Speech given by Ricardo Alarcón at the central event held at the Astral theatre in Havana during a day of solidarity for the Cuban Five, September 12, 2011.
I will be brief in order for the artists present to raise their voices in solidarity with Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René.
Today marks the completion of thirteen years of an injustice that has gone on far too long for the Cuban Five. They have received the worst sentences and most cruel treatment, which among other things, has impeded their families from visiting them, and reached inhumane extremes with the prohibition against Adriana and Olga reuniting with Gerardo and René. They have also been punished by the total silence imposed by a media tyranny which aims to extinguish the solidarity that they deserve and hide the larger truth: the Cuban Five are in prison for opposing the terrorists who are enemies of Cuba and its people.
On a day just like today, Washington had them arrested and tried in a fraudulent and extremely arbitrary proceeding, for one reason alone: to protect and support the anti-Cuban terrorism that was created by the United States half a century ago and which has always relied on its active support or complicit tolerance.
Very soon, the current rulers will have to deal with the dilemma of whether or not to continue the immoral cynicism of their predecessors. On October 7th, René González Sehwerert will leave prison after having completed the very last minute of his unjust incarceration.
For René, this would open up a three year period of so called “supervised release” which constitutes a certain risk for him and an unjust additional punishment for him and his family. But it also signifies a challenge for the Obama administration, which one would hope it will face with wisdom and common sense. From that day forward, we will see one of the most revealing, and for that reason, one of the most silenced aspects of the sordid process to which our companions have been submitted.
I’ve said before that the case of the Cuban Five is irrefutable proof of Washington’s complicity with the terrorists. Believe me, I wasn’t exaggerating. It is proven in the trial record and other documents from the Miami trial. The prosecution urged that the harshest and most exaggerated sentences be imposed, but furthermore, it insisted that for Washington there was something just as important as a maximum prison sentence. This something, that they called “incapacitation,” consisted of taking measures so that after concluding their prison terms, none of the accused could ever be able to try do to anything to stop the terrorists or their plans.
In the sentence pronounced against René, this demand was expressed in these words: “As a special additional condition of supervised release, the accused is prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists, members of organizations advocating violence, and organized crime figures are known to be or frequent.”
This was proclaimed by a U.S. federal court in December of 2001, scarcely three months after the abominable terrorist act of September 11th, and it was made at the formal and express request of the farceurs who unleashed a so-called “war on terrorism,” based on illegality and lies, that has caused the death and suffering of countless innocent people all over the world.
While it launched this effort – as cruel as it was hypocritical – the Bush regime recognized that in South Florida there are individuals and terrorist groups, whose location and activities are known. But instead of capturing them and putting them on trial, as was its duty, the regime shamelessly protected them and demanded that neither René nor anyone else bother them.
What will the current government do? Asking that it cancel this sanction against René and dare to send its agents to arrest the known terrorists in the places where they are “known to be or frequent” might be too much. The possibility remains, however, to avoid the problem by letting René return to Cuba now, to his home and his family. If René is forced to remain in the United States one single day after October 7th, President Obama will have to choose which side he is on in the struggle against terrorism.
Washington ought to answer for other things. The gross manipulation of the government’s supposed “proof” against Gerardo in order to accuse him of murder and later find itself obliged to acknowledge on May 30, 2001, that it was impossible to prove the accusation and ask for it to be withdrawn in what was called “an unprecedented action.”
The full dimension of the government’s conspiracy with the local media in Miami and with its fake “journalists” which it financed with federal money so they could lie and create an atmosphere of hatred against the Cuban Five, to convict them beforehand. The satellite imagery that it has hidden for fifteen years because it shows that the incident of February 24, 1996 took place over Cuban territory and therefore Washington had no jurisdiction or legal basis whatsoever to accuse anyone of anything. Its refusal to admit Gerardo’s Habeas Corpus petition or to grant him a hearing in which he might speak and where the government would have to openly discuss its false allegations. What is Washington afraid of?
The official U.S. attitude is essentially one of coverup. If the citizens of that country know little or nothing about the subject, they will not ask essential questions. When they understand the truth, they will be able to persuade President Obama to do what he must: free the Cuban Five, each and every one, unconditionally.
Breaking this wall of silence therefore, is of the utmost importance. We will attempt to do so by every means possible. Let song, poetry and love puncture that wall.
Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.