Leonard Weinglass, One of the United States most renowned legal experts passed from this earth yesterday afternoon. Ricardo Alarcón, president of Cuba’s National Assembly remembers his close personal friend.
By Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada
On the afternoon of March 23rd, the same day he would have turned 78 years of age, Leonard Wineglass’s heart ceased to beat.
He had been a victim of a cruel illness and since January of this year he had entered into a critical and especially painful stage of health, despite this, he did not distance himself for an instant from his work. During the last months of life, heroically combating both the illness and physical pain he dedicated himself with body and soul to the preparation and presentation of the habeas Corpus in favor of Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero, without neglecting the work on behalf of other comrades.
Shortly before entering the hospital where he was to undergo surgery, he took the final steps in the appeals process of Gerardo and Antonio and delegated to other colleagues what they should do while he was undergoing treatment. Only then did he accept the ordeal of taking care of himself.
He was always like that. As a young lawyer he was involved in several radical causes, including those closely linked with Leonard Boudin and Victor Rabinowitz in the early 70s. Later, in the 80s, he established a formal relationship with that law office, which had fought countless legal battles in favor of workers unions, civil liberties and justice in the United States.
With his brilliant defense in 1968 of the Chicago 8, Lenny began an endless and admirable career as a defense attorney representing Jane Fonda, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Angela Davis, Mumia Abu Jamal, Amy Carter, Kathy Boudin and many more to include the Cuban Five and more recently collaborating with the defense team of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. The history of the struggles of the American people cannot be written without mentioning on every page, the name Leonard Weinglass.
Now and always we shall owe him our homage and gratitude.
Losing Lenny is a great blow to Gerardo, Ramon, Antonio, Fernando and René. He had been their best and most relentless defender, he dedicated all of his energies and his talent to their cause, and for them he fought to the end in the midst of pain and agony, to his last breath.
The struggle for the freedom of the Cuban Five must continue, now under even harder circumstances, without Lenny. We must all multiply our commitment until our brothers are free. We must do so without intermission or rest. It is the least we can promise this resolute, self sacrificial and lucid man, who will forever be our beloved comrade Leonard Weinglass.