Cuba Protests US Denial of Visa to Adriana Perez
Adriana is the wife of Gerardo Hernadez who, along with Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, was arrested in 1998 for monitoring anti-Cuba extremist groups in South Florida that were planning and carrying out terrorist actions against the Caribbean nation.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, that circulated Monday, Cuba’s UN Ambassador Abelardo Moreno Fernandez demanded that Washington grant Adriana Perez “a humanitarian visa immediately so that she may visit her husband,” the digital website CubaDebate reports.
The diplomat said that on July 15, after a wait of 95 days, the US Interests Section in Havana denied Adriana Perez a visa for the 10th time, using “the crude argument” that she “constitutes a threat to the stability and national security of the United States.”
“This is shameful confirmation that the current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is using the same argument as her predecessor Condoleezza Rice to deny Ms. Adriana Perez her visa,” the text adds.
“This decision of the United States authorities violates the country’s own law and demonstrates a systematic violation of its international obligations. It is also a systematic and flagrant violation of human rights and an act of torture against Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo - unjustly sentenced to two life sentences plus 15 years in prison - and members of his family.”
The letter to the UN Secretary-General includes an “appeal to the parliaments and peoples of the world,” approved by Cuba’s National Assembly, which demands the immediate release of the Cuban Five. The appeal states that President Barack Obama “has the constitutional authority and the moral obligation to ensure justice.”
Three of the Cuban Five in the United States were taken to the Miami detention center to wait for re-sentencing hearing scheduled for October 13, 2009.
Last year, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals of Atlanta ruled that the sentences given to Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez “were imposed incorrectly” and sent them back to Judge Joan Lenard who, in the presence of a jury, will have to give them new sentences.
Ramon Labañino and Antonio Guerrero are serving life terms while Fernando Gonzalez was sentenced to 19 years. The two other Cuban antiterrorists, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, who are serving two-life terms and fifteen years, respectively, were not benefited with the re-sentencing ordered by the Atlanta appeals court.
An international campaign for the release of the Cuban Five has spread across the world. The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five website can be visited, here.