In January 2011, UNISON Black Members Conference unanimously passed a motion in support of the Miami Five and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC). Gilly Anglin-Jarrett – forwarding the motion on behalf of the East Midlands Regional Black Members Committee – deplored the “extreme hostility of the USA towards Cuba” and praised the courage and bravery of the Miami Five who have remained incarcerated within American prisons since 1998.
Conference – echoing a recent Amnesty International report – condemned the appeal process and the “denial of the human right of visitation rights to the families of the Miami Five”. Gilly Anglin-Jarrett declared:
“Every child in Cuba knows that these men are heroes who have been made to suffer interminable incarceration and suffering by the country who inflicted on the world the terror of Guantanamo Bay and the torture of Abu Ghraib.”
Anglin-Jarrett championed the work of the trade union movement and the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in getting the Miami Five on the political agenda in the United States and – as recent Wikileak revelations reveal – this pressure prompted former Prime Minister Gordon Brown to raise the issue with the U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
In her speech supporting the motion, Anglin-Jarrett urged conference to “keep up the pressure on the US administration to stop this persecution, see that justice is done and to raise awareness about the case in this country”.
Conference called for a prompt retrial of the Five in any venue other than Miami; full visiting rights for all of the families; and committed to work with American unions to assert further pressure on the U.S. administration to end their imprisonment.
UNISON Black Members Conference also pledged to visibly support the Cuba Solidarity Campaign’s annual vigil for the Miami Five outside the U.S. Embassy and encourage all branches and regions to affiliate to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign. Delegates were also urged to send messages of solidarity to the Miami Five.
Three other delegates spoke in favour of the motion and Rena Woods, Delegate Leader from the North West, praised the diverse ethnicity in Cuban society. Northamptonshire County Local Government branch has already committed to submit the same motion to UNISON National Delegate Conference in June 2011.