Friday, July 13, 2012

Justice still being denied

We have just learned that the US prison authorities have once again intervened in the case of the Miami Five to deprive the Cuban heroes of their right to due legal process.
This time it is to ensure that Gerardo Hernández is prevented from meeting with his legal advisor and his consular advisors in the lead up to his final appeal. Those of you who have campaigned against the unjust incarceration of the Five for over a decade will recognise the pattern: the US "justice" system reverts to type each time there is any possibility of the Five advancing along the road to justice and denies them their internationally guaranteed rights to fair legal procedures.
This is an intolerable situation and one that demands immediate action at diplomatic level to achieve redress.
We are fortunate to have, as Minister of Foreign Affaris a Labour TD, Eamon Gilmore, who has been a signatory to the various appeals made in the case of the Miami Five over the past 12 years. It is now time for him to call in the US ambassador to Ireland and seek explanations for the latest denial of access to legal and consular representation.
Cuba Support Group Ireland call on all friends and supporters to contact the Minister, requesting that he take immediate action to hold the USA to account for the violation of the few legal rights remaining to Gerardo Hernández. Please be courteous, Mr Gilmore is a friend of the Miami Five and can be counted on to act in their interests - he just needs to be reminded that this matter is of sufficient importance to his electorate to warrant his direct involvement. Mr Gilmore can be contacted at or by phone to the Tánaiste's office at: 01 618 3566.
Full details of the latest abuse are included in the statement issued by the Cuban Foreigh Ministry which can be quoted from in any correspondence. Please cc any emails to together with any notification of correspondence reference numbers advised (a request for an official response should always be included in any correspondence to ensure that it correctly logged and tracked).
Please make contact with the Minister today as Gerardo only has a few days left in which to prepare his case.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba
One of the five antiterrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States, Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, has been subject of a new arbitrariness by the authorities of that country, aiming at hindering his legal process.
Last Saturday, July 7th, the Cuban officers who had been already authorized by the State Department to carry out a consular visit to Gerardo, were not able to fulfill it, under the supposed argument that the memorandum of the Chief of the penitentiary center Victorville, in California, authorizing their entrance to the prison, was not available at the reception desk. This fact powerfully calls the attention when, in addition to the procedures followed by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington with the State Department to get the authorization for this visit, Gerardo himself had reconfirmed with the prison´s authorities that everything was in order.
Additionally, last July 9th, lawyer Martin Garbus, member of Gerardo´s defense team, who had scheduled a legal visit to review, together with Gerardo, the documentation related to the current collateral process of appeal, was not able to do it with the same pretext that the memorandum of authorization of the chief of prison was not at the reception desk. Garbus could finally visit Gerardo, thanks to the fact that his name was on the visitor´s list; however, and given the conditions imposed to the type of visit he was authorized to, without a legal character, he could not bring in the documentation our Hero should read and sign, and neither met with him under the appropriate conditions.
This is not the first time events like this one occur. They have taken place systematically during every key moment of Gerardo´s legal process. Just to mention a few examples: in 2010, during the preparations of the collateral appeal, known as Habeas Corpus, the penitentiary authorities denied Gerardo the possibility to be visited by his lawyer Leonard Weinglass in two occasions, and deliberately delayed the delivery of his legal mail, which prevented his participation in the reviewing. In 2003, Gerardo was isolated in a punishment cell prior to the presentations of his direct appeal.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs denounces this new maneuver by US authorities, aiming at hindering Gerardo´s process of appeal, depriving him from one of the few rights he has as a prisoner in the United States.
Gerardo has been sent to solitary confinement several times without justification; he´s had repeated difficulties with his personal and legal mail; his wife, Adriana, has not been granted visa to visit him and they have not been able to conceive a child. During his long and unjust imprisonment, on charges for crimes he did not commit and have never been proved, his rights have been violated repeatedly.
Cuba will not stop denouncing to the world these violations and will not cease the efforts to achieve the return to the Homeland of Gerardo and his other four brothers unjustly imprisoned and retained in the United States for almost 14 years.
Havana July 12th, 2012

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