Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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The Abuse of Gerardo

July 31, 2010
Reprinted from Granma International

Ricardo Alarcon, Cuban Parliament president, said that the current situation of Gerardo Hernandez, one of he five antiterrorist fighters held in US prisons, must be denounced by all fronts.

Leonard Weinglass, defense attorney of Gerardo Hernandez, traveled to California on Friday to learn for himself about the real situation of his client, which we consider a very important step as part of actions taken by the Cuban government after having heard that Gerardo is again in solitary confinement in one of the cells of "the hole" at the Victorville prison, and despite being faced with health problems, he is being submitted to a severe prison conditions.

The information was released Friday morning by Ricardo Alarcon de Quesda, member of the Political Bureau of Cuba’s Communist Party and Parliament President, minutes before the opening of the plenary session to consider the report submitted to the deputies by the National Customs Office.

The initiative by Weinglass, one of the main attorneys in this case, also pursues other objectives like claiming the right to visit Gerardo, discuss his current situation and talk, if possible, about the habeas corpus procedure currently underway.

Alarcon considered it a moral obligation that of informing all parliamentarians, not only those in the International Relations Commission, about the situation undergone by one of the Cuban heroes as a result of new violations and arbitrary actions by the US administration in the case of the five Cuban antiterrorists, and in particular, in the case of Gerardo, who was given the hardest sentence (two life terms plus 15 years).

Gerardo was not favored by the so-called re-sentencing process; that is, his sentence was upheld and therefore, he is the only one of them still serving it in a high-security prison, said Alarcon, and went on to note that if that were not enough, he has served 12 years already, and during this time his wife Adriana Perez O’Connor has been denied a visa to travel to the US and exercise her right to visit him.

At this point in time, Gerardo and his lawyers are concentrated on the preparations for what they call in the US an Habeas Corpus procedure, an extraordinary resource, which theoretically favors any inmate, once his case has been concluded. This is the situation Gerardo is now facing, after the US Supreme Court rejected the reviewing of his case last year, Alarcon explained.

Now in this situation and as we learned, not precisely through the US State Department, Gerardo was sent back to the hole, said the Parliament President and added that it is curious to note that at every moment of this long process, and even during the filing of appeals with the Atlanta Court of Appeals or with the Supreme Court, at every stage when the Cuban antiterrorist fighter needed to have frequent contact with his attorney to present documents, he has been sent back to the hole, as has happened this time, he pointed out.

Gerardo should be working with his lawyers, reading documents, giving his opinions, but he has been submitted to conditions in which he does not have access to his correspondence or telephone service; that is, he is completely isolated from the world.

Added to all this, is his concerning health situation, Alarcon stressed. Since last April, Gerardo was feeling some symptoms that forced him to request medical assistance in the prison. He was given an appointment for July 20. The doctor examined him and found signs that he could have been infected by a bacterium, and that he has unbalanced blood pressure. He was prescribed some medications and the doctor said that he needed some blood tests to find out if he was being affected by that bacterium or not.

On July 21, Gerardo was not taken to any hospital or to any doctor, but back to the hole. And ever since he has not had contact with anybody. This worsens his situation, because it is not only the obstruction of justice, but also endangering his health.

Since we learned of this situation, we have requested information from the US State Department, but we have not received any reply. The only effective check on that situation was the visit, last Saturday July 24 by his sister Isabel, who saw him, but in the hole and she corroborated that he is being submitted to punishment conditions, handcuffed and with no contact at all," said Ricardo Alarcon.

Once again, there is total silence. For this reason, Alarcon called on all deputies to consider their own contribution in support of the release of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters, and at this particular moment, speak, share views, spread the word and denounce through all possible ways, e-mails, letters, faxes, or conversations the current situation of Gerardo Hernandez.

The information blockade on the case of the Five is huge. We have the moral obligation to do much more for them and for the physical integrity of Gerardo in particular, said the President of the Cuban Parliament.

Finally, Alarcon said that the US administration is responsible for the health of Gerardo Hernandez and urged Washington to change that situation, since Gerard´s physical integrity in danger.


Gerardo está en las peores condiciones de los últimos doce años

por Leticia Martínez Hernández
1 de agosto de 2010
Tomado de Granma Internacional

Ricardo Alarcón, presidente del Parlamento cubano, dio a conocer en la mañana de hoy un mensaje enviado por Leonard Weinglass, abogado del equipo de la defensa del caso de nuestros Cinco Héroes, sobre la situación de Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, quien desde el pasado 21 de julio permanece en el hueco.

Luego de viajar a California, lugar donde se encuentra confinado Gerardo, Weinglass comunicó a la Asamblea que este fue franco al reconocer que permanece en las peores condiciones de los últimos 12 años. Explica el mensaje del abogado que en el hueco existe un problema técnico con el aire acondicionado, y mientras una parte del lugar está sumamente fría, la otra, que incluye la celda de Gerardo, no recibe ventilación alguna. El pasado viernes la temperatura allí ascendió hasta unos 40 grados Celsius.

Gerardo dijo a Leonard Weinglass que hay momentos tan opresivos que debe tirarse al piso para absorber el aire que pasa por debajo de la puerta de acero. Los prisioneros en esta área gritan constantemente. En la noche se sienten sofocados pues les falta el aire, pero nadie responde. Algunos tienen asma, y golpean las puertas de acero para llamar la atención de los carceleros. Explicó Gerardo que permanecen en ese estado hasta 23 horas.

Los martes, jueves y viernes les permiten ir a un patio dentro de una jaula de metal en la que permanecen con tres personas más. Dice Gerardo que eso le ha permitido ver el cielo, pues en su celda no hay ventanas. También explica que tiene agua, pero sumamente caliente, y que adonde quiera que va lo llevan esposado.

Concluye Weinglass que Gerardo luce sorprendentemente bien, su espíritu y su estado de ánimo son elevados, mantiene la mente clara y aguda, ríe fácilmente, está conciente de lo que ocurre, y confía en que no esté en esas condiciones por mucho tiempo.



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