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Let Cuba Live
From the Pyrenees: "Mr. Obama, Free the Cuban Five!"
Every month since Barack Obama became U.S. President, retired professor Jacqueline Roussie has sent a letter asking him to release the Cuban Five political prisoners. She’s explored multiple angles: U.S. terror attacks against Cuba and elsewhere, U.S. harboring of terrorists, denial of family visits to the prisoners, judicial failings, and more. Her letters appear on Cuba solidarity and leftist party websites throughout France and Spain.
Roussie’s most recent letter recalls long evident fundamentals concerning the Five: arrogance and cruelty marking exported U. S. violence and treatment of the Five, also hypocrisy when U.S. violence and the Five are considered together. Ms Roussie writes from Monein in southern France. The Cuban Five, to be freed, need expressions of outrage and demands for justice from cities and little towns all over. As of September 12, four of them have been imprisoned for 14 years. They are waiting.
(Translation below by Tom Whitney.)
President Obama, September 1, 2012. White House, Washington DC 20500
In France, schoolchildren all learn about the fable of Jean de la Fontaine “The Wolf and the Lamb.” In this fable, the wolf accuses the lamb of everything evil on earth – before eating up the innocent animal. The cynicism of your government is comparable to that of the wolf. It’s the country you lead, Mr. President, that for generations has held the absolute world’s record on terrorism.
Every month since your election, I write you in the name of friends here in Monein about the five Cubans Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, and René González to ask that you free them. The Five were convicted, and harshly, for having fought against U. S. terrorism against their country. This state terrorism has killed 3,478 Cubans and has left 2099 incapacitated for life.
The embargo you maintain against Cuba despite most countries calling for its end is another form of terrorism.
On June 3, 1993, one of your countrymen, Dr. Benjamin Spock, the famous pediatrician, on returning from Cuba concluded an article appearing in the New York Times in these terms: “What do we have to think about an embargo that prohibits food and medicines for children? I am ashamed!”
Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Relations, dedicated the United Nations vote in 2011 (on a Cuban resolution to end the U.S. blockade) to Guillermo Domínguez Díaz (16 years), Ivis Palacio Terry (18), Randy Barroso Torres (17), and Adrián Izquierdo Cabrera (12). They had endured conservative surgical operations and spent months in their beds in plaster casts on account of extensible pediatric stents not being available, because they are produced in the United States or under patents there. And he dedicated the vote also to María Amelia Alonso Valdés (2), Damián Hernández Valdés (4), and Dayán Romayena Lorente (12). They suffer from central nervous system tumors and need treatment with the [chemotherapy drug ] Temodal that is North American and is protected by patent there.
On August 2, we were informed that human bones found in June in San Fernando, Argentina in a cement barrel have been identified. They are the remains of Cuban Embassy official Galañena Hernández. In August 1976, during the military dictatorship, this man and his colleague, the Cuban Jesús Cejas Arias disappeared. A little after their disappearances, the Associated Press agency received a letter in which the young Cubans (26 and 22 years old) explained that they had “deserted the embassy in order to enjoy the freedoms of the western word.”
The reality was otherwise. The two men had been incarcerated in the secret Operation Condor base in Buenos Aires, the [so-called] “Automotores Orletti,” and then were tortured and savagely murdered.
The CIA agent Michael Townley, who was working for DINA, General Pinochet’s political police force, and his fellow U.S. resident Guillermo Novo Sampol, born in Cuba and belonging to the sinister CORU organization created by Orlando Bosch, arrived specifically to carry out a savage interrogation of these Cubans. One came from Chile, the other from the United States.
What happened afterward we unfortunately know. It was 1976, the very peak of Operation Condor, and these two young men were two of the victims of this diabolical invention of the CIA, among so many others.
Two months after the assassination of the two Cuban officials, there was a Cubana aircraft which became the target of an attack devised by Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles leaving 73 dead.
Bosch died a year ago in Miami as a free citizen and Posada Corriles spends peaceful days in the company of his friends Michael Townley and Novo Sampol - in the Florida sun. The Five still are not free. Four of them continue as prisoners and the fifth, René González, is free on probation in the United States.
The purpose of probation is to help those imprisoned for a longtime be re-integrated socially. René González is in danger in the United States. For him, any social life is impossible. Your administration, nevertheless, has just denied his petition to return to Cuba. And once more you denied his wife a visa so she could visit him.
Gerardo Hernández, sentenced to life in prison, has just presented a new plea, part of a collateral appeal, in which he denounces irregularities in his trial. Will his plea really be understood by this same judge that sentenced already him to such a penalty?
The Condor is still soaring.
We were expecting, Mr. President, after your election, to see you definitively turn back the page on this unworthy period and begin new relations with your close neighbor Cuba.
You have a golden opportunity, with the possibility of an act of humanitarian reciprocity that would allow Alan Gross to return to the United States and the Five, to Cuba. No, it’s not too late for such action which would do honor to your Nobel Prize.
I wait for such a gesture, Mr. President, and send this expression of my most sincere, humanistic sentiments.