Café Fuerte reports how the Cuban dictatorship is using child members of a Castro theater group as propaganda tools to lobby congress for the release of the five convicted Cuban spies. The group is in the U.S. on one of the so-called cultural exchanges that are supposed to mend fences between the U.S. and Cuban government. In reality, the regime is using these “cultural exchanges” and these children as opportunities to promote themselves.
Theater group in Washington advocates for the release of the five spies
The children’s theater group La Colmenita, which will begin performing in the U.S. this Saturday, was received by congressional legislators Barbara Lee and Laura Richardson in Washington.
The visit also included a telephone conversation between the members of La Colmenita and intelligence official Gerardo Hernandez, who was sentenced to two life sentences for his role as head of the Wasp Network in Miami. Hernandez is currently imprisoned in a maximum security facility in Victorville, California.
The group – made up of 22 boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 15 – was received Friday morning at the Capitol in the offices of the congresswomen, both of them Democrats from California and supporters of the Cuban regime.
Richardson invited the children to accompany her to her congressional seat where she placed her vote approving policies that protect the environment. A report published in the website Cubadebate indicates that the Cuban delegation crossed paths in the halls of the Capitol with congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
After their visit to the Capitol, the group went to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington where they performed for the diplomats and their family members. The performance on Friday ended with songs from Los Van Van.
From the diplomatic headquarters in Washington, and in the presence of the Cuban mission chief, Jorge Bolaños, the phone call to Hernandez was made. Carlos Alberto Cremata, the director of the group, told Hernandez of the tour and later passed the phone over to a few of the child actors.
The group came to the U.S. on an invitation by the Brownstone Foundation and the International Committee for the Liberty of the Five.
Their presentations in the U.S. coincide with an intensification of the campaigns for the liberty of the five Cuban agents who were convicted in 2001, and with the recent release of the first of the group, Rene Gonzalez, after 13 years in prison.
Among the three acts they will perform on this tour is Abracadabra, a piece that advocates for the release of the so-called “Five Heroes Prisoners of the Empire.”