Leonard Weinglass: "The Case of the Cuban Five is Political"
- Submitted by: admin
- culture an traditions
- North America
- United States
- Politics and Government
- 09 / 21 / 2008
The prestigious U.S. legal expert said it is difficult for the Five's defense team to assess right now the chances for the case to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court. "However, this is a very unusual case. It's important nationally and also internationally. It's a case which won a unanimous decision at first in the 11th Circuit (Court of Appeals in Atlanta) and then it lost two later decisions. But those decisions carried a very strong dissent. So in the three cases that have been heard already, we won one and we barely lost two. The Supreme Court should look at this record. It is an ambiguous record at best. It's the kind of record that calls out for a review."
Speaking with the Cuban and foreign press in Havana, Weinglass insisted on the need to build public support for the Five and their case.
"The lesson of the Angela Davis case, in which I was involved, is that as you build public support, you increase the prospects of getting victory. She was an African-American woman, a member of the Communist Party, tried before an all-white jury in California and charged with killing a judge -- a very serious charge, which would have carried the death penalty. But she was acquitted of all charges and that was largely because of the international outcry about her case. In the other political cases that I've been involved in, public support has been crucial."
"The Supreme Court this year will get 8,000 petitions for review and they will take fewer than one hundred. Our case will only be taken if it becomes a known case, a rather famous case. Then it will be reviewed, so public support is essential to our work."
Asked by Radio Havana Cuba about why he felt so personally committed to this case, to winning the release of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters, Leonard Weinglass responded: "Their case fits every definition of a political trial. It is a case that involves a political issue. It is about the relationship between the United States and Cuba. During the trial process, they reviewed the 40-year history of that relationship. And this case is centered on that history, so it's unavoidable. The process itself has been political from the beginning and remains political. Senator McCain, in running for the presidency, referred to our case. It is a political case, it will be decided politically and requires political support."