Marchletter for Mr. Obama

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Mr President,Obama March 1st, 2014
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20500 (USA)

Mr President,
Fernando Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five, has served his sentence. He was liberated last February 27th after having spent more than fifteen years in prison. Along with René Gonzalez, they were the only two of the five Cuban antiterrorists that were not condemned to a life sentence after the rigged trial in 2001. Luckily both of them are, at the moment, free. On the other hand, the others, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and Gerardo Hernández, are still sorrowfully in prison in your country.
Solidarity campaigns all over the world have been multiplying these last years to obtain the liberation of the Cuban Five. They have been supported by world-famous personalities, among which ten Nobel Peace Prize holders, jurists, a number of clergymen, performing artists, writers, leading political figures etc. It is impossible to name them all; we will cite at random the late Professor Howard Zinn, the ex-bishop of Detroit Thomas Gumbleton, the Nobel Literature Prize winner Nadine Gordimer, the actor Danny Glover, the head of Cuban Affairs, who plays the role of Ambassador to Cuba Wayne Smith, the ex-President of the United States Jimmy Carter, not to mention the ex-United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark.
These campaigns undoubtedly influenced the decision, taken on June 4th 2008, by three judges of the Atlanta Appeals Court – Phyllis Kravitch, William Pryor and Stanley Birch – to withdraw the life sentences for Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino. Antonio’s life sentence has been shortened to 22 years, and that of Ramon to 30 years. Antonio Guerrero will therefore not be freed before September 2017 and Ramon Labañino in October of 2024!
The height of ridiculousness has been reached with the case of Gerardo Hernández. He was condemned to the absurd sentence of two life sentences plus fifteen years, as if he had the power to rise from the dead two times; his sentence was not in the lest shortened in 2008. Nevertheless, Judge Phyllis Kravitch worked courageously in a poisonous atmosphere, handing over a case-file fifteen pages long refuting Gerardo’s guilt. But the extreme right-winger Judge William Pryor weighed in with all his might to maintain the sentence. He had been named to the Atlanta Appeals Court by George Bush for just this reason. The third judge, Stanley Birch, who had considered the Miami judgment in 2005 non-impartial, went back on his word, deferring to the Supreme Court. The only thing was that this Supreme Court had, on June 15th 2009, refused to reconsider the case in spite of numerous appeals from “friends of the Court”.
It is unthinkable that Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino stay any longer in prison!
In several days, on March 7th and 8th, a very important International Commission on Information for the Cuban Five case, « Voices for the Five », will be held in London at the prestigious Law Society Lane. It will be sponsored by the European Solidarity Movement and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL).
René González will be offering his testimony, surrounded by the families of the Cuban Five, and by hundreds of worldwide-known personalities.
The commission will be hearing around twenty very important testimonies, such as that of the lawyer Martin Garbus, the defense lawyer for the Five, representatives from Amnesty International, as well as victims of terrorist acts orchestrated by the United States.
This commission will be presided over by an international jury comprised of Yogesh Kumar Sabharwal, ex-president of the Indian Supreme Court, Zakeria Mohammed Yacoob, ex-judge of the South African Constitutional Court and Philippe Texier, Honorary Advisor of the French “Cour de Cassation”.
Mr President, are you going to wait for a general outcry from the entire world against this monumental injustice before finally liberating the three last Cubans? Fifteen and a half years of prison in a country governed by someone who holds the Nobel Peace Prize, for heroes who fought against terrorism – you find this normal?
Hoping for a rapid reaction on your part, please receive, Mr President, the sincere expression of my most humanitarian sentiments.

Jacqueline Roussie
64360 Monein (France)

Translated by William peterson

Copies sent to: Mrs. Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Kathryn Ruemmler and to Mr. Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, Rand Beers, Harry Reid, Eric Holder, Denis MacDonough, Pete Rouse, Rick Scott, and Charles Rivkin, United States Ambassador in France.

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