7 March 2014 – ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) president Paddy Crumlin today called on the UK government to rethink its refusal of a visa to René González, who was expected to attend an international inquiry into the case of the Cuban Five in London this week.
Gonzalez was one of the five, who were sentenced to jail in the US for espionage, despite their defence that they had been engaged in monitoring US-based exile groups intent on overthrowing the Cuban government. The court’s decision was widely criticised and was due to be re-examined at the inquiry event being held at the Law Society in London.
Paddy Crumlin stated: “René González has been denied entry to the UK on the grounds that he has served a prison sentence. However, given the very questionable nature of his jailing – which this event was due to address – and given that it would be difficult to find someone better qualified to speak at that inquiry, we hope that the Home Office will quickly reconsider its decision. The controversy over the Cuban Five case has never gone away, and González is uniquely placed to help settle those issues.”