Obama Grant Visas for the Cuban 5 Families
President Barack Obama
The Popular Education Project to Free the Cuban 5
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Throughout their incarceration the Cuban 5 have been victims of multiple human rights violations. One of the most unjust and inhuman of these violations has been the systematic denial of visitation from their relatives; a basic right of all prisoners. The U.S. government has imposed a number of obstacles and unjustifiable delays in granting visas to their families. Hence, some of the Cuban 5 have only received an annual visit from family.
In the cases of Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, the situation is far more critical, as their wives have not been allowed to visit them in prison so far. Olga Salanueva, Rene Gonzalezs wife has been denied visas to visit Rene based on unfounded arguments and pretexts. According to the U.S. government, Olgas presence in the U.S. is a risk to national security. This argument is absurd because Olga lived in the U.S. for two years and two months after her husbands arrest and was never linked to his federal charges nor was she ever accused of any herself. Also, it makes no sense to deny her a visa on an account of alleged intelligence activity since Rene was never accused of espionage.
In 2002, Gerardo Hernandezs wife Adriana Perez was granted a visa to visit him. When she arrived to Houston Airport in Texas, she was arbitrarily detained, isolated, deprived her of her passport, photographed, and subjected to illegal questioning by the FBI for eleven hours and then sent back to Cuba. She was never allowed to visit Gerardo. Subsequently, Adriana has been denied visas to visit her husband.
The U.S. government asserts that she is a risk to national security. There is no proof or rationale that her presence will negatively impact national security. As with Olga Salanueva, Adrianas name is not mentioned in the accusatory minutes linked to the Cuban 5s charges. If the U.S. government had any evidence against her they could have arrested Adriana the moment she entered U.S. territory, but they didnt.
President Obama, your decision to close Guantanamo Prison and your belief that Cuban-Americans should see their families in Cuba proves you believe in human rights and the reunification of families.
This denial of visas is keeping families apart and is a horrible human rights violation. In order to bring to an end to this flagrant violation of human rights, we ask that you intercede in this matter and grant visas to the families of the Cuban 5 and allow them to see their relatives on a regular basis.