By Arthur Shaw

Ramon Labañino is one of the Cuban Five, a group of five political prisoners held in five separate US prisons. Labanino had his 47th birthday on June 9 but remained in an solitary confinement cell where he has been held since April 27.

Solitary confinement is a special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is denied contact with any other persons, excluding members of prison staff. It is considered by some, especially prisoners, as a form of psychological torture. Solitary confinement is colloquially referred to in “American” as the ‘hole’, ‘lockdown’, or the ‘SHU’ (pronounced ‘shoe’).

Labañino is currently being held in a solitary confinement cell at the Kentucky maximum security penitentiary.

The change from prisoner population to solitary confinement resulted from being re-sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment by the Federal Court of Miami last December. The Miami court changes is sentences in accordance with the latest demands of the reactionary sector of the Cuban American community in Miami.

During a brief interview with Prensa Latina, the proletarian news agency in Cuba, Labañino’s wife Elizabeth Palmeiro explained that her husband is currently “being held in isolation just as he was for the first 17 months after his arrest in 1998.” This time “they have put him in the ‘hole’ claiming alleged security reasons, given that he cannot be together with the rest of the prison population in a maximum security prison if he is now only classified as a “medium security” prisoner.

As is widely known, lunacy prevails among the authorities who run the US gulag which contains over 2,000,000 immates.

The issue is, Elizabeth Palmeiro said, that while the US gulag authorities are deciding where Labañino is to be relocated as medium security rather than maximum security prisoner, “Ramón remains in the hole.”

The prison authorities who run the US gulag hope that this time the “hole” will break Labanino and turn him into an imperialist collaborator

Ramon Labañino, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández and René González … the Cuban Five … were arrested on September 12, 1998 in Miami and later subjected to a kangaroo political trial, tampered with by representatives of the reactionary sector of the Cuban American community in Miami. The kangaroo trial resulted in long, unjust, and excessive sentences for the railroaded Cuban Five.

The Five, as the world knows them, infiltrated anti-Cuban terrorist organizations in Florida and their crime was to expose terrorist plots hatched against the Cuba from the United States. Strangely, none of these “anti-Cuban terrorist organizations in Florida” were in 1998 or now on the list of terrorist organizations prepared by the US attorney general although these organizations had murdered over 3000 people in Cuba and destroyed millions of dollars of property.