[Ppnews] President Obama can you hear the Cuban Five a little better now?

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 12 15:28:44 EST 2010

Obama can you hear the Cuban Five a little better now?

| January 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm



The "Cuban Five" on America's Rooftop

By Atilio Boron

Translation: Machetera

On January 10th, three young Argentinean climbers 
from Neuquén province reached the summit of 
Aconcagua, the highest mountain on the American 
continent, with an elevation of 22,831 feet above 
sea level.  This extraordinary feat, accomplished 
by Santiago Vega, a radio and television 
journalist, Aldo Bonavitta, a bank clerk, and 
Alcides Bonavitta, a social activist, had a 
political objective as clear as it was noble: 
expressing the solidarity of the Argentinean 
people with the cause of the five Cuban 
anti-terrorism fighters, held by the empire in 
its prisons for eleven years, under conditions 
that are not even applied to the worst serial 
criminals in that country.  Moreover, they were 
condemned in an absolutely flawed trial that 
makes their incarceration an affront to due 
process and the rule of law.  Ramon Labanino, 
Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando 
Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez were unjustly and 
illegally imprisoned and their case constitutes 
an emphatic denial of the so-called war on 
terrorism that Washington claims to be waging.

The case of the “Cuban Five” reveals like few 
others, the scope of the empire’s moral 
decadence.  If they are being held as prisoners 
in the United States of America, it’s precisely 
for having fought against terrorism.  On the 
other hand, proven and confessed terrorists such 
as Orlando Bosch Avila and Luis Posada Carriles, 
responsible for blowing up a Cuban airliner and 
killing 73 people onboard, with the former being 
the beneficiary of a presidential pardon, because 
Washington protects and shelters terrorism, as it 
also protected Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, 
Jorge Videla, Augusto Pinochet and the shadowy 
network of mercenaries that tortured and 
disappeared almost half a million Latin Americans 
under Operation Condor, back in the day.

The imprisonment of the Cuban anti-terrorist 
heroes is a scandal whose immorality cries out 
that the United States is not interested in the 
least in fighting terrorism and that its 
preaching in this sense is a monumental 
hypocrisy.  If Barack Obama wants to be faithful 
to the memory of the person who he mentioned in 
his speech at Oslo as one of his mentors, Martin 
Luther King, he ought to pardon the “Cuban Five” 
right now and with dignity and firmness, reject 
the wailing from the terrorist mafia enmeshed in 
the major offices of the three branches of the 
U.S. government.  It is a mafia, furthermore, 
connected to the radical right-wing and the 
enormous interests of the military-industrial 
complex; intransigent opponents of any halfway 
progressive initiative that someone who arrived 
at the White House by seducing an electorate with 
promises of change and the slogan “Yes, we can!” 
might wish to put into practice.

If Obama does not pardon the anti-terrorist 
fighters, as the international community demands, 
and as called for on the flag placed by the 
heroic Argentinean climbers at Aconcagua’s 
summit, it’s due to the fact that either his 
moral integrity is consumed by fatal weakness 
(something extremely serious in a Nobel Peace 
Prize recipient) or because he lacks the audacity 
and courage necessary to confront the “permanent 
government” of the United States: the doomed 
military-industrial complex that truly rules the 
destiny of that country, turning the highly 
exalted U.S. democracy into a bloody 
mockery.  The incurable moral degradation of the 
empire and its new rulers overflowed like 
infection from a wound, when several months ago 
the U.S. State Department denied a temporary U.S. 
visa for Adriana Perez O’Connor, the wife of 
Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo.  In that legal farce 
put on in Miami with the consent of Bill Clinton, 
George W. Bush and now, the Nobel Peace Prize 
winner, Gerardo was sentenced to two life 
sentences plus 15 years in prison.  As if such a 
penal monstrosity were not in itself sufficient, 
U.S. “justice” has prohibited him a visit from 
his wife, for eleven years, something that is not 
denied even the worst criminal confined in any of 
its prisons.  In this infamous episode, worthy of 
inclusion in a new chapter of that remarkable 
book by Jorge Luis Borges, A Universal History of 
Infamy, the current Secretary of State, Hillary 
Clinton, as a way of justifying the 
unjustifiable, said that a visit by Adriana 
“constitutes a threat to the stability and 
national security of the United States.”  Few 
expressions could surpass this one as timely 
proof of the moral rot of the empire.  One would 
hope that the achievement of Santiago, Aldo and 
Alcides at Aconcagua might serve to help Obama 
realize the universal discredit into which he is 
falling by continuing the policy of his 
predecessors in relation to two key issues: the 
unjust incarceration of the “Cuban Five” and the 
maintenance of the criminal blockade against Cuba.

Machetera is a member of 
<http://www.tlaxcala.es/>Tlaxcala, the 
international network of translators for 
linguistic diversity. This translation may be 
reprinted as long as the content remains 
unaltered, and the author and translator are cited.

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