Messages from the Five to US Embassy Vigil
Campaign News | Thursday, 21 October 2010
(photo Mark Thomas)
Three of the Miami five, Rene, Gerardo and Fernando sent special messages to CSC to be read out at the US Embassy Vigil on 19 Otober 2010. Rene's daughter Irma Gonzalez is pictured here reading out a the message from her father reproduced alongside the others below:
MESSAGE FROM RENE
Dear friends of Cuba and the Cuban Five:
If principles, justice and political honesty had any place in the hearts of those who rule the country represented by this embassy, none of you would be here tonight. Unfortunately principles, justice and political honesty have nothing to do with the spirit of revenge that have guided, for too long, the policies of the United States towards Cuba.
Only such vengeful spirit can explain the brutality of the punishment imposed on the five of us and our families; but the fact that such a punishment and the shameful support of terrorism it implies, can be sustained in the face of the whole world with total impunity, owes to a complicated system of complicit silencing, cooptation and opportunism that goes well beyond the vindictive and inhumane policies of a single government, no matter how powerful.
The sad reality is that after twelve years we are still confined to U.S. prisons; the terrorists we were protecting our country from enjoy all the benefits of safe heaven in Miami; after imposing death and destruction on our people for five decades, the government represented by this embassy has the guts to certify Cuba as a terrorist country; the victims of such crimes claim for justice and the world's corporate press, by its silence, gives applause to the abuse.
Fortunately principles, justice and political honesty have a place in the hearts of many decent people, all over the world. They are represented here tonight, as well as all the people of the United Kingdom who, since the very beginning of our ordeal, gave us a show of massive support that makes us feel honored, overwhelmed, accompanied and committed.
For all that support, that touches us in our deepest fiber, we extend to all and any of you our gratitude in the name of the five, in the name of our families and in the name of the Cuban people.
We also take the liberty of thanking you in the name of the staff at this embassy. Even the representation of the cruel establishment that has poured so much hate on us, can surely benefit somehow from the decency and human spirit that you bring, by your presence, to its air.
A big hug to all.
Gerardo, Ramon, Antonio, Fernando and Rene.
MESSAGE FROM GERARDO
Dear Friends attending the Vigil for the Five in London:
Once again you are reunited outside the U.S. Embassy to show solidarity with the five Cubans imprisoned in the United States for defending our country against terrorism.
Once again the functionaries of that embassy will ignore your claim or will say that the Five are in prison for the very serious crime of having committed espionage.
Once again we can tell anybody, plain and simple: that is a lie.
I would like to share some information with you: last June the U.S. administration nominated retired General James R Clapper Jr as Director of National Intelligence, also known as the ‘Intelligence Czar.’
For those of you not familiar with the records of our long trial, let me say that the arguments proving that the Five had not committed espionage were not presented by the defence, but by high-ranking U.S. military officials, including Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, of the U.S. Navy, Major General Edwards Breed Atkinson, of the U.S. Army and Lieutenant General James R Clapper, of the U.S. Air Force. General Clapper testified on behalf of the Government, and this is part of what he declared under oath, responding to the questions of my trial lawyer Paul A McKenna:
Question: “Would you agree on saying that having access to public information is not an act of espionage?” Answer: “Yes.”
Question: “Would you, with your experience in intelligence matters, describe Cuba as a military threat for the United States?”
Answer: “Absolutely not. Cuba does not represent a threat.”
Question: “Did you find any evidence indicating that Gerardo Hernandez was trying to obtain secretinformation?” Answer: “No, not that I remember.”
I wonder if any official of the U.S. Embassy in London would dare to say that General Clapper, the nominated Intelligence Chief of the United States, didn’t know what he was talking about when he testified in the trial of the Cuban Five!
As you know, the other very serious accusation, conspiracy to commit murder, was made only against me. By the time this message is read, the Habeas Corpus appeal on this count should finally have been filed. The document contains very strong arguments demonstrating that the accusation is simply outrageous and the evidence was manipulated by the Government, but I’m sure that once again the corporate media will ignore it. That’s why I exhort you to read the document and to help us spread the truth that others want to silence.
A few weeks ago I was taken to a punishment cell for no reason, something that could happen to any of the Five at any time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends in Britain for your many efforts to secure my return to the general population. I’m sure that, if it weren’t for your support, I would still be in ‘the Hole.’ Many thanks to you all!
There will be a day when these vigils for the Five won’t be necessary.
There will be a day when you will have a gathering like this one and no message from the Five will be read.
There will be a day when the Five will be here with you, to express personally our deep appreciation to our British friends for your continual and outstanding solidarity, the solidarity that - we are certain - will make such a day possible.
Gerardo Hernández Nordelo
U.S. Penitentiary, Victorville September 2010
MESSAGE FROM FERNANDO
Twelve years have passed since our arrests on September 12th 1998. These years of injustice could only be understood in the context of a greater injustice committed by the United States Government against Cuba for the last 50 years.
The Cuban Five are hostages in a criminal war waged by the US authorities for half a century against Cuba in an attempt to make our people pay for its decision to be independent and free.
We thank you all, participants in this vigil to demand our release from prison and safe return to our families and country.
Since the beginning of our ordeal we have always had the support and solidarity of many friends in England. From the workers represented by their trade unions, from Members of Parliament, from Cuba Solidarity Campaign, from different and diverse political organisations, and from those who express their solidarity as individuals.
Our gratitude goes to all of you in England who have stood in support of the Cuban Five, and who will continue to stand with us, as we are sure until the goal of freedom for us is attained!
As you have done all these years, and as you will continue to do, we will remain in the struggle for as long as it takes, encouraged by your solidarity and support and certain that sooner or later, thanks to efforts like yours, we will gain our freedom.
Onward to victory!
Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez