Ana Belen Montes will spend her 60th birthday in US jail with another 10 years to serve
News from Cuba | Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Today (28th February) is the 60th birthday of Ana Belén Montes, a Puerto Rican woman serving a 25-year US prison sentence for passing information to Cuban intelligence agencies.
Ana is unable to receive any messages in prison, except from people she knows, so those wishing to send birthday messages and solidarity can do so via her cousin Miriam by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
About Ana Belén Montes
Ana Belén Montes is a Puerto Rican woman serving a 25-year prison sentence for passing information to Cuban intelligence agencies. She has already served 15 years in the Psychiatric Unit Detention Centre at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.
The terms of her imprisonment are extremely harsh. She cannot receive visits, email or calls or use a computer. There are only a small number of people to whom she has access, including her mother.
At her trial in 2002, she explained the reasons for her actions:
“I engaged in the activity that brought me before you because I obeyed my conscience rather than the law. I believe our government’s policy toward Cuba is cruel and unfair, profoundly unneighborly, and I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and our political system on it.
“We have displayed intolerance and contempt toward Cuba for most of the last four decades. We have never respected Cuba’s right to make its own journey towards its own ideals of equality and justice. I do not understand why we must continue to dictate how the Cubans should select their leaders, who their leaders cannot be, and what laws are appropriate in their land. Why can’t we let Cuba pursue its own internal journey, as the United States has been doing for over two centuries?”
“My greatest desire is to see amicable relations emerge between the United States and Cuba. I hope my case in some way will encourage our government to abandon its hostility towards Cuba and to work with Havana in a spirit of tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding.”
In October 2016, Ana was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. She is currently receiving chemotherapy.
René Gonzalez of the Miami Five has asked people to write to Ana. He said:
“Ana Belén Montes, the courageous Puerto Rican woman imprisoned for protecting Cuba from the US policies of aggression, has been operated [on] because of breast cancer. … Although she is not allowed to receive mail, the message of thousands of letters arriving to her prison door would surely be a powerful one. Please join in this effort and write a letter or a postcard to Ana.”
What you can do
If you would like to take action you can:
Write to the US Prisons Authority at Carswell Prison at email@example.com
Write to Ana at the contacts below. Although she is only able to receive emails from a small list of family members if you write to her she will learn of your support and know she is not alone.
Post: ANA BELÉN MONTES 25037-016, FMC Carswell, Federal Medical Center, PO Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and anaBelénmontes2015@gmail.com