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Posted January 15, 2004 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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CUBA has demanded that the U.S. government end the hostilities against the five Cubans imprisoned in that country since 1998 and their families and is calling on Washington to fulfill its international, legal and moral obligations.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) published on January 14, also demands that the White House puts an end to the manipulation of the Five’s legitimate rights.

The note calls on the United States to fulfil its international, legal and moral responsibilities in the case against Gerardo Hernndez, Rene Gonzlez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labaino and Fernando Gonzlez, who were sentenced to harsh prison terms ranging from 15 years to double life.

The Foreign Ministry statement condemns the fact that the U.S. State Department recently stated that the wives of Gerardo and Rene should have made their visa applications personally and not through the normal MINREX channels.

“It is an attempt to castigate the example of heroism and patriotism that they (the Five) radiate in an evident attempt to satisfy the most irrational whims of the Cuban mafia in Miami,” the document continues.

The statement describes as “absurd, cynical and ridiculous” the arguments wielded by U.S. officials to deny visas to Adriana Perez (Gerardo’s wife) and Olga Salanueva (Rene’s wife) for the third time in two years. These officials affirm that the women represent a threat to U.S. national security.

This attitude towards Adriana and Olga adds the Ministry is due to the defense that their partners are undertaking, “which makes them believe that motives of the women in their wish to travel to the United States are no longer humanitarian but part of an active political campaign against that government.”

Both women have as much right to demand justice for their husbands as to visit them, it states, and any denial of that right constitutes a violation of international law and the legislation of the United States itself.

“With this latest decision, the United States is continuing to violate the human rights of Rene and Gerardo their relatives… through such unlimitedly cruel actions.

Such a decision is in violation of Washington’s international obligations as endorsed in the declaration on the protection of individuals from torture, and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment. Besides this, the statement adds, the decision contradicts the principles for the protection of all persons subjected to any form of detention or imprisonment and the basic rules that apply for the treatment of prisoners.

MINREX has continually called on the U.S. authorities to reconsider these arbitrary negatives and, in compliance with international obligations, allow Olga and Adriana to exercise their inalienable right to visit their husbands, and little Yvette to see her father Rene.

In violation of the obligations and duties established in the Vienna Convention regarding Consular Relations, the statement maintains, the State Department is continuing to obstruct Cuban consular officials in the course of their duties and in their right to offer consular assistance to these Cuban citizens.

The text highlights that on two occasions, the State Department even went to the length of denying travel permits to Cuban officials in order to make consular visits to Gerardo and Fernando Gonzlez in 2003.

Everything points to the fact that the U.S. authorities are increasing the pressure and above-mentioned obstacles this year, stressed the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

Miami 5 web site - http://www.granma.cu/miami5/ingles/index.html

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