Stockholm, October 6th, 2011.
To the President of the United States of America
Mr. Barack Obama
We, the undersigned, are writing in regard to the ruling of Miami Federal judge Joan A. Lenard 16 September 2011 which denied the petition of René González for a modification of his parole conditions. Among the implications of those conditions, specified in Judge Lenard’s sentencing decision of December 2001, is that Mr. González, after being released from prison on 7 October 2011, will be required to spend the next three years in the Miami area (i.e. supervised release).
Prior to his arrest in 1998, René González was carrying out his assigned task of gathering information about plans and activities directed against Cuba by extreme right-wing groups among the exile Cuban community in the Miami area. It is therefore obvious that he will be subject to great personal risk if he is forced to live in that same area. Considering the violent history of Miami-area exile Cuban groups, and their well-documented willingness to murder persons whom they regard as obstacles to their objectives, it is no exaggeration to state that Rene González’s life is at stake in this matter.
If Mr. González is not permitted to return to Cuba immediately upon his supervised release, there to be reunited with his family (including his wife Olga who, for reasons that are incomprehensible to us, has been denied a visa to visit her husband during his lengthy incarceration) we would be unable to interpret that as anything other than a concession to the exile Cuban right-wing groups in Miami. We are certain that a great many other people around the world would draw the same conclusion.
President Obama, of you we ask nothing more than basic humanity– and perhaps a measure of the civil courage that is required for a decision that defies the wishes of the violent exile Cuban groups in the Miami area.
We beseech you, with all due respect, to make the humane and courageous decision of granting the immediate return of Mr. René González to Cuba.
Bishop Eva Brunne, Diocese of Stockholm
Thage G. Petersson, former Speaker of the Swedish parliament; former member of the Swedish government (Minister for Justice, Minister for Defense); former member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (Social Democratic Party)
Jan Lindholm, Member of Parliament (Green Party)
Amineh Kakabaveh, Member of Parliament (Left Party)
Siv Holma, Member of Parliament (Left Party)
Jens Holm, Member of Parliament (Left Party)
Mia Sydow Mölleby, Member of Parliament (Left Party)
Ann Mari Engel, vice-president of the Culture Committee, Stockholm municipality (Left Party)
Etienne Glaser, actor, director, screenwriter
Maria Sandblad, freelance journalist, writer
René Vázquez Díaz, writer, board member of the Swedish Association of Writers
Mikael Wiehe, musician, songwriter, composer
Kim Anderzon, actress
Inga-Lisa Sangregorio, journalist, writer
Inger Fredriksson, fil.dr., head of publishing house
Gunilla Lundgren, writer
Francisco Contreras, president of Solidarity Sweden-Latin America