Yellow Ribbons in Cuba for Cuban Five

Elio Delgado Legon

HAVANA TIMES — “This is the message we want you to take to the people of the United States: we want them to know that the people of Cuba await the return of four of their children. It’s not just their families, not just those who know them personally. An entire country, an entire people is waiting for the four men, unjustly imprisoned in the United States, to come home.”

The statement came from Rene Gonzalez, one of the five Cubans detained in the United States on September 12, 1998 for alerting Cuba to the terrorist plots that violent groups based in Miami were hatching, during a speech last week addressed to the Cuban people, in anticipation of the date marking 15 years since the arrest of the Five.

He called on every Cuban to wear a yellow ribbon, or to hang it up at home or in a tree, such that the country is filled with these, symbols of affection towards a loved one who is away, whom one awaits, for the American people.

Since September 5, Cubans have been organizing activities demanding justice for the anti-terrorist activists who continue to serve long sentences in the United States: Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez (Rene Gonzalez served his 15-year sentence and is now back in Cuba).

Nothing can justify the continued imprisonment of these four men. They were convicted at a highly politicized trial, where the judge and jury were under pressure from the same terrorist mob the men were denouncing, and the one charge brought against them that was ultimately proven was that of working as agents for a foreign government without informing the Attorney General’s Office – a crime which, at the most, calls for 3 years in prison or repatriation.

All honest and well-intentioned people around the world, including many US citizens, agree that the Cuban Five were unjustly convicted.

This was also the opinion of the judges of the Atlanta Court of Appeals, which overturned the ruling after its first review of the case and only gave in to government pressures at a second hearing, when a judge, opposing this decision, issued a more than 90-page statement explaining the reasons why the original ruling ought to have been overturned.

The people of the United States are unaware of these details because the country’s press dares not publish a single article that reveals all of the arbitrary measures and violations of US law that characterized the longest trial in US history.

They are also unaware of the fact that the UN’s Committee on Arbitrary Detentions declared that the arrest of the Cubans was arbitrary and urged the US government to rectify the situation.

The entire world, and the people of the United States most particularly, must know the truth about these four Cubans who continue to serve sentences in US prisons, without having committed any crime that justifies this imprisonment.

The people of the United States must know that the mothers, wives, children and fathers of these four talented young men are still waiting for them to come back home, that they are waiting for President Barack Obama to make the right decision and release them, in order to rectify the situation created by the arbitrary measures taken in this case.

This is the reason why Rene Gonzalez called on all Cubans to fill the island with yellow ribbons: so that, on September 12, all visitors to Cuba, all foreign correspondents, will know that the entire country lovingly awaits their four children.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

7 thoughts on “Yellow Ribbons in Cuba for Cuban Five

  • The regime acted swiftly against the man that dared to use their propaganda concert to demand freedom of speech: he is “removed” from the group and no longer allowed to perform.
    Again the regime shows its hypocrisy and repressive nature.

    “El músico Robertico Carcassés ha sido “separado del sector” por tiempo indefinido, como represalia a sus comentarios críticos con el régimen durante un concierto dedicado a los cuatro espías preso en Estados Unidos, informaron fuentes del grupo Interactivo.”

    “El régimen sanciona ‘indefinidamente’ a Robertico Carcassés”

  • … and boy did it backfire when Robertico Carcasses, the 41-year-old leader of the Cuban jazz-fusion combo Interactivo, sang about his desire for “free access to information so I can have my own opinion…”

    “I want to elect the president by direct vote and not some other way,” he continued.

    “Neither militants nor dissidents, (we are) all Cubans with the same rights.”

    “And an end to the blockade,” he added, in reference to Washington’s 51-year-old economic embargo against Cuba, “and to self-blockade.”

    “HAVANA: Havana abuzz over singer’s bold concert lyrics”

  • Anti-terrorists imprisoned in a country that’s engaged in more terrorism than any other.

  • Yellow ribbons for Alan Gross would be a more truthful and respectful use of these ribbons.
    The abuse of this US symbol for propaganda for spies and agents of a repressive regime is a travesty and an insult to the US people.

  • I am surprised that even a zealot like Elio could imagine that the case of the four remaining Cuban spies will merit additional news coverage this week. People here in the US who would be expected to give a damn about these guys already know what is going on. Anyone who still doesn’t know about this case will likely not care much when they do. There is has been extensive news coverage of this case in the US. This week, in particular, there is this little thing (sarcasm) going on in Syria right now that has got our national attention. That Rene Gonzales and Elio and the rest of these wackos could think that a bunch of ‘fricken’ yellow ribbons will capture our attention this week or any other week for that matter is just nuts. These convicted spies are GUILTY of all the crimes they were accused of committing. There is no doubt about that. A reasoned argument could be made that the sentences they were given are excessive. However, there is a judicial process (of which I am no fan) in place to resolve this issue. President Obama will not, nor should he, expend the precious political capital he has remaining to free these tools of Cuban propaganda.

  • Elio, you are talking fantasy again. The details of the case are well known in the US. The media has published the claims of “irregularities”. They also published the facts and evidence upon which the Cuban spies were properly convicted, something you routinely omit from your repetitive pieces on the topic.

    There is little to no political interest in releasing them. Obama is certainly under absolutely no pressure to do so. Many Cuba’s don’t give a damn about the Cuban Five, no matter how many yellow ribbons the government hands out. The whole exercise is orchestrated by the Castro regime to maintain the siege mentality so essential to their grip on power. That’s all it’s about.

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