Press Release

SIPTU condemns UK Government refusal of visa to René González

Date Released: 05 March 2014

The SIPTU Cuban Solidarity Forum has condemned the decision of the UK Government to refuse a visa for former political prisoner René González to attend an International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five to be held in London on Friday, 7th March, and Saturday, 8th March.

SIPTU Cuban Solidarity Forum chairman, Jack McGinley, said: “Last night, a few hours before his scheduled departure, one of the principal witnesses for the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five, René González, was refused a visa to enter the UK.

“The reason given for the refusal is that René has been convicted of an offence for which he was sentenced to a period of imprisonment of four years or more. According to UK Immigration Law this is seemingly all the reason that is needed to refuse him entry.

Jack McGinley added: “René was released last year from prison in the United States. He is the first member of the Cuban Five to be released. He was imprisoned for 15 years, after a trial that Amnesty International labeled as unjust. Rene and his co-accused were investigating the activities of US based Cuban terrorists when arrested. One of the aims of the Commission of Inquiry is to investigate the political circumstances surrounding the men’s imprisonment.

“The UK government is acting as if René constitutes a threat to British society. Given the context of the already highly politicised case of the Cuban Five, we are in no doubt that the decision is based on political motives and an unwillingness of the UK Government to assist with a transparent inquiry into this case.”

A delegation from the SIPTU Cuban Solidarity Forum will attend the International Commission of Inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five in London.


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