Editors' note: From June 4-11, people around the world will take action on behalf of three Cuban patriots wrongfully imprisoned in the United States. Called "5 Days for the Cuban 5," the campaign to free the remaining three prisoners is tied to the overall movement to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. To read more about the case and campaign for the Cuban 5, click here.
As part of the campaign to free the prisoners, Camila Vallejo Dowling, a recently-elected deputy of Chile on the Communist Party ticket, sent a letter to President Barack Obama. Vallejo rose to international prominence as president of the Federation of Students of the University of Chile and spokeswoman of the Chile Confederation of Students. She led the student protest in 2011, which put the right-wing Piñera government on the ropes. The following is the translated letter.
To get involved in the campaign go to 5daysforthecuban5.com.
Santiago, May 5, 2014
Mr. Barack Obama
President of the United States of America
Through this letter, I would like to join the clamor expressed by a large number of people throughout the world; artists, intellectuals, parliamentarians, jurists and people of good will, who expect from you a decision of elemental justice, especially taking into account your status as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
This concerns pardoning 3 Cuban citizens, unjustly held in prisons in your country, for trying to protect Cuba from terrorist acts planned from U.S. territory.
Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo and Ramón Labañino Salazar have been convicted by U.S. authorities, falsely accused of conspiring against the United States, while in reality they actually infiltrated admittedly terrorist organizations, who have repeatedly attacked Cuba and Cuban citizens both inside and outside Cuban territory.
The world and especially Latin America expect you to pursue the normalization of relations with Cuba, inspired by the principle of peoples right of self-determination.
The release of these three Cuban patriots would be a great gesture in that direction.
I'm sure that you know about these cases and I believe that from your high office you will not endorse the continuity of the terrorist attacks suffered by Cuba, performed by sinister characters as Luis Posada Carriles, and that you understand that each country has the legitimate right to protect itself from such barbarous crimes.
Not only Cuba, but all people of good will in the world hope that Gerardo, Ramón and Antonio will be able to return to their homeland, as their comrades René and Fernando already have done. This is up to you.
Hoping sincerely that you will make the right decision,
CAMILA VALLEJO DOWLING
Member of the House of Representatives
Republic of Chile
Photo: Cuban children sing freedom songs for Cuban 5 (via 5daysforthecuban5.com).