Letter of august to President Obama


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

Mr. President,

Last June 15th, for Father’s Day, you sent me, as well as many others in the world, an e-mail in which you wrote:
« Today, I’m thinking about all the dads across the country, spending time with family and loved ones — and especially those fathers serving our country overseas, who can’t be home with their kids today.
But I’m also thinking about all the young people out there who don’t have a dad in their lives at all — or who don’t always enjoy the opportunities and support that come with having strong role models (…) »
While reading these lines, I was thinking of the enormous injustice done to René González, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and Gerardo Hernández, the five Cubans arrested in September 1998 at Miami. Posterity will be the judge of the injustice committed by the United States.
Your country kept René González shut up in prison for fourteen years. Fourteen long years during which he was not able to be with his wife and daughters, the youngest of which was just a baby when he was arrested.
Your country kept Fernando González shut up in prison for fifteen years. Fifteen long years of separation from his wife; this prevented them from becoming parents.
Your country is still keeping Antonio Guerrero shut up in prison, for going on sixteen years now, depriving him of the loving warmth of his two sons, depriving his sons of their father’s support.
Your country is still keeping Ramon Labañino shut up in prison, for going on sixteen years now, depriving him of his wife and of his three daughters, depriving his daughters also of their father’s support.
Your country is still keeping Gerardo Hernández shut up in prison, for going on sixteen years now. During all these years of detention, he was not even able to kiss his wife Adriana, for whom the United States has systematically refused an entry visa. He is condemned to two life sentences plus fifteen years. Gerardo and Adriana have also been denied, up until now, the possibility of having children.
Come on, Mr. President, put your actions in balance with your words and liberate the three Cubans who are still imprisoned in your country.
You have the possibility to do this; Cuban authorities have proposed to you a humanitarian exchange with your fellow countryman Alan Gross.
The holder of the Nobel Peace Prize that you represent cannot turn his back on such an opportunity to return these four men to their families and to thus permit better relations between your two countries.
Please receive, Mr. 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, Neil Eggleston, Rick Scott and to Charles Rivkin, ambassador for the United States in France.

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