A letter from Josie Michel-Brüning, Pedagogue HDip.ed. and Family therapist i.r. and Dirk Brüning, Chemical Engineer i.r. Members of the German committee to Free the Cuban Five, one of more than 350 committees around the world to president Obama.
Dipl. Päd. Josie Michel-Brüning
Dipl. Ing. Dirk Brüning
52428 Jülich, Germany
Tel.: (02461) 8571
Jülich, den 13.08.2000
(Das Logo wurde von Gerardo Hernández im Gefängnis entworfen)
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Josie und Dirk Brüning – Jan-von-Werth-Str. 80 – 52428 Jülich, Germany
Jülich, July 1, 2014
Dear Mr. President Obama,
Another month has flown by, while we, the people around the world, are desperately longing for justice and peace, but only few of us – those myopically profit-driven ones – manage to spread out civil wars everywhere on earth meanwhile by killing not only innocent people, but destroying the planet and our livelihood.
Again, we join those countless monthly letters urging you, the President of the United States, the “most powerful man of the world”, who happens to be a Nobel prize winner of peace in his very term, to give us a sign of his integrity and faithfulness according to his premature praise and his own words, when having been elected.
We think, the Norwegian Committee expressed not only its own hopes by giving you this very award, but that of all of us, only regarded as the “rest of the world” by US politicians, as it seems.
For instance, did you know that the country in your neighbourhood, which your administration keeps included in the “black list” of terrorist countries, this poor little country, which is forced to prevent terrorist attacks on its people by Miami’s terrorists, which Cuban authorities could prove again in last May, on which you continue to impose the euphemistically called “embargo”, is spending 66 percent of its small national budget on healthcare, education, culture, sports and social welfare?
Did you happen to see the “Rapping and Rallying for the ‘Cuban Five’” – as Washington Post covered it on June 6 – at several places in Washington, D.C., and in front of the White House during the “Five Days for the Cuban Five” from June 4 to June 11?
Those people coming from the United States and abroad wanted to ask you for negotiations with Cuba and the release of the three Cuban men still unjustly remaining in US prisons:
Gerardo Hernández Nordelo
Ramón Labañino Salazar
Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez?
As we all know since long, all of the originally arrested ten Cuban agents were blackmailed by threatening their families to “admit their guilt” in the sense of the accusations and offered less heavy sentences in turn by the prosecution. According to the court documents five of them refused to do so and stood the trial, which turned out to be a travesty of justice.
As in our last letter, we want to refer especially to Gerardo Hernández as the most blatant example for injustice:
This case is based on the fact that an exile Cuban terrorist like José Basulto, leader of “Brothers to the Rescue”, is able to provoke an incident on February 24 in 1996, although having been warned before by his own authorities, by which two of his planes were shot down, causing the death of four of his young pilots, to create the false pretence for the “Helms-Burton Law” bringing not only still more hardship for the Cuban population but also an additional unjust sentence for a then young Cuban man, Gerardo Hernández.
Although, he and his attorneys can prove that he had nothing to do with this incident, he was convicted to double-life term, plus 15 years.
Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch — in her 2008 dissent from a decision of the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals — pointed out: “There are many ways a country could ‘confront’ foreign aircraft. Forced landings, warning shots, and forced escorted journeys out of a country’s territorial airspace are among them — as are shoot downs.”
Moreover, Judge Kravitch concluded in her appeal dissent, prosecutors “presented no evidence” to link Hernández to the shoot down. “I cannot say that a reasonable jury — given all the evidence — could conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Hernández agreed to a shoot down.”
As Stephen Kimber, a Canadian journalist professor, puts it in his last essay:
“The truth is that — whatever their violations of the laws of the countries in which the two men were arrested — both Alan Gross and Gerardo Hernández are two more human victims of more than 50 years of failed American policy toward Cuba.
Their continued incarcerations represent — for both sides — a major impediment to improving relations between the two countries.”
“The Cuban government has expressed a willingness to discuss Alan Gross’s fate without pre-conditions. It is past time for the United States, which is ultimately responsible for Alan Gross’s failed mission in Cuba, to do the same.” See: http://stephenkimber.com/gerardo-hernandez-guilty-as-charged-alan-gross-innocent-as-claimed/;
Yes, we can keep marching and writing, but you can use your prerogative right to pardon the remaining three of the Cuban Five in US prisons, just for having come into the United States for the security of their own country – unarmed – for preventing further terrorist attacks against their compatriots, under your law in “Necessity of Defence” and justified by International Law according in particular to the UN Charta, Article 51.
In a shared network of millions of people around the world, including those of Cuba, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Amnesty International (see Angela Wright’s Report for the International Commission of Inquiry in London, on last March 8), experts on international law, well-known lawyers from your own country and from all over the world, parliamentarians and dignitaries of Church, eleven Nobel-Prize winners we are respectfully urging you to put an end to this injustice.
Mr. President, we are waiting for your humanitarian gesture, such as the one in the case of a young U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl Please, take this as a precedent for the swap of Alan Gross against the three of the “Cuban Five” and let them go to their respective loved ones. Yes, you can!
Thank you very much for your appreciated attention in advance
Josie Michel-Brüning, Pedagogue HDip.ed. and Family therapist i.r. and Dirk Brüning, Chemical Engineer i.r. Members of the German committee to Free the Cuban Five, one of more than 350 committees around the world