WASHINGTON, May 16.— The CASA which for years provided shelter in Washington, D.C. for Central Americans persecuted in their countries of origin, has opened its doors to the imagination of a man incarcerated outside of his own homeland.
CASA of Maryland, northeast of Washington, has opened an exhibition of cartoons by Gerardo Hernández, one of the five Cubans imprisoned in the United States for combating terrorism. The opening attracted students of Latino origin, residents and invited guests, and included a simple and direct speech from Jorge Bolaños, director of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington.
The exhibition includes 25 cartoons which express a subtle Cuban sense of humor together with sharp political satire, attributes of Gerardo that years of imprisonment and exile have not been able to damage.
Gerardo says that humor is liberating, commented Ariel Hernández, Cuban vice consul, in response to questions from the public.
Those present at the one-man show, in particular youth of Latino origin who have grown up in the United States, were surprised that they had not heard anything about the cause of the Cuban Five and the lack of justice in their case.
CASA of Maryland is a community facility founded in 1985 by Latin American émigrés and progressive Americans to respond to the humanitarian needs of thousands of persecuted Central Americans who arrived in Washington escaping from wars in their countries promoted by the Reagan administration, Colombian Gustavo Torres, CASA director, explained.
Torres expressed his satisfaction at the contribution that CASA might be able to make to knowledge about the Five’s cause.
Gerardo’s cartoons are on display to the public until May 30.