The following letter has been sent to U.S. President Barack Obama, from Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Dear President Obama,

On behalf of 3.3 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), I am writing to protest the continued imprisonment of the Cuban 5 and to ask you to intervene so as to procure their release from prison and be allowed to return to their families in Cuba.

Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, and René Gonzalez have been imprisoned since 1998. René Gonzalez was released from prison last October but must carry out three years supervised probation in Miami. He was recently denied permission on humanitarian grounds to return to his country for at least two weeks to see his dying brother, Roberto.

These men were charged with multiple offences including conspiracy to commit espionage. In truth, they were in the United States unarmed and never posed a threat of any kind to U.S. national security.

They were in the United States to monitor the activities of Cuban exiles who, operating from bases in Miami, were planning violent actions against innocent people in Cuba. In fact they were trying to prevent more brutal acts against their country and save innocent lives. The continued incarceration of these Cuban patriots is morally indefensible.

I urge you to exercise the power of your office and grant a pardon to the Cuban Five, allowing them to return to their families in Cuba.


People’s Voice,  Aug. 1-31, 2012