U.S. prevents wife of one of the Miami Five from visiting him in prison
Campaign News | Monday, 29 July 2002
Adriana Pérez illegally detained at Houston airport, interrogated and forced to return to Cuba
DESPITE having a visa to enter the country, the U.S. authorities have prevented the wife of Gerardo Hernández one of the Miami Five - Cubans serving unjustified sentences in US prisons – from reaching California’s Lompoc penitentiary to visit him.
Adriana Pérez informed Cuban television that after arriving at Houston airport on July 25, she was illegally detained for 11 hours and subjected to interrogations by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). She was forced to return to Cuba against her will and without seeing her husband, being given no other option by the U.S. authorities.
She added that she was forced to present documentation on the pretext that it had to be photocopied and was separated from the Cuban official traveling with her.
During the interrogation, she was told that although she had no problem with immigration, her case was of interest to the FBI, whose agents took personal information, photographs and even fingerprints, and questioned her for one hour.
Pérez confirmed that the INS cancelled her visa to travel on to Lompoc without ever explaining why they had decided to prevent her from visiting her husband, whom she has not seen for four years.
Hernández is serving two life terms and a 15-year sentence after being convicted of endangering U.S. national security during a rigged trial in Miami.
The same court tried Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, both of whom received life sentences, and Fernando González and René González, sentenced to 19 and 15 years respectively.
The five Cubans were merely compiling information on potential acts of terrorism against their country organized by groups located in Florida.
HYPOCRITICAL ANTI-TERRORIST POLICY
Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba’s National Assembly, affirmed that the case of the Five demonstrates the hypocrisy of the White House war on terrorism.
This hatred of the Five exists because the authorities are aware that the more U.S. people know about their situation, the more government hypocrisy and connivance with those terrorist groups will be exposed, Alarcón affirmed.
He charged that four years after the men’s arrest in Miami, a petition by the defense lawyers to see hundreds of classified documents on the case is still under litigation in the Federal Court.
Alarcón confirmed that defense attorneys had requested the declassification of those texts prior to the trial, and the federal court judge and the FBI agreed not to reveal them so as to manipulate the case in the Miami courtroom.
He noted that in one private meeting with the judge and the FBI, the handling of evidence was discussed; months after the trial’s conclusion, there is still no response to the basic defense petition for access to the charges brought.
He exposed how during the case of Gerardo Hernández, accused of first degree murder, the U.S. government itself presented a written petition to an Atlanta Court in May 2001 to modify that charge against the Cuban if it couldn’t be proven.
However, Atlanta’s attorney general rejected the petition, but even with that existing precedent, the Miami court jury found him guilty of an accusation that government had rejected.
“If that came out, we can only imagine how many U.S. citizens would be alarmed,” stated the president of the Cuban Parliament.
“The United States constantly wants to hide its crime,” Alarcón highlighted in reference to the refusal by the U.S. authorities to allow Adriana Pérez to continue her journey to Lompoc to visit her husband. He added that such behavior is typical of people who know they are guilty and that they are committing a great injustice.
Gerardo, he said, has maintained an upright and incorruptible attitude in the face of pressure, isolation in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) and the sham of the legal process, and this is without a doubt another manouevre to put him under more pressure.
Alarcón confirmed that Cuba has information that Adriana was regarded as a detainee by the FBI and the INS at Houston airport.
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