West Belfast MP Paul Maskey is preparing to welcome Cuban ambassador Teresita Trujillo to the West of the city ahead of his party’s historic Ard Fheis this weekend.

The ambassador will be speaking at a function in the Emerald Roadhouse on Friday evening, just hours after Sinn Féin kicks off its party’s first Ard Fheis in Belfast.

Ms Trujillo will be highlighting the campaign of the Miami Five to the gathered party activists.

The Miami Five – Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, – are five Cubans said to have been falsely accused and jailed by the US government for committing espionage against the United States.

“This September, as the Miami Five begin their fourteenth year in jail, we are interested in highlighting the case of Rene Gonzalez,” said Mr Maskey.

“On October 7, he will have completed his sentence and will be released on probation for an additional three years.  His defence lawyer tabled a motion requesting he be allowed to return to Cuba immediately, based mainly on humanitarian grounds, to enable him to join his family in Cuba. His wife Olga Salanueva is one of the two wives who has been repeatedly refused a visa and has not been able to visit him during all these years.

“The prosecution opposed the motion, which is now pending the decision by the judge.

“We want to gather support the campaign as we support it on humanitarian reasons. One of the most important actions is to increase the number of e-mails, letters and postcards sent to President Obama demanding the release of the Miami Five and the return of Rene to Cuba separately.  I’m looking forward to welcoming Teresita Trujillo to West Belfast where I am sure she will be humbled by the support.”