Tuesday, October 11, 2011



Edward Asner, Jackson Browne, James Cromwell,
Mike Farrell, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Peter
Coyote, Bonnie Raitt, Elliott Gould, and Others
Send Letter to President Obama for the Safety and
Immediate Return of One of the Cuban 5, Rene Gonzalez to Cuba.

(Oakland, CA-October 11, 2011) Several concerned
US actors and artists sent a letter today to
President Obama asking for Rene Gonzalez's
immediate and safe return to his wife and family
in Cuba. The letter is part of the Actors and
Artists United for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 campaign.

Gonzalez was arrested in 1998 and sentenced to 15
years of imprisonment on conspiracy to act as a
non-registered foreign agent. On Oct. 7th
Gonzalez was released after serving his sentence,
but a South Florida district judge denied his
return to his homeland. "Not only is the order to
serve an additional 3 years of parole in the US
extraordinary and punitive, it is the kind of
gratuitous insult that further aggravates the
unnecessary tension between the US and Cuba. It
only adds injury to insult that the separation of
this family be extended for another 3 years," states the letter.

During Rene Gonzalez's 13 years in federal
prison, the US government denied his wife Olga
Salanueva, entry visas to visit him. The letter
to President Obama points out that if Gonzalez
remains in the US, his life will be in danger
from organizations whose entire mission is
premised on the violent overthrow of the Cuban
government. The actors and artists ask President
Obama; "How, sir, can Mr. Gonzalez's safety be
ensured in the middle of an environment that generates so much insecurity?"

President Obama recently made a statement that he
is open to new relations with Cuba. In the letter
the actors and artists responded, "Please know
that allowing Rene Gonzalez to be reunited with
his wife, daughters and parents in Cuba would be
the kind of humane gesture that would set the
stage for just such a development."

Actor Mike Farrell reacting when he heard the
news said, "I pray that President Obama
understands the injustice that has been done to
Rene Gonzalez and others of the Cuban 5 in the
name of political gamesmanship. There is no
benefit to the United States in the continued
persecution of these men, there is only harm. Mr.
Gonzalez has served a wrongful sentence and
should now be allowed to rejoin his family rather
than be subject to continued persecution,
harassment and serious danger by being forced to
remain, during his period of parole, among those
who wish him harm. If political retribution is
allowed to pervert the justice system, what hope is there for our society?"

US actors and artists signed on to the letter
includes; Edward Asner, Jackson Browne, Peter
Coyote, James Cromwell, Hector Elizondo, Mike
Farrell, Richard Foos, Max Gail, Danny Glover,
Elliott Gould, Si Kahn, Greg Landau, Francisco
Letelier, Esai Morales, Michael O'Keefe, Bonnie
Raitt, Susan Sarandon, Pete Seeger, Betty and
Stanley K. Sheinbaum, Andy Spahn and Haskell Wexler.

Formed in September, 2010, on the 12th
anniversary of the incarceration of Gerardo
Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez,
Rene Gonzalez and Ramon Labañino,

Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the
Cuban 5, sent a letter to President Obama asking
for their release. In April, 2011, they sent a
letter to President Jimmy Carter commending him
for his recent visit to the island, calling for
improved relations with Cuba and for the release
of the Cuban 5. This campaign, co-chaired by
actor and activist Danny Glover and Ed Asner, is
part of the International Committee for the
Freedom of the Cuban 5's projects, which advocate
for the release from US prisons and safe return
home for these five men, known in their country
as heroes for preventing acts of terrorism against Cuba.


For more information on Actors and Artists United
for the Freedom of the Cuban 5 visit the
International Committee's website at

Media Contact:
Suzanne Thompson (310) 570-5419
Alicia Jrapko (510) 219-0092 info@thecuban5.org

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