Mr. President Obama September 1st 2014
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20500
When you receive this letter, we will be not far from September 12th, the date of the sixteenth anniversary of the arrest, in Miami, of the five Cubans – Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and René Gonzalez.
The last two have served their sentence; the first three are still in prison in your country.
All over the world, citizens and organizations that respect human rights are joining forces and taking action to demand their liberation.
On the fourth of July this year, in the United States, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law handed over to Attorney General Eric Holder, and also to you, Mr. President, an extremely complete dossier on the Cuban Five affair.
In this dossier, concerning the tragedy of the Brothers to the Rescue (BTTR) planes, for which Gerardo Hernandez was condemned to two life sentences plus fifteen years, one can read, on page 18, the conclusion:
« Following the shoot-down, the FAA revoked Basulto’s pilot’s license due to his actions; the FAA found that Basulto’s reckless operation of his aircraft on February 24, 1996 contributed to the deaths of four members of BTTR in the shoot-down.56
In summary, the record discussed in detail above shows that Gerardo Hernández had no involvement in the shoot down. He didn’t encourage the BTTR to fly on February 24. He didn’t know whether they were flying that day or when they were flying or how many planes were flying. Hernández was not part of the chain of command involved in the decision to shoot down the BTTR planes. The U.S. Government (not Hernández) advised Cuba when the BTTR planes took off. The U.S. Government watched on several radars as events unfolded. The U.S. Government not Hernández could have warned the BTTR planes to leave the area once they observed Cuban interceptors in the air. »
As for the general conclusion to this report, it finishes in these terms:
« For all of these reasons, the case of the Cuban Five should now be ended by releasing the remaining three members of the Five serving long sentences in U.S. prisons and permitting them to return home and rejoin their families in Cuba. From the standpoint of justice and sensible foreign policy, this would be the rational, moral, and humane step to take to bring this 16-year old case to an end. »
Mr. President, follow this sage advice from the members of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, those who established this report, and liberate the three Cubans who are still in prison. Sixteen years of imprisonment for innocent men is way too much; the United States stole their youth.
Please receive, Mr. President, the expression of my most sincere humanitarian sentiments.
64360 Monein (France)
Translated by William Peterson
Copies envoyées à: Mesdames Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Kathryn Ruemmler et à Messieurs. Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, Rand Beers, Harry Reid, Eric Holder, Denis MacDonough, Neil Eggleston, Rick Scott, et Charles Rivkin, ambassadeur des Etats-Unis en France.