President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
This past month marked the 14th anniversary of the unjust incarceration of the five Cuban men who came to the United States to monitor the activity of anti-Cuban terrorist groups operating with impunity in Southern Florida. The Cuban Five came with no weapons, no intent on harming U.S. citizens or undermining U.S. policy.
Their mission was predicated on preventing more harm to their country and to U.S. citizens as well.
Despite the mainstream media’s silence in the U.S. regarding the case, many have managed to hear about the Cuban Five through alternative channels. And many have denounced the unfair and unwarranted convictions.
On March 6, 2009 in an unprecedented show of support, twelve amicus briefs called upon the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case. Â
Numbering among the Cuban Five’s supporters were ten Nobel Prize winners, the entire Mexican Senate, the National Assembly of Panama, members from every political group within the European Parliament, including three current vice-presidents and two former Presidents, and hundreds of lawmakers from Brazil, Belgium, Chile, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, and the United Kingdom. In May 2005 the UN Group on Arbitrary Detentions declared the incarceration of the Cuban Five to be unjust and arbitrary, in contravention of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
President Obama, your administration has treated Cuba with the same failed policy of unrelieved antagonism as your predecessors. Cuba has never attacked or threatened the U.S. and as Pentagon generals and State Department officials have stated on numerous occasions, Cuba has never been a threat to the national security of the United States.
In Cuba the Five are considered heroes to 11 million people. If these five men had done the same thing for the U.S. you would be presenting them with medals.
The Cuban government has made it clear that they are willing to sit down and discuss a range of issues that are of interest to both countries including the freedom of the Cuban Five.
The only thing they ask is that this be done in an atmosphere of mutual respect, without preconditions. Â
Negotiating the release of these anti-terrorists fighters would set you apart from the arrogant colonial view that has so dominated U.S. policy towards Cuba.
Michael Parenti, Ph.D., author and scholar
1935 Stuart St.
Berkeley, CA, 94703
October 4, 2012