for three of the five. The five Cuban nationals were convicted in 2001 of espionage and conspiracy to murder. They received sentences ranging from 15 years to life. They operated the ”Wasp Network” in Miami in the 1990s, set up to infiltrate Cuban exile groups in the U.S. This included the group Brothers to the Rescue, two of whose aircraft were shot down by Cuban jet fighters. The Cuban government is reported to be linking the release of ”The Five” to closer ties with the Obama administration.
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