Open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama
NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA,
AND FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE CUBAN-5
September 7, 2014
OPEN LETTER TO U. S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
White House, Washington D. C., U. S. A.
Mr. President :
The delegates to the National Conference of Solidarity with Cuba, and for the Freedom of the Cuban-5, hereby call upon you :
First of all, to give particular attention to the plight of the “Cuban-5” who are as follows :
Three (3) who are still languishing in US jails, namely : Gerardo N. Hernandez (a graduate of foreign relations, and a cartoonist, meted 2 life sentences plus 15 years in prison) ; Ramon S. Labanino (an economist, meted a life sentence plus 18 years in prison) ; and Antonio R. Guerrero (a US-born aerodrome construction engineer, and a poet, meted a life sentence plus 10 years in prison) ; and
Two (2) who have already served their jail terms and have been allowed to return to Cuba, namely : Fernando L. Gonzalez (a graduate of foreign relations, sentenced to 19 years in prison) ; and Rene S. Gonzales (a US-born pilot and flight instructor, sentenced to 15 years in prison).
The tracking down, arrest, extended solitary confinement, unjust prosecution, separate incarceration in distant jails, and the thwarting of the appeals of these 5 anti-terrorist heroes, was a whole political process orchestrated by successive US regimes, in coordination with the terrorist gangs in Florida.
The Cuban-5 were placed in solitary confinement “holes” for 17 months, in violation of the UN Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. They were denied due process and charged with failure to disclose themselves as foreign agents, and with several counts of “conspiracy”, based largely on “classified” evidence not accessible even to their lawyers. They underwent an unjust legal process where evidence favourable to them (including prosecution testimonies of some US generals and other top US military officials who admitted that the 5 did not have access to classified information, and had not carried out espionage against the US government) were not taken into account.
Surely, you as President of the USA have more than enough information as to the innocence of the Cuban-5 --- that they never interfered with, nor jeopardized, the security of the people of the USA ; that they never were a threat to US national security ; that they carried no weapon ; and that their only objective was to monitor terrorist organizations based in Florida to avoid the death of more innocent people in Cuba and elsewhere.
The only recourse to rectify the grave injustice perpetrated upon the Cuban-5 is for you to immediately order the release of the three (3) who remain in US jails ; to allow these three (3) to immediately return to Cuba ; and to pay compensation to all the members of the Cuban-5 for their arbitrary and cruel incarceration, as well as for their unjust convictions.
Secondly, with respect to Cuba’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, we call upon you to return the Guantanamo Naval Base to Cuba. This military base, located in the eastern part of Cuba and illegally occupied by the USA, had gained notoriety as a secret incarceration and torture center, and has to be closed down NOW.
Thirdly, to foster an atmosphere of peaceful understanding and friendship between the peoples of the USA and of Cuba, we call upon you to end US support for the anti-Cuba terrorist gangs in Florida and elsewhere, and to allow US citizens to travel freely to Cuba.
Finally, we call upon you to heed the demand of the UN and the international community by immediately repealing the Torricelli Act and the Helms-Burton Law which infringe upon the sovereignty of other states. End the USA’s unjust, illegal and criminal blockade against Cuba NOW !
PHILIPPINE COMMITTEE FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE CUBAN-5 (PCFC-5)
PHILIPPINE-CUBAN FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY (PCFS)
PHILIPPINE PEACE AND SOLIDARITY COUNCIL (PPSC)