miércoles, 11 de septiembre de 2013

Gerardo and his brothers

Gerardo is a Cuban citizen imprisoned in a high security jail in California with an abusive sentence: two life imprisonments and 15 years. His unique “crime” was to fight against terrorism, to risk his life for the security of his own people: I mean us, the Cuban people.

When he was a child, as most of the children of his generation, he witnessed the threat posed to the Cuban people of almost 700 terrorist actions committed by dangerous extremist persons from Miami, which has cost the life of more than 3000 Cubans and damaged other 2000. He grew up with the suffering of millions of Cubans with the explosion of a Cubana aircraft in Barbados, on 6 October 1976, which killed the 73 people on board, among other actions of the same nature.

There hasn’t been punishment against the confessed authors of this crime –Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles– and, as many others, they have lived openly in Miami, treated like “brave fighters against the Castro dictatorship”. That’s why when Gerardo was graduated as a diplomat from a university in Havana, he decided to renounce to his professional career and do something about it.

In 1997, when the Cuban national security was threatened by a series of explosions in Havana and Varadero hotels –that killed an Italian tourist and caused serious economic damages at the most important industry in Cuba at that time: the tourism industry–, Gerardo and some other Cubans were infiltrated in Miami’s terrorist organizations to identify who, how and where the next violent actions will happen in Cuba.

When he and other four Cubans –brothers in this endeavor– were arrested, and they knew that the trial would happen in Miami, they realized it was lost. They were condemned of espionage and conspiracy to commit murder. Although none of the accusations were demonstrated in the trial –according to the American law you commit espionage when obtaining secret information from a governmental institution–, and there was a decision of a higher tribunal to declare it null and make it again somewhere out of Miami, they were convicted with the most severe sentences.

There was such a political propaganda around the case and the anti-Cuba lobby in Miami is so powerful that, 15 years later, four of the “Cuban 5” are still in prison. In fact, they have received with this punishment all the hate, intolerance and impotence from these extremists in Miami, after 50 years of unsuccessful attempt trying to overthrow the Cuban government.

Gerardo is highly regarded as a hero in Cuba. For those who met him at the school when he was young, remember him as a brave, funny, enthusiastic and intelligent leader. Perhaps he was the vivid image of what we’ve heard about the revolutionary Cuban leader Camilo Cienfuegos: a person who could have at the same time the most hilarious joke and the deepest thought. If ordinary Cubans would have the opportunity to know his charming personality, he would be a double hero. That’s why he was so dangerous.

With this cruel sentence against him, he might not be free anymore. Worst than that, he’s not been able to have a family, because the US government doesn’t give the visa or the permission to his wife to meet him in prison. It violates the most basic human rights and the internationally recognized rights of prisoners. But this is an obsession to break his will. When he was condemned, at his final statement, he recalled Nathan Hale: “I only regret not to have more than one life to give it for my homeland”. 

Yesterday, September 11, the USA remembered about 3000 victims of the terrorist attack over the World Trade Center. Today, September 12, Cuba remembers the more than 3000 victims of terrorist actions committed from Miami against our people, as this date marks the 15th anniversary of this unfair trial, where the terrorists were the accusers and the heroes were the victims.

That’s why Cuba woke up today full of yellow ribbons, everywhere… calling for the return of Gerardo and his brothers, demanding true justice against terrorism. 

“Tie a yellow ribbon
‘Round the old oak tree…”

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