Havana, June 1 – US Reverend Joan Brown Campbell called on Friday, in Havana, for the release of the four, who are serving unfair and long terms in , and she stressed the ongoing youth mobilization to achieve that goal.
During a press conference at the Cuban Council of Churches, the former secretary general of the National Council of Churches of Christ U.S.A., recalled that the return to Cuba of small child Elian Gonzalez in 1999, when he was held in Miami, seemed impossible to achieve. But it was the churches, the synagogues and the mosques that came together to support his return, since there was a family here that loved him.The Reverend added that the Cuban Five, as the anti-terrorist fighters are known around the world, have been imprisoned for 14 years now.
Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González were arrested in 1998 and later given unfair sentences, including a double life term plus fifteen years, after they monitored Miami-based violent organizations that planned terrorist actions against Cuba.
Rene Gonzalez is in Cuba after he started actions to renounce his US citizenship in exchange for the modification of the three-year parole, which he was imposed to meet on US territory after he was released from prison in October 2011.
We have tried to spread the case of the Cuban Five in the United States and give their mothers, wives and children all the strength possible, said Campbell as she referred to a large group of US citizens who are convinced of the injustice committed against the five men. For Campbell this is a complex case, while the children and grandchildren of the five are new and important voices that can find a sensitive ear, she said.
The 81-year-old religious leader, who traveled to Cuba to express her commitment to local churches and make preparations for other religious visits, said that they have tried to draw the interest of the US press about the Cuban Five case.
The Reverend sent US President Barack Obama a letter last September asking him to release the five Cuban heroes. In that letter, Campbell recalled that the anti-terrorists posed no threat on US national security.