Once more at the end of a year and in the midst of a holiday season, the Communist Party USA communicates its dedication and highest regard to the Cuban Five political prisoners. Cruelly and unjustly, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González have remained in U.S. prisons for more than 14 years - all, that is, except for René González whose sentence was relatively short and who was released on parole earlier in 2012.
We are part of a worldwide movement demanding freedom for the Five. We extend to them our solidarity and our resolve to continue fighting for their liberation. The U.S. government for half a century has tried to starve and terrorize Cubans into submission. Violence and murder aimed at Cuba originated in Florida. The Cuban Five were there to stop the criminals and protect the Cuban people.
We're on their side for one more reason. For us, wildly excessive sentences and clear disregard of judicial and prosecutorial norms in railroading them to jail signify vengeance. We suspect the U.S. government regards the Cuban Five as proxies for a Cuban revolutionary movement the U. S. financial and military giant can't defeat. The most nefarious means have been used.
One of us recently visited Ramón Labañino at the Federal prison in Jesup, Georgia. He reaffirmed that he and the others were defending their country against death and destruction. They were quite aware, he said, of risks they ran as undercover agents in the United States. Cuba is a tiny island, harms no one, and wants to live in dignity, he added.
Ramon is hopeful. He calls upon President Obama to think of his place in history and release the Five. He and the others view the case of Alan Gross as crucial to their release. This U.S. agent, who violated Cuban laws, should be exchanged for the Five, Ramon maintains.
Responding to a question as to how one of the Five can issue statements on behalf of all of them, especially when they may not communicate directly, Ramon explained, "We went to the same school," the school, that is, of living in Cuba. "We know how each other think,"
Ramon recently sent out year - end greetings from the Five to their supporters.
"This year 2012 is reaching an end and we want to use this special opportunity to express how proud, grateful we are for counting on your support, love, and brotherhood.
"Thanks to your presence, we never feel alone, we are strong and optimistic. You give us the reasons to believe in justice and freedom. You give us the certainty that one day we will get together to celebrate this victory, and together we will go on fighting for just causes all over the world!!
"Thanks so much for your solidarity and love!
"On behalf of the Cuban Five, our five families, and the Cuban people:
"Merry Christmas! - Best wishes in the New Year! - Happiest 2013!!! - Love and peace!
"Antonio, Rene, Fernando, Gerardo, Ramon"
A worldwide movement may be there for the Cuban Five, yet they share the suffering of all prisoners. They are removed from day-to-day experiences of decency, brotherhood, and family solidarity that are their rights as humans. That's a gap we must try, partially, to fill. Please send the Cuban Five letters of friendship and solidarity. Addresses follow:
Gerardo Hernandez • #58739-004 • U.S.P. Victorville • P.O. Box 3900 • Adelanto, CA 92301
Antonio Guerrero • #58741-004 • Quarters: APACHE A • FCI Marianna • P.O.Box 7007 • Marianna, FL 32447-7007
Ramón Labañino - Send as: Luis Medina
· #58734-004 • FCI Jesup • 2680 301 South • Jesup, GA 31599
(NOTE: the envelope should be addressed to "Luis Medina," but address the letter inside to Ramon)
Fernando González - Send as: Rubén Campa • #58733-004 • F.C.I. Safford • P.O. Box 9000 • Safford, AZ 85548
(NOTE: the envelope should be addressed to "Rubén Campa," but address the letter inside to Fernando)
René González - For René's safety while on probation in Florida, his address is not available
Photo: J G Blanchard Lewis // CC 2.0