September 12, 2010
President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500-0004
Dear President Obama,
We, the undersigned artists and actors from the United States, request that you review the case of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez, internationally known as the “Cuban Five”, with respect to their immediate release.
We are dismayed that the Cuban Five, who have committed no crime against the United States nor posed any threat to this country’s national security, have now been imprisoned for 12 years. The Five monitored the activities of violent groups of Cuban exiles in Miami, activities that had already resulted in the deaths of thousands of Cuban nationals. They sought simply to protect their country from further acts of terrorism.
President Obama, imagine that the terrorism had been directed at the United States. What if prior to 9-11 a handful of Americans had managed to infiltrate the hijackers and warn the United States of an impending attack? Would we now be vilifying them for their actions?
Our government is guilty of a double standard. While the Cuban Five languish in federal prisons, there are real terrorists – such as Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, who masterminded the mid-air bombing of a Cuban airliner – enjoying safe haven in the United States.
Dear President Obama, on the 12th anniversary of the arrest of the Cuban Five, we appeal to your sense of justice. As an immediate measure, we ask that you grant the visas now being denied to Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, so that they may immediately visit their imprisoned husbands, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez. Further, we respectfully request that you, having reviewed the facts of this case and given due consideration to the lengthy time these men have already spent in prison, will issue an Executive Clemency on behalf of the Cuban Five so that they may return to their country, their homes and their families.
Betty and Stanley K Sheinbaum