U.S. uses Cuban 5 as hostage to anti-Cuba policy
Sep 22, 2011
On Sept. 16, Judge Joan Lenard refused to allow René González, one
of the five Cuban heroes unjustly held in U.S. prisons, to return to Cuba and
his family when he is released on Oct. 7.
Only the day before, the former New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson,
complained that Cuba did not allow him to visit convicted U.S.
agent Alan Gross serving a 15-year sentence for distributing satellite phones.
Gross worked for a U.S. government-funded program intended to undermine Cuban
sovereignty and independence.
According to the New York Times, Richardson on his unofficial
“humanitarian” visit carried with him a purported offer from the
U.S. State Dept. which including repatriating González when he is
released. A second part was to promote “a process for removing Cuba from
the list of states sponsoring terrorism.”
These offers could only be viewed as a slap in the face of the Cuban people
and government. In addition, they were a test of whether the current changes
proposed at the Sixth Congress of the Cuban Communist Party meant Cuba’s
commitment to self-determination and socialism had weakened. They
On Sept. 13, President Barack Obama extended the merciless blockade of Cuba
for another year. In the United Nations, meanwhile, on Oct. 25 for the 20th
consecutive time the General Assembly is expected to vote to condemn this
unilateral act of war by the U.S. against its small but determined island
In 2010, 187 countries voted to remove the blockade. Only the U.S. and
Israel supported the blockade, with the Marshall Islands, Palau and Micronesia
The Cuban Five — González, with Gerardo Hernández,
Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and Fernando González —
had, during the 1990s, monitored the activities of extremist groups in Miami
that were carrying out terrorist attacks against Cuba’s civilian
population from their safe havens in southern Florida. For daring to defend
Cuba against terrorism, the Five are serving harsh prison terms —
including Gerardo Hernández’s double-life plus 15 years
Earlier in the case, a three-judge appeals panel called the Miami venue of
the trial “a perfect storm of prejudice” against the Five.
Requiring René González to serve three years of parole in Miami puts
him in harm’s way near the paramilitaries he came to the U.S. to
It also extends another injustice. Olga Salanueva, González’s
spouse, is banned from entering the U.S. to visit him. Gerardo
Hernández’s spouse, Adriana Pérez, has not been granted a U.S.
visa to visit him at the prison in Victorville, Calif.
The actions of Judge Lenard and Bill Richardson virtually admit that the
Cuban Five are held hostage by the U.S. government for use as yet another
battering ram against Cuba’s right to determine its own path and destiny.
It is the responsibility of U.S. residents to make the pressure to free the
Cuban Five and end the blockade of Cuba irresistible.