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Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Open Letter to the Norwegian Prize Committee

Benedict Wachira
P.O Box 12654, 00400
Nairobi, Kenya
wachira.benedict@gmail.com
10-October-2010

Norwegian Nobel Committee
• Thorbjørn Jagland
• Kaci Kullmann Five
• Sissel Marie Rønbeck
• Inger-Marie Ytterhorn

Henrik Ibsens gate 51
NO-0255 Oslo
Norway

Dear all,
Request to you, to nominate the Cuban Five for the Nobel Peace Prize year 2011
I am Wachira, a 25 year old Youth from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, and I am writing this letter first to congratulate you for your bold step in selecting Liu Xiaobo as this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, a step which has led to international awareness about his case, and a step which will lead to a bigger space in the freedom of expression in China, and the world at large.
Secondly, I am writing to inform you of the case of the world’s most famous innocent prisoners today, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez, commonly known throughout the world as THE CUBAN FIVE, and to request you to nomination them as candidates for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
In this respect, I have enclosed these three short books: Forbidden Heroes (The untold story of the Cuban Five), Chronicle of an injustice (five Cubans imprisoned in the United States for fighting terrorism) which give a summary of the case of the five, and the third one which gives a list of petitions (on Amicus Curiae) to the Supreme Court of the United States for the review of the case that was presented by the defence of the Cuban five.
Terrorism: A big threat to world peace
In the present world, terrorism is said to be one of the greatest threats to world peace. These five heroes had unearthed numerous terrorist plots against Cuba, which were being organised in Miami, in the United States of America. Thanks to their actions, many Cuban lives, probably in the hundreds or even thousands were saved. The information that the five risked their lives to find was very important to the security of the U.S itself, and of other citizens of other countries. Since 1961, thousands of terrorist actions have been conducted against Cuba, planned or financed from the U.S, and over 3500 lives have been lost, with over 2000 mutilations been confirmed. These terrorist activities have included:
• The hijacking of Cuban airliners where they are flown to the U.S and destroyed, bombing of planes, with the most famous being the 1976 downing where 73 people died, including 11 Guyanese, and 5 North Koreans.
• The bombing of ports and ships.
• The bombing of Schools and theatres.
• The bombing of Cuban embassies, most notable being Peru, Madrid, Spain and Argentina.
• The killing of Cuban diplomats.
• The use of Biological weapons, like the introduction of Swine Fever into Cuba in 1971, and introduction of Dengue virus in 1981 (made in a laboratory) which led to the death of 158 people, among them 101 children, with over 300,000 being infected.
• Drug and Human Trafficking.
• Not to mention the over 600 attempts on Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolution leader.
All these and many more have been organised by the terrorist organisations in the U.S, most notable being the Cuban-American National Foundation (CANF), the Council for Freedom of Cuba (CFC), Brothers to the rescue, Omega 7, Movement for Democracy and Alpha 66. The involvement of these groups is no rumour, since they have often admitted responsibility. All these organisations are based in the United States, with the full knowledge (and in most cases support) of the U.S government. Even self confessed terrorists like Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles (the plotters of the downing of the airplane that killed 73 people and many other terrorist actions) have been walking freely in the U.S, with presidential pardons from Bush senior and Bush Junior respectively. Even Eduardo Arecona, a New York Cuban born Terrorist who confessed of having introduced the Dengue fever in Cuba was not tried, nor investigations carried out by the American authorities.

Why they were in the U.S
It is due to these terrorist acts that Cuba, in its defence, sought to know beforehand those plans, in order to prevent the destructions and bloodshed that these groups have done, that the Five Cuban heroes decided to sacrifice their lives and went to Miami to collect information about the plots of these terrorist groups. And most of the information they collected has actually saved many Cuban and American lives, up to date.
It was due to this that these five were arrested in September 1998, kept in isolation cells for 17 months after which a six month trial began (the longest in the U.S at that time.)

The Injustice in the American Justice System
Near the conclusion of the trial, the U.S government recognised in writing that it had failed to prove the main charge of conspiracy to commit murder against Gerardo Hernandez. The jury nonetheless found the five guilty, with Gerardo receiving 2 life terms plus 15 years, Ramon Labanino getting 1 life term plus 18 years (later reviewed to 30 years), Antonio Guerrero getting 1 life term plus 10 years ( re-sentenced to 21 years and 10 months), Fernando Gonzalez getting 19 years(resentenced to 17 years and 9 months) and Rene Gonzalez receiving 15 years imprisonment.
Their appeal process lasted for 9 years, and in 2005, a three judge panel revoked all their convictions on the grounds that the five had not received fair hearing in Miami. In unexpected move, the government put up a three judge panel to review the other panel’s decision, which then revoked the decision of the three other judges. In September 2008, the court of appeal ratified the sentences of Gerardo Hernandez, and Rene Gonzalez, while considering those of Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Ramon Labanino wrongful, and revoked them and referred the cases back to the Miami District court for re-sentencing.

