Peter Coyote, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover and other American artists signed a letter emphatically urging President Obama to take action in the case of a recently released political prisoner from Cuba who is now being forced to remain in the US for three years under probation.
The letter in support of Rene Gonzalez — who is a member of group of known as the “Cuban Five” but was released from jail a week ago after completing his sentence — is part of the international campaign to the release all of the five men.
In this instance, the artists are expressing their opinions that this recent measure is punitive and acts only to upset the already rocky relations between Cuba and the United States.
In Cuba, for thirteen long years this case has been the focus — ad nauseam — of news reports, commentaries, documentaries, demonstrations, rallies, political speeches, etc. Terms such as “rigged trial,” “unjust imprisonment” and “anti-terrorist heroes,” continue to be heard all the time and everywhere.
Still, I have to admit that I never did get the whole gist of the story very well, despite how much it’s been featured.
According to what’s been reported, these men were agents of Cuban State Security working on US soil with their mission having been to preempt acts of terrorism being planned from there against our island.
However a strategic mistake by the Cuban government (providing the FBI with information about such activities) made it possible for the agents to be uncovered and caught.
Obviously the sentences were excessive. As it’s been shown these men posed no threat to US national security; therefore there was no reason for them to have received such harsh sentences.
For carrying out their mission they’ve been deprived of their liberty and many other rights, such as being able to meet with their families.
Many internationally known figures and personalities have declared their solidarity with the cause of these men’s release. Now prestigious artists have added their names to that demand, and Cuba can now highlight this news as one more little ray of light to add to so many publicity activities around “The Cuban Five” – to ease consciences and atone for their sins.