Monday, March 08, 2010

Movement Demands Visas for Wives of Cuban 5

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban

US Personalities Demand Humanitarian Visas for Wives of the Cuban Five

March 8th, 2010

Coinciding with International Women's Day, a
group of personalities from the United States
have sent a letter to US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton and to the Secretary of Homeland
Security Janet Napolitano, asking them to
immediately grant humanitarian visas to two Cuban
women so they can visit their husbands in US prisons.

For more than a decade the US government has
continued to deny entry visas to Olga Salanueva
and Adriana Perez whose only purpose to come to
the US is to visit their husbands in prison. Rene
González and Gerardo Hernández respectively are
two of the Cuban Five, who are serving long and
unjust sentences in the United States.

The signers of the letter are US members of the
International Commission for the Right of Family
Visits that is comprised of more than 170 known
figures from 27 countries. Recently, Argentinean
members of the commission delivered a letter to
the US embassy in Argentina. This letter was also
sent to the US Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

The letter in the United States was signed by two
religious personalities; former Bishop of Detroit
Thomas Gumbleton and former General Secretary of
the US Council of Churches Reverend Dr. Joan
Brown Campbell. Also, union leaders such as the
co-founder of the Farm Workers Union Dolores
Huerta and the President of the ILWU Local 10
of San Francisco California Melvin MacKay.

In addition, others who added their name to the
letter includes the following personalities and
intellectuals: Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, the
Mayor of Richmond, Gayle McLaughlin, former
Congressman Esteban Torres, actor Danny Glover,
writer and poet Alice Walker and Angela Davis
professor of History in the University of Santa Cruz, California.

The letter also includes the former Chief of the
US Embassy in Havana, Wayne Smith, as well as the
Civil Rights activist Yury Kochiyama, and the
President of the Media Freedom Foundation /Project Censored Peter Phillips.

The fourteen personalities sent the letter
telling Clinton and Napolitano that the gesture
of granting visas to Ms Salanueva and Perez "will
show the world that we are represented by elected
officials who want better relations with other
nations and who have compassionate and humanitarian hearts."

The Letter Sent to Hillary Clinton and Janet Napolitano
March 8, 2010

US Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton

US Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano

c/c United Nations Human Rights Council
Rapporteur Against Torture
United Nations Group on Arbitrary Detentions
Amnesty International

Dear Ms Clinton and Ms Napolitano:

We respectfully write to you to ask the State
Department of the United States and the
Department of Homeland Security to immediately
grant HUMANITARIAN VISAS to two Cuban citizens,
Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, wives of
prisoners Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez
respectively. They have been denied visits to
their husbands in prison for 11 years.

On December 18, 2009 the Department of Homeland
Security denied a humanitarian visa to Olga
Salanueva. Without any explanation, they denied
this elementary recourse to come to the US with
the sole purpose to see her husband, Rene
Gonzalez, unjustly sentenced to 15 years in prison.

At the time of her husband's arrest, Olga
Salanueva was living with him and their two
daughters; the youngest daughter is US born as
well as Rene Gonzalez himself. After the arrest
of her husband Ms Salanueva was detained with the
purpose of pressuring her husband to collaborate
with the prosecutors assuming a crime that he
never committed. Three months later in December
2000, Olga was deported to Cuba. After 10 years
since the deportation, the US government
continues to punish this woman. There has not
been any accusation or legal process against her.
Additionally her status of being a mother and a
wife of US citizens makes a compelling connection to the United States.

In the case of Adriana Perez; in July 2002, she
traveled to the United States to visit her
husband Gerardo Hernandez, unjustly serving two
life sentences plus 15 years in US prison. But
upon her arrival, she was detained in the Houston
Airport, photographed, finger printed,
interrogated for 11 hours, prevented from
speaking to a lawyer or Cuban diplomats and
subsequently sent back to Cuba, cruelly
preventing Adriana to see her husband. That was
the last time that she was granted a visa to see
him during the 11 years he has been imprisoned.

The last visa denial for Adriana was on July 15,
2009, the day of their 21st wedding anniversary.
Four months later, on November 2, Gerardo
Hernandez's mother died. Not even on a sad event
like this in the life of any human being was
Adriana Perez allowed to visit her husband to console him.

The applications for humanitarian visas for Olga
Salanueva and Adriana Perez are supported by an
important number of religious, legal and human
rights institutions. From the World Council of
Churches to the US Council of Christian Churches,
the Cuban Council of Churches, the Association of
American Jurists, Amnesty International, 170
personalities including several Nobel Prize
winners, parliamentarians, elected officials, and
intellectuals from all over the world.

Until the Cuban Five are freed, the below
signatories demand the immediate granting

This gesture will show the world that we are
represented by elected officials who want better
relations with other nations and who have compassion and humanitarian hearts.


Bishop Thomas Gumbleton - Former Catholic Bishop of Detroit

Reverend Dr. Joan Brown Campbell - Former
Secretary General of the National Council of Churches of the United States

Dolores Huerta - Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers Union

Melvin MacKay - President of ILWU Local 10, San Francisco, California

Danny Glover - Actor

Gayle McLaughlin - Mayor of Richmond, California

Alice Walker - Writer

Noam Chomsky - Linguist and Writer

Howard Zinn - Historian and Writer (Honorary Member)

Esteban Torres - Former US Congressman

Wayne Smith - Former Chief of the US Interest Section in Cuba

Michael Parenti - Author

Angela Davis - Professor of History, California University, Santa Cruz

Yury Kochiyama - Civil Right activist

Peter Phillips - President of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

International Committee for the Freedom of the
Cuban 5 | P.O. Box 22455 | Oakland | CA | 94609

No comments: