African National Congress Urges Freedom for the Cuban Five

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 11 (acn) South Africa’s governing left-wing party, the African National Congress (ANC), demanded the immediate release of five Cuban antiterrorists who remain unjustly imprisoned in the United States since 1998.

During a celebration for the 99th anniversary of the ANC held in Johannesburg with the participation of South African and ANC president Jacob Zuma, participants urged the Government of the United States to free Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez —internationally known as the Cuban Five—, who were arrested and given harsh and unjust sentences for monitoring anti-Cuba extreme right-wing groups that were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against the Caribbean island.

According to Prensa Latina news agency, the ANC also demanded the end of the almost 50-year-old economic, financial and trade blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba.

The South African Native National Congress (SANNC) was founded on January 8, 1912, in Bloemfontein to increase the rights of the black South African population. John Dube, its first president, and poet and author Sol Plaatje are among its founding members. The organization became the ANC in 1923. It has been the ruling party of post-apartheid South Africa on the national level since 1994.

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