A special appeal from the Friends of the Cuban Five Committee in Toronto: Please send a message to President Obama
As you read this, our sisters and brothers from across the United States, Canada and many other countries have assembled in Washington, D.C. They are there for 5 Days for the 5 ― to demand justice and the immediate release of the long-imprisoned Cuban Five from U.S. prisons. They are carrying out an impressive range of activities, including a mass rally outside the White House. (See details at www.thecuban5.org/wordpress/obama-give-me-five-2/)
We urge supporters in Canada who also advocate freedom for the Cuban Five to please take a few minutes right away to add our voices to theirs. Send a message to U.S. President Obama urging him to use his constitutional authority to order the immediate, unrestricted release of these Cuban prisoners without delay, so that they can be reunited with their families in Cuba.
Please do so by Wednesday, June 5 if at all possible, as part of the international campaign to organize actions supporting the Five and send messages to the White House on the 5th day of every month. Below is a sample text you
can use (partially or in full), or compose your own as you wish.
Contact information is provided.
It will take the concerted efforts of millions around the world to compel the U.S. administration to free every one of the Five. Your ongoing help is appreciated and greatly needed!
Dear President Obama,
I ask that you use the power conferred on you by the U.S. Constitution to make it possible to immediately reunite every one of the Cuban Five with their families in Cuba.
In 1998, the Cuban Five ― peaceful Cuban men who harmed no one ― were wrongly arrested and later subjected to a thoroughly unjust trial in which they were convicted on a number of baseless charges. Four of the five remain in U.S. prisons to this day under extraordinarily harsh sentences for defending and protecting the lives of not just the people of Cuba but also American people and the more than a million Canadians who travel to Cuba yearly. The Five monitored terrorist groups in southern Florida that have for decades waged repeated politically motivated attacks and sabotage against the people of Cuba, causing nearly 3,500 Cuban deaths and thousand of severe injuries. The aim of the Five was to learn and report plans for future terrorist incidents so that they could be prevented.
As you know, René González Sehweret, after having served his prison sentence and then been punitively confined to Florida,
apart from his family in Cuba, for a long period of supervised release, was released from these conditions recently and permitted to permanently rejoin his family. I am grateful that he is finally home after his lengthy incarceration.
However I remain extremely concerned about the plight of the four others ― Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, and Fernando González Llort ― who remain in prison after nearly 15 years. I also find it unconscionable that Adriana Pérez, wife of Gerardo Hernández, has despite her many applications been systematically refused a visa to enter the U.S. to visit her husband and thus has not seen him in all this time, contrary to humanitarian standards.
René González’s wife, Olga Salanueva, suffered much the same inhumane treatment.
President Obama, I appeal to you as a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and the President to use your constitutional authority to remedy this situation by at long last sending the four imprisoned Cubans home to their loved ones now. I believe that this is the worthy and humanitarian gesture that would be most fitting in these sad circumstances.
(your name), (your city/town), Canada
E-mail President Obama at the White House:
Up to 2,500 characters allowed. The above text, including your name, would comprise approximately 2,300 characters.
Address letters to:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Phone the White House to leave your comments: (202) 456-1111