Dear President Obama,
Here is a golden opportunity to show the American people who support you, and the world, that this is not a nation of state secret police, a nation of surveillance, a nation of disappeared political prisoners, or a nation of warmongering fools, at least, not on your watch. Thank you for doing the right thing,
Ry Cooder, Musican, a hopeful Democrat from Santa Monica
To commit a man who has not committed a felony, if any crime at all, to a solitary confinement in a space unworthy of a human being is an abomination. Is this a fitting example of American justice or simply seen as a perversion. Please employ justice, human justice in this case.
Ed Asner, Actor Activist
Simone Weil said, “Evil, when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty.” The brutal treatment of Gerardo Hernandez is undeserved and inappropriate in a country that thinks of itself as free. Those who treat this human being so cruelly and attempt to justify it by what they claim is necessity or duty condemn themselves in the process.
Mike Farrell, Actor/Activist
The case of the Cuban Five shows the troubling and dangerous double standard of the US government prosecution of terrorism. While the Cuban Five are unjustly imprisoned for conscientiously protecting the life of Cuban citizens from terrorist attacks plotted in the U.S., known terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch who masterminded the bombing of an airplane mercilessly killing 73 innocent people are today walking free in Miami. President Obama should assume leadership and correct this miscarriage of justice by setting an unswerving ethical standard to combat terrorism and issue executive clemency for the Cuban Five.
Danny Glover, Actor/Activist
Railroading of people of color is an American industry. The Cuban Five are no exception.
Edward Asner, Actor/Activist
On top of the unjust sentences, an additional punishment has been inflicted against two of the Cuban Five: Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez have not seen their wives Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez respectively for 12 years. Gerardo is serving two life sentences, in Victorville, California, and Adriana has also been sentenced not to see her husband again. We have to ask ourselves…why so much cruelty? Why is the US government continuing to violate such a basic human right? What is the US government afraid of? We ask our government to immediately grant visas to these two women to visit their husbands. In doing so, we will show the world that we are represented by elected officials who want better relations with other nations and who have compassion and humanitarian hearts.
Dolores Huerta, President
Dolores Huerta Foundation and
Co-founder, United Farm Workers Union
SEIU has called on the US to grant visas to the families of the Cuban Five. We share Amnesty International’s concern that “the long-term, permanent denial of visits from their immediate family has caused substantial hardship to Rene Gonzales and Gerardo Hernandez beyond the penalties imposed. The denial of family visits is contrary to international standards of the humane treatment of prisoners.
Eddie Iny Secretary-Treasurer
SEIU United Service Workers West
“Be not disheartened. Affection shall solve the problem of freedom, yet those who love each other will become invincible.” Walt Whitman
Francisco Letelier, Artist