söndag 29 augusti 2010

Brev från Antonio Guerrero til Amineh Kakabaveh

Den 20 juli 2010

Kära Amineh Kakabaveh, ledamot i den svenska riksdagen

Jag har tagit emot era skrivna rader med stöd och uppmuntran, till försvar för rättvisan och vår frihet.

Er anslutning till vår långa kamp stärker oss och fyller oss med optimism.

Vi önskar Er framgång i Ert arbete som parlamentsledamot och jag skickar, på uppdrag av De Fem, en solidarisk hälsning och en kram.


Med evig tacksamhet, Antonio Guerrero R.

(brevet överlämnades till Amineh Kakabaveh på den kubanska ambassaden i Stockholm, med anledning av firandet av 50-årsdagen av FMC, de kubanska kvinnornas organisation)

July 20th, 2010

Dear Amineh Kakabaveh, Member of the Swedish Parliament

I received your lines of support and encouragement, in defense of justice and our freedom.

Your commitment to our long struggle strengthens us and fills us with optimism. We wish you success in your parliamentary duties and I send you, on behalf of the Five, solidarity greetings and a hug.


With eternal gratitude,

Antonio Guerrero R.

måndag 23 augusti 2010

Brev till Olga och Adriana från Stockholm med anledning av FMC:s 50-årsdag!

Stockholm, den 19 augusti 2010

Olga och Adriana, kära systrar:

Vi är en grupp kvinnor som samlats i Stockholm för att fira 50-årsdagen av det Kubanska Kvinnoförbundet, och samtidigt skicka följande meddelande till Er.

I egenskap av kvinnor och medmänniskor solidariserar vi oss med Er, eftersom vi förstår att Kuba, som ett självständigt land behöver och har rätt att försvara sin befolkning från terrorismen från de exilkubanska organisationerna i Miami. De Fem kubanska hjältarna, av vilka två är Era män, svarade med mod på uppmaningen från sitt folk och dömdes därför i en skamlig rättegång.

Myndigheterna i USA fortsätter att neka Er, deras hustrur, den lagstadgade rätten till familjebesök. Vi lider med Er och kommer att fortsätta kämpa så att rättvisa skipas. USA har en moralisk och rättslig skyldighet att frige De Fem kubanska hjältarna, vars insamling av information medförde att många av de terroristplaner som smiddes i Miami inte kunde genomföras.

Med sin djärva och tysta kamp kunde De Fem förhindra att oskyldigas blod spilldes. Tack vare deras patriotiska handlingar varnades Kuba om de brottsliga åtgärder som organisationerna i Miami planerade. På det sättet förhindrades många dödsfall, såväl hos kubaner som hos USA-medborgare, som annars skulle ha fallit offer för terroristernas våldsdåd.

Olga och Adriana, tack för att Ni står emot, för den som står emot kommer att vinna!

Räkna med oss, kamrater! Och när Ni känner Er ensamma, tänk på att tusentals och tusentals kvinnor kämpar vid Er sida så att rättvisa skipas!

Ta emot en varm hälsning från oss alla, och kom ihåg att vi tillsammans kommer att segra!

Vania Ramírez León, språkrör, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Catharina Tirsén, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Anita Östling, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Bárbara Jarl, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Teresa Núñez, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Digna Cesped, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm; Taller Ranquil
Alejandrina Salgado, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Ximena Palacios, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Deisy Vázquez, Kommittén Frige de Fem, Stockholm
Amineh Kakavabeh, riksdagsledamot, Vänsterpartiet
Bibbi Steinertz, Kvinnor för Fred
Marilyn Barden
Magdalena Acuña, FSLN
Alejandra Pizarro, Radio Studion 91.1 Mhz
Marianne Nilsson, Svensk-kubanska föreningen, Stockholm
Juana González, Svensk-kubanska föreningen, Stockholm
Maria Lupe Díaz, Svensk-kubanska föreningen, Stockholm
Victoria Andersson, Cubanos por Cuba
Dunnia Salazar
Flor Basantes
Olga Araya

fredag 20 augusti 2010

Visiting Gerardo

by Danny Glover and Saul Landau
Aug. 19, 2010
(Reprinted from CounterPunch)

From the Ontario California airport some 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles we drove north on Highway 15, the road to Las Vegas. Cars with expectant amateur gamblers and loaded big rigs climb and descend the mountains where the Angeles and San Bernadino National Forests meet.

