Not that long ago Len came to visit me and we
worked for several hours preparing for the next
step of my appeal. I noticed at the time that he
was tired. I was worried with his advanced age
that he was driving alone after a long trip from
New York. The weather was bad and the roads from
the airport up to Victorville wind through the
mountains surrounding the high desert. I
mentioned my concern to him but he did not pay it
any attention. That was the way he was, nothing stopped him.
When we would meet the same thing would always
happen. At some point in our conversation, while
listening to him talk, my mind would separate
from his words and I would focus on the person. I
would realize that here is this great man, the
tremendous lawyer, the legendary fighter for
justice, right here in front of me. I told him
that I had seen images of him in documentaries on
TV dedicating himself to important legal cases
that he had participated in from a very young
age. With pride I would tell people watching,
"that is the lawyer of the Five". It did not
matter how much I read or heard about Len I knew
through his humility and modesty that there was a
lot I still had to discover about this man who
had dedicated his life to his profession.
Len always insisted that our case, like the
others that he had dedicated lots of his time to,
was essentially a political one. He cautioned us
from the start that this struggle would be long
and difficult. His experience with the "system"
had taught him that. For our part, beyond the
professional relationship we had, we always
thought of him as one compañero in the battle for justice.
Len leaves us at an important moment, but he
leaves us prepared to carry on the path. On more
than one occasion he expressed his admiration and
respect for the other lawyers on our legal team,
and I think that he has left confident that our case is in good hands.
Like other people, who during these years have
accompanied us in our struggle to make justice
prevail, he will not be with us to see the
inevitable triumph. We are confident that day
will arrive and to Len, and to all the others, we
will pay them a well deserved tribute in our homeland.
On behalf of the Cuban Five, and our families,
and from the millions of Cubans, and brothers and
sisters from all over the world who trusted and
admired him, we send our most sincere condolences to Len's family and friends.
Leonard Weinglass, Presente!
Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo
USP Victorville, California
March 23, 2011