Thursday, October 14, 2010

Actors and others ask Barack Obama to free Cuban Five

Gerardo Hernandez, who is one of the Cuban Five, and Danny Glover at prison in Victorville, Calif. Photo: Keith Smith/Realcuba

Danny Glover and Ed Asner last month asked some of their actor friends to sign a letter to Barack Obama asking the president to pardon five Cuban agents held in American prisons.
Martin Sheen, Oliver Stone, Susan Sarandon and more than a dozen other Hollywood figures quickly signed the letter.
Hundreds of other people have since added their names to a petition asking that Obama pardon the Cuban Five. Those additional signatures are here.
Glover and Asner are co-chairs of a group called Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the Cuban 5. Their letter is below in English and Spanish.
September 12, 2010

White House
President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500-0004

Dear President Obama,

We, the undersigned artists and actors from the United States, request that you review the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, internationally known as the “Cuban Five” and grant them their immediate freedom.

We are dismayed that the Cuban Five, who have committed no crime against the United States nor posed any threat to this country's national security, have now been imprisoned for 12 years. The Five monitored the activities of violent groups of Cuban exiles in Miami, activities that had already resulted in the deaths of thousands of Cuban nationals. They sought simply to protect their country from further acts of terrorism.

President Obama, imagine that the terrorism had been directed at the United States. What if prior to 9-11 a handful of Americans had managed to infiltrate the hijackers and warn the United States of an impending attack? Would we now be vilifying them for their actions?

Our government is guilty of a double standard. While the Cuban Five remain in federal prisons, there are real terrorists - such as Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, who masterminded the mid-air bombing of a Cuban airliner - enjoying safe haven in the United States.

Dear President Obama, on the 12th anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban Five, we appeal to your sense of justice and respectfully request that you, having reviewed the facts of this case and given due consideration to the lengthy time these men have already spent in prison, will issue an Executive Clemency on behalf of the Cuban Five so that they may return to their country, their homes and their families. And until this happens, grant visas to Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, so that they may immediately visit their imprisoned husbands, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez.

Sincerely,

Edward Asner
Jackson Browne
Ry Cooder
James Cromwell
Mike Farrell
Bruria Finkel
Richard Foos
Danny Glover
Elliott Gould
Chrissie Hynde
Greg Landau
Francisco Letelier
Esai Morales
Graham Nash
Bonnie Raitt
Susan Sarandon
Pete Seeger
Martin Sheen
Betty and Stanley K Sheinbaum
Andy Spahn
Oliver Stone
Haskell Wexler
Spanish version:
Presidente Barack Obama
Casa Blanca
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500-0004

Estimado Presidente Obama,

Nosotros, los que suscribimos esta carta, actores y artistas estadounidenses le pedimos que revise el caso de Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, René González, Antonio Guerrero y Fernando González, internacionalmente conocidos como los “Cinco Cubanos”, y que les conceda su inmediata libertad.

Estamos sumamente consternados de que los Cinco Cubanos, quienes no cometieron ningún crimen contra los EEUU ni tampoco significaron una amenaza a la seguridad nacional de este país, llevan 12 años presos. Los Cinco monitoreaban las actividades de grupos violentos de exiliados cubanos en Miami, actividades que han resultado en la muerte de miles de cubanos. Ellos simplemente estaban protegiendo a su país contra futuros actos de terrorismo.

Presidente Obama, imagínese que ese terrorismo hubiese sido dirigido contra los Estados Unidos. Nos preguntamos ¿qué hubiese sucedido si antes del 11 de septiembre un puñado de americanos hubiese infiltrado a los grupos criminales para alertar a los Estados Unidos de ese inminente ataque? ¿Estaríamos como ahora difamándolos por sus acciones?

Nuestro gobierno es responsable de actuar con doble rasero. Mientras los Cinco Cubanos permanecen en prisiones federales, hay verdaderos terroristas –como Luis Posada Carriles y Orlando Bosch, quienes dirigieron la explosión de un avión cubano donde murieron 73 personas – disfrutando de refugio e impunidad en los EEUU.

Estimado Presidente Obama, en el décimo segundo aniversario del arresto de los Cinco Cubanos, apelamos a su sentido de justicia y respetuosamente le pedimos que después de haber revisado los hechos de este caso y tomar en consideración el largo tiempo que estos hombres han pasado en prisión, le otorgue a los Cinco Cubanos una Clemencia Ejecutiva para que puedan regresar a su país, a sus hogares y sus familias. Y hasta que esto suceda, le otorgue visas a Adriana Pérez y Olga Salanueva para que puedan visitar de inmediato a sus esposos presos, Gerardo Hernández y René González.

Sinceramente,

Edward Asner, etc.
Link:
Petition demanding freedom for Cuban Five

1 comment:

Eight is enough said...

The irony here is that Danny Glover's character in "Die Hard" was very much against apartheid, yet he doesn't seem to care much about the de-facto economic and social apartheid in Cuba.