To the east lies the high desert some 4,000 feet above sea level. Amidst junipers, Joshua trees and sagebrush, we turn off from the man-made freeway to the jester’s creation of a shopping mall in Hesperia where we pick up Chavela, Gerardo Hernandez’ older sister. (Danny changes trousers because the prison doesn’t allow visitors to wear khaki).

We pass fast food joints with chain names, nail and hair salons, tattoo parlors, gas stations and min-marts (a drive by of American culture) going west and then north on 395 to the six year old US. Federal Penitentiary Complex, a 630,000 square foot high-security prison ($101.4 million); designed to cage 960 male inmates.

In the institutional grey visitors’ lobby a guard hands us forms with numbers on top, nods at a book to sign and eye-signals to a pile of pens. We write, hand him back the forms (Danny had to stand against the wall while a guard recorded his photo onto the prison computer) and sit in the gray waiting room with other visitors – all black and Latino. (Saul’s and Chavela’s pix were already stored in the prison computer from previous visits).

We wait for twenty minutes. A guard calls our number. We empty our pockets except for money. (Danny checks his car keys; Saul hands over a pen fastened to his shirt pocket). We pass through a sensitive airport-type screening machine, pick up our belts and eyeglasses that have gone through X-Ray, and extend our inner forearms for stamping by another uniformed guard. Two black women and an elderly Latino couple get the same treatment. We exchange nervous smiles. Visitors in a strange land!

He passes our IDs through a drawer connected to another sealed room on the opposite side of a thick plastic window. A guard there checks the documents and pushes buttons to open a heavy metal door. The group enters an outdoor passage. Blinding late morning sun and desert heat shocks our bodies after the air-conditioned chambers. We wait. A guard confers through a small slit in the door of the building housing the inmates – gun towers on each side; masses of rolled barbed wire covering the tops of concrete walls.

We wait, get hot, then enter another air cooled chamber; finally, a door opens into the visitor room. A guard assigns us a tiny plastic table, surrounded by three three cheap plastic chairs, on one side (for us) and one on the other for Gerardo. African American and Latino children exchange places on their fathers’ laps as daddies in khaki prison overalls chat with their wives.

Chavela spots him 20 minutes later, waving, and bouncing across the room. Chavela almost crying says “He’s lost weight.” He seems the same weight as when Landau saw him in the Spring. Gerardo hugs and kisses his sister, embraces Saul and then Danny, thanking him for his efforts to spring him from the hole, where he spent 13 days in late July and early August.

Two FBI agents who were investigating an incident unrelated to his case, he informs us, questioned Gerardo in prison. Then, prison authorities tossed Gerardo into the hole although there existed no evidence, logic or common sense that could possibly have implicated him into the alleged occurrence. The temperatures inside the hole rose to the high nineties. “I had to use my drinking water to keep me cool, pouring it on head,” Gerardo told us. “It didn’t help my high blood pressure. I couldn’t even take my medicine. But, I think, thanks to the thousands of phone calls and letters from people everywhere they let me out.”

Chavela kept bringing junk food to the table – the only kind available from the vending machines. We nibbled compulsively while Gerardo told about living in a sweat-box for almost two weeks. “No air circulated in there,” he laughed, as if to say “no big deal.”

We talked about Cuba. He kept up on the news, reading, watching TV and from visitors who informed him. He felt encouraged by steps President Raul Castro had taken to deal with the crisis. He had watched on the prison television parts of Fidel’s speech and "q and a" from the Cuban National Assembly Meeting. “I saw Adriana [his wife],” who sat in the audience. His smile faded. “You know what’s painful. She’s 40 and I’m 45. We don’t have that much time to have a family together. The United States won’t even give her a visa to visit me. She’s behaved with such courage and dignity throughout this ordeal.”

Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban Five, is serving two life sentences for conspiracy to commit espionage and aiding and abetting murder. Prosecutors presented no evidence of espionage at the Miami trial. The aiding and abetting charge presumed evidence not shown that Gerardo sent to Cuba flight details of the Brothers to the Rescue planes shot down by Cuban MIGs in February 1996, which he did not, and that he knew of secret Cuban government orders to shoot them down, which he did not.

The five men monitored and reported on Cuban exile terrorists in Miami who had plotted bombings and assassinations in Cuba. Cuba then shared this information with the FBI. Larry Wilkerson, (retired army Colonel and Secretary of State Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff) compared the Five’s chance of getting a fair trial in Miami to an accused “Israeli’s chance of justice in Teheran.”

