Jülich, October 1, 2013
Dear Mr. Obama,
By this we join again those numerous monthly letters from renown authors, actors, politicians, activists and individuals from your own country and from all over the world who are urging you to pardon all of the Cuban Five:
Gerardo Hernández Nordelo
Ramón Labañino Salazar
Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez
Fernando González Llort
except of René González Sehwerert, who in last May was allowed to spend his remaining probation time in Cuba after having revoked his US citizenship.
Although, it is more likely that your secret service is much more aware of our monthly letters than you, we decided not to give up.
Given your current experiences with the domestic resistance by US Republican congress members to your Health Care Bill and the recent occasions in Nairobi, Kenia, as the results of US American foreign policy, to be seen again by the terrorist attack against a department store there, we want to refer to John Steinbeck’s novel “Grapes of Wrath”, this time:
“This is the Beginning – from ’I’ to ‘we’. If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the Quality of owning freezes you forever into ‘I’, and cuts you off forever from the ‘we’”. (Chapter 14)
You can compare to: “You shall recognize them by their fruits!”, see Matth. 7, 16.
Please, notice the difference made by the Cuban Revolution producing a hospitable people from which the “Cuban Five” emerged, those highly educated individuals without any hatred against US people and keeping to their love for human beings and nature, as well as to their humour, despite those humiliating circumstances while being kept in US prisons as hostages of your hardliner’s policy and being exposed psychological torture and lack of medical care.
The most blatant example for psychological torture is how Gerardo Hernández is treated: he is not even allowed to see his wife, Adriana Pérez, in prison.
As for Ramón Labañino, he is lacking from medical care while suffering from osteoarthritis. As his daughter Laura told us, she is afraid that he will be bound to a wheelchair.
Dear Mr. Obama, you certainly knew why you said in your first election campaign: “Yes, we can!” instead of “Yes, I can!”
You were not responsible, when the Cuban Five, who saved lives – not only those of their compatriots but also those of US citizens – were arrested in 1998. – We learned later on that the FBI agent Hector Pesquéra in Miami “convinced” the then attorney general Janet Reno to go after the Cuban agents instead of the exile Cuban terrorists.
Nor were you responsible for the journalists having been paid by the US administration for instigating the people at this venue to a perfect storm against the Cuban Five during their trial etc. By this the State Department violated your very own law: the “Smith Mundt Act”.
We know, you had to accept a horrible heritage when you took office – not only concerning this case.
But now, it is you who is responsible.
Yes, we can keep marching, but you can use your prerogative right to pardon the four of the Cuban Five remaining in US prisons, just for having come into the United States – unarmed – for preventing further terrorist attacks against their compatriots.
Moreover, you can put an end to at least one mistake committed by the double standard of US foreign policy.
The most blatant example of this double standard in this case is that of Luis Posada Carriles who – among others – masterminded the blowing up of a Cuban airline in 1976, killing 73 civilians. He still lives as a free man in Florida for many years even though his extradition has been requested by Venezuela. He is but one of hundreds of anti-Castro and other Latin American terrorists who have been given haven in the United States over the years despite their being wanted in their home countries. And as we can read, for instance in “Miami Herald” he is continuing his dirty business of plotting with his cronies, by now, to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
As you certainly should know, we, this includes the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Amnesty International, experts on international law, well-known lawyers from your own country and from all over the world, parliamentarians and dignities of Church, eleven Nobel-prize winners. We are pleading for their release from prison and for letting them return home to Cuba and their beloved ones.
In a shared network of millions of people around the world we are respectfully urging you to put and end to this injustice.
Moreover, we want to tell you that we will “keep marching”, as long as all of the Cuban Five are not released from US prisons.
Mr. President, we are waiting for your humanitarian gesture, as a sign of your honesty. Please, let all of the “Cuban Five” go home immediately to their loved ones in Cuba. Yes, you can!
Thank you very much for your appreciated attention in advance
Josie Michel-Brüning, Pedagogue HDip.ed. i.r. and Dirk Brüning, Chemical Engineer i.r.
Members of the German committee to Free the Cuban Five, one of more than 350 committees around the world.