Despite Media Blackout, support from people from all corners of the earth
While the trial of the five was going on in Miami, the Miami media had already declared them guilty, and they were leading the Miami public in baying for their blood.
After their unfair trials, the American media and the international media in general have given the issue a total blackout. But this blackout has not stopped over ten Nobel Laureates and over 6000 world leaders, intellectuals, writers and artists from demanding for the immediate release of the five, in writing. They include Noam Chomsky, Oscar Niemeyer, Mario Benedetti, Harry Belafonte, Pablo Gonzalez, Ernesto Cardanel, Thiago de Mello, Danny Glover, Walter Salles, Edurado Galeano, Alice Walker, Manu Chao, Atilio Boron, Francois Houtart, Ignacio Ramonet, Luis Sepulveda, Tariq Ali, Ramsey Clark, Gianni Mina, Frei Betto, Howard Zinn, Jorge Sanjines, Russel Banks, Alfonso Sastre, among many others. Other prominent Americans who have publicly called for their release have been Gayle McLaughlin (mayor of Richmond, CA), Bill Richardson (Governor of New Mexico,US), Bishop Thomas Gumbleton (Bishop of the archdiocese of Detroit), the now late Rev. Lucius Walker (Pastors for Peace)and Lawrence Wilkerson (former Secretary of State Collin Powell’s Chief of Staff)


The Nobel Laureates that have called for their immediate release are:
Desmond Tutu, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize
Jose Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize
Rigoberat Menchu, 1992 Nobel Peace Prize
Adolfo Perez Esquivel, 1980 Nobel Peace Prize
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, 1976, Nobel Peace Prize
Wole Soyinka, 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature
Nadine Gordimer, 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature
Jose Saramago, 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature
Dario Fo, 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature
Gunta Grass, 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature
Harold Pinter, 2005 Nobel Prize in literature
Zhores Alfiorov, 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics

Not mentioning many other respected Organisations, members of parliament, and many conferences held all over the world, including the September 2010 African Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba, held in Angola, where delegations from over 15 African Countries demanded for their release, led by Sam Nujoma, the first president of Namibia, Marcelino Dos Santos, former Mozambican Leader and a much respected African statesman, Carlos Gonez Junior, the Prime minister of Guinea Bissau, and Patrick Herminie, the speaker of the Seychelles Parliament.
There are also millions and millions of people all over the world, who have gone on peaceful processions for the last 10 years, demanding for the release of the five. Millions of petitions have also being written to the various American presidents and Attorney Generals calling for the freedom of the five.

Barrack Obama
Unfortunately, President Barrack Obama, 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, who has the legal power to free the five at the stroke of a pen, has been quiet on this issue, two years into his presidency and one year after he received this most prestigious award. This is in spite of the calls by the millions of voices, and by his Nobel Peace Prize peers.
Awarding this prize to the five heroes will not only speed up their release, but will be a big step towards the war on terrorism, and will also give a lot of meaning to the award.

My Plea
It is with the above, that I write this open request to you, since individuals in the Norwegian Prize Committee can nominate a person for the prize, and now that the five qualify for the prize, since they have clearly done a lot for the fraternity of not just Cuba and U.S, but the whole world by risking their lives unearthing this enormous danger, terrorism, requesting you to nominate them for the Nobel Peace Prize, 2011.

With Highest Regards,

Benedict Wachira
National Secretary, Kenya-Cuba Friendship Society
Chairperson, Bureau of Young Social Democrats, Kenya


****It is worth noting that Gerardo, Rene and Fernando also participated as internationalist combatants in Angola’s search for peace in the 80’s, where they helped stop Savimbi the Butcher, and the Fascist South African government and hence the liberation of South Africa, Namibia, and general peace in Southern Africa.
****The association, Kenya Cuba Friendship Society is planning to inform the most famous Kenyan Wangari Maathai, 2008 Nobel Peace Prize, and Kenyan parliamentarians in order that they may support the freedom of the five, but I thought I’d make this personal contribution.
****Links where you can get more info on the five are: http://www.antiterroristas.cu/, http://www.freethefive.org/ and many others.
**** The wives of Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva respectively, have been denied temporary visas to visit their husbands by the U.S government.
**** Probably in an attempt to kill him, the prison authorities had put Gerardo inside a hole, which was over 100 degrees hot, not minding his Asthmatic condition. This happened last month, and he was only removed due to the outcry from the public after his lawyer reported of the situation.

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