We sipped cloyingly sweet, bottled, iced tea. Chavela brought more potato chips.

Gerardo, reanimated the mood by recalling an incident when in the 1980s, as a Lieutenant in Cabinda, Angola, he escorted top Cuban officers to a dinner-party with visiting Soviet brass. “I told my Colonel I had memorized a short Mayakovsky poem in Russian (from his school classes) and could recite it to the Soviet officers.

He recited the poem to us in Russian. We applauded. He smiled. “They were roasting a pig and had bottles of booze, a party.”

“I recited the poem. The Soviet colonel hugged me, kissed me on both cheeks -- very emotional. I had to repeat my performance for the other officers. Finally, the Cuban Colonel told me I’d milked the scene long enough and I left.”

Two hours passed quickly. We waited for the guards to let us out. Gerardo stood at attention against a wall near the cell-block door next to another prisoner. We gave him a fist salute. He returned it. His sister blew a kiss. He grinned reassuringly – as if to remind us. “Stay strong.”

Danny Glover is an activist and an actor.

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow and author of A Bush and Botox World (AK Press / CounterPunch).

onsdag 4 augusti 2010

Message from Gerardo Hernandez after being released from "the hole"

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

I am dictating these words via telephone, which is why I must be brief and I will not be able to say everything I would have liked. Yesterday afternoon I was removed from "the hole" with the same speed in which I was thrown in. I had been taken there supposedly because I was under investigation. These investigations can take up to three months, sometimes more, but I was there 13 days. As a known Cuban journalist would say; you can draw your own conclusions...

I want to express to all of you my deep gratitude. You know that they were particularly difficult days due to the excessive heat and the lack of air, but you all were my oxygen. I can't find a better way to summarize the enormous importance of your solidarity efforts.

Many thanks to all the compañeras and compañeros from Cuba and around the world who joined their voices to condemn my situation. Thanks to the institutions, organizations and individuals of goodwill that in one way or another worked to bring an end to this injustice.

To our President Raúl, that so honors us with his support. To the Cuban National Assembly and its President Ricardo Alarcón, a tireless fighter for the cause of the Five. To my four brothers, who sent me messages of encouragement, and who have also suffered and lived under constant risk of suffering similar abuses. And of course, to our dear Commander in Chief: Thank you for so much honor! (I don't know if I should say it, but just the privilege of hearing my name in Fidel's voice makes me feel like thanking those who put me in "the hole"...)

Thank you Comandante, for the joy of hearing you and seeing you as great as ever!

Thanks to everyone for having demonstrated again the power of solidarity which, without a doubt, will one day make us free.

The struggle continues!

A big embrace,

Gerardo Hernández Nordelo

US Penitentiary, Victorville, CA

August 3rd, 2010

tisdag 3 augusti 2010

Uttalande på engelska om Gerardo Hernández

The Swedish Free the Five Committee is delighted by the news today that Gerardo Hernández was released from his unjust punishment and has been returned to the general prison population. It was the international solidarity movement that managed to get him out of "the hole".

Among the many expressions of solidarity to the cause, there is a letter sent by Swedish politicians to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which is reproduced below:

Federal Bureau of Prisons
Director Harley G. Lappin

It is our understanding that prisoner Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, #58739-004, has been put into "the hole" since July 21, despite having committed no infractions. His attorneys, who are in the midst of preparing an important habeas corpus appeal for him, have been denied proper access which would allow them to prepare that appeal. Additionally, he has been refused access to urgently needed medical attention.

This treatment of prisoner Hernández is inhumane and unwarranted, and comes on top of nearly twelve years of unjustly being denied visits by his wife, Adriana Pérez. Many of us who sign this letter have earlier appealed to Michelle Obama to help get a visa for Ms Pérez.

We now want to add our voices to others demanding that you immediately return Hernández to the general prison population, allow his attorneys proper access to him in order to prepare his appeal, and provide him with urgently needed medical attention.


Members of the Swedish Parliament Amineh Kakabaveh (Left Party), Siv Holma (Left Party), Lise-Lotte Olsson (Left Party), Jan Lindholm (Green Party), Jacob Johnson (Left Party), Torbjörn Björlund (Left Party)
Opposition leader Ann-Margarethe Livh, Stockholm municipality

We welcome this small victory, whose teaching is that the way to achieve freedom for the Cuban Five is the political pressure exerted by a jury of millions of citizens of the world.

The Cuban people's dignity will prevail!
They will return!

Swedish Free the Five Committee