Chicago, IL - Fight Back! is circulating a letter of greetings to the Chicago 20th Annual People’s Thanksgiving, sent by Gerardo Hernandez, of the Cuban 5. He is currently serving two life terms in federal prison. The letter includes a reference to Sarah Smith, one of the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists who were subpoenaed to a grand jury investigating “material support for terrorism.”
The letter, which was sent to Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5, reads as follows:
Nov. 15, 2012
Thank you very much for your letter and for the solidarity with the Cuban 5. Because of the way my mail is handled here, your letter took a while to reach me, and most probably this one will reach you after "The Peoples Thanksgiving." I express our solidarity with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Fight Back!, and the appreciation of the Cuban Five for their support to our struggle for justice.
After having learned that the U.S. government paid off journalists in Miami to influence the community before, during and after our trial, we filed a new appeal. The government opposed it and asked the judge to strike it from the record, so these days we are working on a response.
But besides the legal battle we are at a stage where the support of comrades like you is more important than ever, and we really appreciate every effort to break the wall of silence imposed on the case. We have no doubt that one day justice will prevail and we will return to Cuba.
Thank you very much for sending me the list of the activities carried out by our comrades in Chicago, and for keeping high the flag of freedom for the Cuban Five in that city.
I send our greetings and gratitude to Sarah and to all our friends there.
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo
The most famous U.S. political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal wrote of the Cuban 5 in 1998, "Five Cubans were imprisoned in Miami and charged with spying for Havana. In fact, the five were exposing terrorist acts by Cuban exiles in Miami against their homeland. When they saw plots against their nation, they reported back to their people what was happening. Cuba passed on reports to the U.S. government in a bid to stop the terrorism that has cost over 3400 Cuban lives since 1959. The U.S. responded to the reports by rounding up the five, charging them and treating them as spies. They have been convicted of charges related to their monitoring, and sentenced to terms of 15 years to life for defending their nation from terrorist attacks. Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez committed no acts against the United States, nor monitored any American secrets. They entered the Miami exile community and observed the planning of acts of terrorism against their nation of birth, and reported it. That is their ‘crime.’”
Amnesty International, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, 11 Nobel Prize winners, including Jimmy Carter, have protested the Cuban 5’s unjust incarceration in U.S. prisons. The Cuban 5 case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the Obama administration asked the Court not to review the case, and it did not.
It is noteworthy that three of the Cuban 5, Rene Gonzalez, Fernando Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez, volunteered and fought in Angola in its struggle to liberate that country from the former South African apartheid army.
The struggle for the freedom of these 5 Cuban political prisoners has become a worldwide struggle. At a previous Peoples Thanksgiving we sent the Cuban 5, along with other political prisoners, letters in solidarity.