Dear President Obama,
Though I fear your staff protects you from letters such as this, I write in the hope that one of our voices leaks through. I am one of thousands of people around the world who ask that you make a humanitarian gesture that is also a meaningful step to reduce international tensions: grant Executive Clemency and cause the release of the Cuban 5, who have been wrongly held in our prisons for nearly 14 years.
Together with a number of colleagues in the arts who speak as Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the Cuban 5, I ask for the release of these five men: Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Rene González Sehwerert, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez and Fernando González Llort.
Release them because they are sons, husbands, brothers, poets, pilots, college graduates and artists who have committed no crime against the United States.
Release them because they came to this country unarmed and never posed a threat of any kind to US National Security.
Release them because they came here only to monitor the activities of violent Cuban exiles who, operating from bases in Miami of which our government is well aware, were planning violent actions against innocent people in Cuba.
Release them because they were trying to prevent more brutal acts against their country and save innocent lives.
As you’re aware, Mr. President, this month was our Independence Day, a day many politicians use to celebrate our nation’s laws, its history, and its people. For many of these same politicians, supporting the so-called “war on terror” is used as a way to demonstrate their patriotism.
That being so, it is an act of profound hypocrisy for our government to continue the incarceration of these heroic men who put themselves at risk to stop the very terrorism we claim to find so abhorrent.
Therefore, I respectfully ask that you to reverse this mockery of justice and use the power conferred on you by our Constitution to do the right thing and allow the Cuban 5 to return home to their loved ones.
Published in The Huffington Post