[Ppnews] Movement Demands Visas for Wives of Cuban 5

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Mar 8 11:47:25 EST 2010

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban

US Personalities Demand Humanitarian Visas for Wives of the Cuban Five

March 8th, 2010

Coinciding with International Women's Day, a 
group of   personalities from the United States 
have sent a letter to US Secretary of State 
Hillary Clinton and to the Secretary of Homeland 
Security Janet Napolitano, asking them to 
immediately grant humanitarian visas to two Cuban 
women so they can visit their husbands in US prisons.

For more than a decade the US government has 
continued to deny entry visas to Olga Salanueva 
and Adriana Perez whose only purpose to come to 
the US is to visit their husbands in prison. Rene 
González and Gerardo Hernández respectively are 
two of the Cuban Five, who are serving long and 
unjust sentences in the United States.

The signers of the letter are US members of the 
International Commission for the Right of Family 
Visits that is comprised of more than 170 known 
figures from 27 countries. Recently, Argentinean 
members of the commission delivered a letter to 
the US embassy in Argentina. This letter was also 
sent to the US Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

The letter in the United States was signed by two 
religious personalities; former Bishop of Detroit 
Thomas Gumbleton and former General Secretary of 
the US Council of Churches Reverend Dr. Joan 
Brown Campbell. Also, union leaders such as the 
co-founder of the Farm Workers Union Dolores 
Huerta and the President of the ILWU Local 10 
of  San Francisco California Melvin MacKay.

In addition, others who added their name to the 
letter includes the following personalities and 
intellectuals: Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, the 
Mayor of Richmond, Gayle McLaughlin, former 
Congressman Esteban Torres, actor Danny Glover, 
writer and poet Alice Walker and Angela Davis 
professor of History in the University of Santa Cruz, California.

The letter also includes the former Chief of the 
US Embassy in Havana, Wayne Smith, as well as the 
Civil Rights activist Yury Kochiyama, and the 
President of the Media Freedom Foundation /Project Censored Peter Phillips.

The fourteen personalities sent the letter 
telling Clinton and Napolitano that the gesture 
of granting visas to Ms Salanueva and Perez "will 
show the world that we are represented by elected 
officials who want better relations with other 
nations and who have compassionate and humanitarian hearts."

The Letter Sent to Hillary Clinton and Janet Napolitano
March 8, 2010

US Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton

US Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano

  c/c United Nations Human Rights Council
          Rapporteur Against Torture
          United Nations Group on Arbitrary Detentions
          Amnesty International

Dear Ms Clinton and Ms Napolitano:

We respectfully write to you to ask the State 
Department of the United States and the 
Department of Homeland Security to immediately 
grant HUMANITARIAN VISAS to two Cuban citizens, 
Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, wives of 
prisoners Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez 
respectively. They have been denied visits to 
their husbands in prison for 11 years.

On December 18, 2009 the Department of Homeland 
Security denied a humanitarian visa to Olga 
Salanueva.  Without any explanation, they denied 
this elementary recourse to come to the US with 
the sole purpose to see her husband, Rene 
Gonzalez, unjustly sentenced to 15 years in prison.

At the time of her husband's arrest, Olga 
Salanueva was living with him and their two 
daughters; the youngest daughter is US born as 
well as Rene Gonzalez himself. After the arrest 
of her husband Ms Salanueva was detained with the 
purpose of pressuring her husband to collaborate 
with the prosecutors assuming a crime that he 
never committed.  Three months later in December 
2000, Olga was deported to Cuba. After 10 years 
since the deportation, the US government 
continues to punish this woman. There has not 
been any accusation or legal process against her. 
Additionally her status of being a mother and a 
wife of US citizens makes a compelling connection to the United States.

In the case of Adriana Perez; in July 2002, she 
traveled to the United States to visit her 
husband Gerardo Hernandez, unjustly serving two 
life sentences plus 15 years in US prison. But 
upon her arrival, she was detained in the Houston 
Airport, photographed, finger printed, 
interrogated for 11 hours, prevented from 
speaking to a lawyer or Cuban diplomats and 
subsequently sent back to Cuba, cruelly 
preventing Adriana to see her husband.  That was 
the last time that she was granted a visa to see 
him during the 11 years he has been imprisoned.

The last visa denial for Adriana was on July 15, 
2009, the day of their 21st wedding anniversary. 
Four months later, on November 2, Gerardo 
Hernandez's mother died.  Not even on a sad event 
like this in the life of any human being was 
Adriana Perez allowed to visit her husband to console him.

The applications for humanitarian visas for Olga 
Salanueva and Adriana Perez are supported by an 
important number of religious, legal and human 
rights institutions. From the World Council of 
Churches to the US Council of Christian Churches, 
the Cuban Council of Churches, the Association of 
American Jurists, Amnesty International, 170 
personalities including several Nobel Prize 
winners, parliamentarians, elected officials, and 
intellectuals from all over the world.

Until the Cuban Five are freed, the below 
signatories demand the immediate granting 

This gesture will show the world that we are 
represented by elected officials who want better 
relations with other nations and who have compassion and humanitarian hearts.


Bishop Thomas Gumbleton - Former Catholic Bishop of Detroit

Reverend Dr. Joan Brown Campbell - Former 
Secretary General of the National Council of Churches of the United States

Dolores Huerta - Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers Union

Melvin MacKay - President of ILWU Local 10, San Francisco, California

Danny Glover - Actor

Gayle McLaughlin - Mayor of Richmond, California

Alice Walker - Writer

Noam Chomsky - Linguist and Writer

Howard Zinn - Historian and Writer (Honorary Member)

Esteban Torres - Former US Congressman

Wayne Smith - Former Chief of the US Interest Section in Cuba

Michael Parenti - Author

Angela Davis - Professor of History, California University, Santa Cruz

Yury Kochiyama - Civil Right activist

Peter Phillips - President of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

International Committee for the Freedom of the 
Cuban 5 | P.O. Box 22455 | Oakland | CA | 94609

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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