Free the Cuban 5 activities and open letter to sign

Dear friend

You are being contacted because you have supported the cause of the Cuban Five in the past – September 12 marks the 12th anniversary of their imprisonment (described by the UN as ‘Arbitrary Detention) and the international solidarity movement is again marking this ignominious anniversary.

One of the actions being planned by the NZ CFS’s is the forwarding of a letter (below) to President Obama – we are seeking endorsements of the letter from kindred organisations and individuals and were hoping that you would again support this worthy cause by endorsing the letter.

You can find more information here and here

Other activities being planned include:

Auckland: Friday September 10th, 5.00pm, Information Picket at the US Consulate Customs Street.
Contact Mike for further information; 029 525-4744
Download Auckland Flyer

Wellington: Friday September 10th, 5.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m. at Cubita (3/101 Courtenay Place) Music, speeches leaflets/postcards distribution. Contact Gillian for further information; 04 803 1190
Download Wellington Flyer

Christchurch: Sunday September 12th, 12.30 pm, Information Rally at Victoria Square.
Contact Warren for further information , 027 226-9950,
Download Christchurch Flyer

Apologies for the late notification.


Warren Brewer
NZ Cuba Friendship Societies Co-ordinating Committee
Mobile 027 226-9950 Email:


Dear President Barack Obama,

We are writing to express our profound concern about the continued incarceration in United States prisons of five Cubans – Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, René González, and Fernando González.

On 12 September 2010 these men, the ‘Cuban Five’ as they are known, will have spent 12 years behind bars for infiltrating Cuban-American terrorist groups operating in Florida. During this time, the wives of two of them have been refused visas to enable visits to their husbands.

We draw your attention to the following:

  1. On 27 May 2005 the United Nations Committee on Arbitrary Detention declared that the deprivation of their liberty was in contravention of article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights…” and requested the United States Government to adopt the necessary steps to remedy the situation;
  2. Their first appeal was upheld by three judges who considered that the five could not receive a fair trial in Miami because of pervasive community prejudice. Since that finding was overturned, new information has come to light that the US Government covertly paid tens of thousands of dollars to Miami journalists working for major media outlets during the trial and sentencing of the five Cubans, resulting in the publication of highly-prejudicial and biased articles which negatively influenced the Miami public and the jury pool – a violation of both the right to a fair trial, and the Smith-Mundt Act;
  3. The five Cubans at no stage sought or obtained classified information or in any way prejudiced the US national interest, yet have now served twelve years in prison. Agents for other countries who did indeed obtain top-secret documents and give them to a foreign government, such as Steve Rosen, Keith Weissman and Larry Franklin, either had their charges dropped or their sentences so substantially reduced they are now back in the community, while in the most recent case, 10 Russians went home free within weeks – why the blatantly discriminatory and differential treatment of these five Cubans?;
  4. There is considerable international concern about the case in human rights, legal and political circles, particularly about the refusal of US Immigration authorities to grant visas to Adriana Pérez Oconor and Olga Salanueva Arango to enable them to visit their husbands, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo and René González Seherwert;
  5. The international reputation of the United States can only be harmed by further confinement of these men, and continued refusal to permit their wives entry to the US so they can visit their husbands;As President of the United States, you do have the power to remedy the situation as per point 1.

We demand you demonstrate genuine commitment to human rights and international law, by:

  • immediately issuing visas to facilitate visiting of their husbands by these two women, and
  • handing down a presidential pardon that will enable these five men to return home to Cuba, free.

If Cuba has the good grace to release 52 prisoners in a gesture of goodwill, surely the US can manage just five?

Yours Sincerely

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