December 10, 2013
Dear President Obama,
I am an Italian lawyer and was present in Denver, in August 2008, during the Democratic Convention which nominated you. Your investiture speech enthralled me because it seemed to open up new possibilities for the U.S. and the entire world to cooperate together.
What followed was, to some extent, rather disappointing. But I suppose that it is not easy
to be the President of the major World Power. Policy, as we all know, requires compromises and it is not always possible to be completely consequent with one’s premises and declarations.
Nevertheless I supported your candidacy during last year’s presidential election, as well – while still being extremely critical of most of your foreign policy choices. And I intend to be critical until they change.
One point is of particular concern to me and you recently drew my attention to it, indirectly. I refer to your declarations regarding Nelson Mandela, a great personality whose passing away we are currently mourning.
I suppose you know that Nelson Mandela attributed great merits, in the liberation struggle of South Africa from apartheid, to the role of Cuba. Yet four of the Cuban youths who fought the apartheid regime on the ground are still imprisoned in U.S. jails, for having exercised their right to prevent indiscriminate and murderous terrorist actions against their country.
I am firmly convinced that a good way to honor Nelson Mandela’s memory would be that of using the presidential power of pardon that you possess, on behalf of those four Cuban citizens: Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino.
This could also be step forward in building up a relationship of mutual respect and fruitful
cooperation between the great country that you represent and the tiny, but morally great, country which is your neighbor.
Please consider doing so, in the name of Nelson Mandela, whose memory will be forever associated with the struggle for freedom and justice.