Archive for April 1st, 2014

April-letter for Mr. B. Obama

April 1, 2014

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Mr President Obama April first, 2014
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20500
USA

Mr President,

Fernando Gonzalez went back to Havana February 28th. After the touching homecomings with his family, with President Raul Castro and with different personalities in his country, his first words were for Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, his three kindred, still imprisoned in your country.
Just as René Gonzalez a few months earlier, Fernando went back to Cuba his head held high. These two men who gave up fifteen years of their lives for having protected their fellow countrymen from terrorist acts concocted in the United States, will never feel truly free until all the Cuban Five are freed.
The reaction of the press to this liberation is very revealing concerning the state of mind of quite a lot of reporters. For most of them, they announced this event as the liberation of a Cuban spy.
It’s a disinformation. The Cuban Five, effectively, were never condemned for espionage. It would have been very difficult to do so, after the sworn statements during their trials, of major figures in the United States intelligence domain, such as that of Colonel George Bucker, Admiral Eugene Carroll, and General Edward Atkeson and Charles Wilhelm. Every one of them testified to the fact that the Cuban Five did not have even the most remote access to any kind of information of a strategic nature. Seeing as the Cuban Five absolutely had to be accused, it was the nebulous charge of conspiring to attempt to commit espionage that was held against them.
The relentless struggle to pass the Cuban Five affair over in silence or to deform it is not finished. On March 7th and 8th, in the “Law Society” of London, an important international commission of inquiry was held on this subject. René Gonzalez, who was supposed to have been a major witness of this commission, received notice of a refusal for an entrée visa to the United Kingdom under the pretext that he had served more than four years in prison. Effectively, his visa could have been refused for this reason under the article 320-2b of the Immigration Law. Nevertheless, provisions have been made for special permissions, but the English government did not see fit to accord him one. To the lawyer Martin Garbus, a judge and a representative of the Home office, admitted that this decision is of a political character.
The Columbian reporter Calvo Ospina who lives in France for more than 25 years received the same refusal, which prevented him from accomplishing his job on this London commission of enquiry.
These despicable measures did not thwart the commission of inquiry from being a great moment in the struggle for justice. More than 200 participants representing 27 countries were present in this hall, transformed into a courtroom for the occasion. Three prestigious international lawyers sat in front of a table of witnesses, among which United States personalities, family members of terrorist attack victims, the Cuban Five lawyers and also members of the Cuban Five’s families.
The audience were deeply moved by those such as the mother of Antonio Guerrero, one of the Cuban Five. Also Bettina Palenzuela, whose mother died in April  1976 during the terrorist bombing attack against the Cuban Embassy in Portugal. She was followed by Margarita Morales, whose father perished with his team of young fencers during the terrorist attack against the “Cubana de Aviacion” airplane in October of 1976. Equally another emotive moment was when René González appeared on the screen to make his testimony.
Your country, Mr President, will go down in History as accountable for these aggressions against Cuba. It will also be held accountable for having condemned the Cuban Five; Cuba having the right and the duty to defend itself.
After two days of meetings, of sworn statements and evidence and of debating, the three judges publicly pronounced their verdict condemning the irregularities of the American justice system, in a document that was sent to you, Mr President, and in which it is demanded that you grant grace to the three Cubans still detained.
It’s about time that you liberate the three Cubans still imprisoned in your country. You have the means to do this, simply by responding positively to the humanitarian exchange proposed by the Cuban government. Mister President, authorize the liberation of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino, against that your fellow countryman Alan Gross. Don’t go down in History having taken the wrong side!
Please receive, Mister President, the expression of my most sincere humanitarian sentiments.

Jacqueline Roussie
64360 Monein (France)

translated by William Peterson

Copies sent to: Mrs. Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Kathryn Ruemmler, Janet Napolitano, to Mr. Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, Harry Reid, Eric Holder, Pete Rouse, Rick Scott and to Charles Rivkin, ambassador for the United States in France.

Cuba Has World’s Third Highest Percentage of Female Legislators

April 1, 2014

NYC Havana Blog

Paris, Mar 31 (Prensa Latina) Cuba has making great progress in the struggle for women”s emancipation and is now the world”s third ranking country in terms of female members of parliament, said Mariela Castro here.

Speaking with Prensa Latina, Castro, who herself is a Cuban legislator and director of the National Sex Education Center (CENESEX), said that female legislators represent 48.36 percent of the parliamentarians in the National Assembly of Peoples Power and Cuba has increasing numbers of women in management positions.

“We have not achieved everything, but we are making progress in challenging the sexist attitudes that remain,” she said, explaining that the struggle for the emancipation of women, undertaken by the Federation of Cuba Women (FMC), has never minimized men; to the contrary, it has brought important elements to the discussion, giving “everyone the capacity to change the patriarchal culture inherited from colonial and neocolonial systems.”

The CENESEX…

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