U.S. Artists Demand Freedom for the Cuban Five

U.S. Artists Demand Freedom for the Cuban FiveWashington, Sep 14. -A group of U.S. artists headed by Danny Glover and Edward Asner signed a letter to President Barack Obama, demanding the release of five Cuban antiterrorists held in U.S. prisons.

Glover and Asner, coordinators of Actors and Artists United for the Release of the Cuban Five, called on their colleagues in that country to sign the petition to the U.S. president on the 12th anniversary of the Cuban antiterrorists' imprisonment.

The letter, which will be sent to Obama on September 12, asks the president to sign an Executive Pardon in favor of Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez.

Other signatories of the letter are Susan Sarandon, Oliver Stone, Martin Sheen, Pete Seeger, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Chrissie Hynde, Haskell Wexler, Graham Nash and Jackson Browne.

Supporters of the initiative also include James Cromwell, Mike Farrell, Bruria Finkel, Richard Foos, Elliott Gould, Greg Landau, Francisco Letelier, Esai Morales, Betty and Stanley K. Sheinbaum and Andy Spahn.

In the letter to President Obama, the signatories say they are profoundly dismayed because the Cuban Five, who did not commit any crime against the United States, or posed a threat against that country's national security, have been in prison for 12 years.

"They were monitoring the activities of violent groups of Cuban exiles in Miami," says the letter, adding that those groups' actions have taken a toll of thousands of Cuban lives.

On August 8, Glover visited Gerardo in a maximum security prison in Victorville, California, where he committed himself to asking other U.S. actors and artists to join the cause for the release of the Cuban antiterrorists, according to a communiqué from the International Committee for the Release of the Five.

Glover said Gerardo, Ramon, Antonio, Fernando and Rene "were first-line soldiers in the fight against terrorism", so President Obama should pardon them.

"However, instead of using the information they gathered to arrest the people who were carrying out attacks on civilians, the FBI arrested those five men," Glover said after visiting Gerardo.

The prominent U.S. actor condemned the fact that terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch are free in Miami.

The Five, as they are known internationally, were arrested on September 12, 1998. (Prensa Latina)