Dear Supporters of the Cuban Five,
The year 2009 is coming to an end — it was a difficult one for the Cuban Five and their families. On June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court, without any explanation, ignored the international call of 10 Nobel Prize winners, parliaments, members of the religious community, intellectuals, human rights organizations, and prestigious jurists who wrote 12 amicus briefs to ask them to review the case. The magnitude of this outpouring of support, for a case in front of the Supreme Court, was unprecedented. And never had such distain been shown for justice in front of such universal opinion.
The reduction of sentences for three of the Five brought some relief as two of the life sentences were eliminated. But the new sentences imposed on Antonio, Ramon, and Fernando continue to be outrageous and unjust. These new sentences add up to a total of 69 years without counting the years of parole after they are released.
The sentences of Rene and Gerardo were not modified and today our five brothers are serving two life sentences plus 99 years collectively.
Despite 11 years of pressure by the U.S. government against the Five, it has not been able to break their morale or dignity. All the attempts to divide them and deny them have not worked. In contrast, the admiration for the Cuban Five continues to grow as more and more people from around the world learn about these brave men who were peacefully protecting their country from terrorist operations in the U.S.
During the October 13 re-sentencing hearing for Antonio in Miami, the U.S. government was obligated to admit that the worldwide denunciation and solidarity for the Five is questioning the image and credibility of the U.S. justice system.
The work done by more than 300 committees in more than 100 countries has created a wave of solidarity. But the prolongation of the injustice and the double standard of the U.S. government means we need to build that wave into a tsunami of solidarity that will push the current administration to free Gerardo, Ramon, Antonio, Fernando, and Rene. The solidarity movement for their freedom is the key ingredient in their inevitable freedom.
Announcing a New Postcard Campaign
We are pleased to announce that before 2009 ends we are launching a new postcard campaign directed at President Obama and his winning of the Nobel Peace Prize. There are 10 Nobel Prize recipients who are demanding the release of the Five and he needs to be the 11th. This idea was brought up during the Fifth International Colloquium in Solidarity with the Cuban Five celebrated this past November in Holguin, Cuba. The painting on the postcard below was done by Antonio Guerrero in his prison cell.
The postcards are now available in English and Spanish. If you want to receive them to distribute in your community, write to us at: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. We can also send you the PDF so you can print them yourselves.
We want to again thank all the friends in the U.S. and from different countries around the world who have supported our work inside the United States during this year.
An Important Appeal to Continue Our Work
On this occasion we want to appeal to friends and committees who are able to support our efforts. The help of each one of you is critical for us to continue our work for the freedom of the Five inside the United States; we can not do it without you.
To send a donation, write your check (tax deductible in the U.S.) to: International Committee and send it to: Int’l Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five, P.O. Box 22455, Oakland, CA 94609.
For a credit card donation: go to <www.thecuban5.org/act_now3.html> and click in Donate and follow the instructions.
If you wish to make a donation from another country through a wire transaction, write to <email@example.com> and we will give you information on how to make such a donation.
In 2010 let us multiply our work with more energy than ever and greater unity of action to achieve the return of the Five to their homeland and their families.
Upcoming Projects for 2010
The International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five is already planning a number of new protects for the new year including:
- A major concert to take place in Richmond, California with internationally renowned musicians;
- Building a sustained publicity campaign about the case over a 3 to 6 month period;
- Convening a conference in Washington DC with personalities from the United States and from all over the world;
- Continuing and increasing the campaign to gain Humanitarian Visas for Adriana and Olga;
- Participating in important forums and conferences inside the United States including the Congreso Latino in Texas and the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit;
- Organizing campaigns directed at President Obama and members of his administration;
- Initiating a process to nominate the Cuban Five for the Nobel Peace Prize;
- Making YouTube videos to be shown on the Internet; and
- Creation of a Flickr site that can be used by all interested people around the world to display photos and small videos of the struggle.
We wish you a Happy New Year with Peace and Justice for all
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
For more information, go to <http://www.thecuban5.org/>.