Remembering Cuba and the USA
The month of September marks important dates in the history of neighbouring states - Cuba and the United States of America.
For our sister nation Cuba, September 12 marks the 14th anniversary since five of their sons - Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González - internationally known as the Cuban Five, have been incarcerated in US prisons for fighting terrorism directed at their country and which was hatched on US soil.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 remains in our collective memories as 9/11 when over 3,700 lives were lost. In its aftermath came a US "war on terror", and its consequences of death and destruction are being felt as far afield in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
Our planet has not been the same since 9/11.
One would have thought, therefore, that a logical alliance would have been forged between these two sovereign states - Cuba and the USA - given their experience with this scourge of humanity and terrorism.
Instead, successive US administrations since 1998 have sought to undermine and criminalise with inordinately long sentences five Cuban patriots (Gerardo Hernández receiving two life sentences and 15 years), for trying to protect their country from terrorist activities originating in Miami that resulted in the loss of lives and millions of dollars in damage to the infrastructure and economy of Cuba.
To add insult to injury and a major slap in the face of all of us who support human rights and the primacy of the family, especially in times of need, the US Administration has consistently denied the visiting rights for the wives of the Cuban 5 on the specious grounds, in one case, that the woman was a "threat" to the national security of that country.
Let us join the efforts of the following in condemning the unjust, unfair trial and imprisonment of the Cuban 5 and in calling for their release: Colonel Lawrence Wilkinson, Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2002-2005; President Jimmy Carter, 1977-81; President of the United Nations General Assembly 2008-2001, Miguel D' Escoto; US Attorney General 1967-69 Ramsey Clarke; Pulitzer Prize winner for The Colour Purple Alice Walker; 10 Nobel Prize winners, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions 2005, and the millions of people across the world.
President Barack Obama, the eyes of the world are watching you.
Trevor G Brown