The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20500
On April 18th, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Columbian writer, passed away.
“The world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers, and one of my favorites when I was young, you declared, when you learned of his death.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez played an important role in the history of the Cuban agents of the Avispa network, to which belonged Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino, and René González, “The Cuban Five”, as they’re called.
In April of 1998, this writer left for Havana looking for more information concerning the recent visit of Pope Jean-Paul II to Cuba, for which he was writing an article. Garcia Marquez, who was a friend of the Cuban president, met with him and told him of the trip he was soon taking to the United States in order to conduct a writer’s workshop at Princeton University, starting on April 25th. He told President Castro that he would maybe be meeting President Clinton.
It was in this context that President Fidel Castro confided to Garcia a mission “non-official” but of capital importance, to let the president of the United States know that the terrorist organization CANF (Cuban American National Foundation) had put into place a diabolic plan to put bombs in Cuban Airways planes, and in other passenger planes going to and from Cuba from other Latin American countries. Of course, Mister President, the Cuban agents were aware of this information.
In the end, Garcia Marquez wasn’t able to meet with President Clinton, but he was received at the White House in McLarty’s office by three National Security Agency officials, for who this information sent shivers down their spine. I won’t go into the details of this meeting and of the diplomatic ups and downs that it caused, but what came out of it was the visit of a delegation of FBI officials to Havana on June 15th. Cuban experts conversed at length with this delegation on June 16th and 17th, and handed over an extremely detailed report on the terrorist attacks in preparation so the FBI could arrest the plotters.
The head of the terrorism section of the Miami Mafia, which had gotten wind of the contacts between Cuba and the United States, did not lose time in changing the chief of the South Florida FBI. Hector Pesquera arrived in Miami from Porto Rico in May 1998, and on September 1st was named chief of the South Florida FBI, and had the Cuban agents arrested on September 12th.
Pesquera put all his energy into hunting down the members of the Avispa network, during which time, in the territory he controlled, at least 14 members of Al Qaeda were in training, in complete peace, to prepare for the dreadful terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001.
The Cuban Five’s sentence in Miami was a travesty of justice. In this city, a fair judgment was impossible. As doctor Pastor, an ex-counselor for President Jimmy Carter for Latin America wrote, “Holding a trial for five Cuban intelligence agents in Miami is about as fair as a trial for an Israeli intelligence agent in Tehran”.
The Cuban Five were heavily sentenced, Gerardo Hernández winning hands down, serving two life sentences plus fifteen years. They accused him of “conspiring with a view to committing murder” without the least proof. This charge against him had been added on to his judicial document eight months after it was constituted.
On January 22nd 2003, in a radio emission “Radio Martí” in Miami, Pesquera declared, concerning the Avispa network, “I came here in May 1998. I was made aware of the situation. We then started to place emphasis on the fact that this investigation should not be only on questions of intelligence. The nature of this case must be transformed into a criminal investigation.” What he said clears up for us the accusation afterwards attributed to Gerardo Hernandez. It would be very easy to prove this man innocent, but your country refuses his lawyers access to essential documents that would prove his innocence.
This willingness of your country to harm Cuba, alas! has not finished. Recently, on April 26th, Cuban authorities arrested four terrorists – José Ortega Amador, Obdulio Rodríguez González, Raibel Pacheco Santos and Félix Monzón Álvarez, who had arrived from Miami to prepare terrorist attacks against military installations.
Mr President, such policies must be done with! Do listen to the voice of the delegation of members of Congress from your country who visited Cuba at the beginning of May. Led by Barbara lee, this delegation, composed of four elected councilors, met with your fellow countryman Alan Gross at the prison hospital in Havana, and demanded you to open negotiations with a view to liberate him. She wishes that these negotiations be broadened so as to include the three Cuban secret agents Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino, who are imprisoned in the United States.
Listen also to the numerous voices that are rising up in this beginning of June at Washington to demand you to liberate Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, and Ramón Labañino
Please receive, Mr President, the expression of my most sincere humanitarian sentiments.
64360 Monein (France)
translated by William Peterson
Copies sent to: Mrs. Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Kathryn Ruemmler, Janet Napolitano, to Mr. Joe Biden, John F. Kerry, Harry Reid, Eric Holder, Pete Rouse, Rick Scott and to Charles Rivkin, ambassador for the United States in France.