Letter to the Editor of The Gleaner (Jamaica)

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The spontaneous celebration of joy in the United States of America that erupted following the death of public enemy number one Osama bin Laden brings into sharp focus the double standards of that government with regard to the unjust detention of the Cuban Five, who have been languishing in the prisons of that country since 1998, for fighting terrorism hatched and nurtured on their soil.

Bin Laden, as we all can recall, was fingered as the mastermind of the tragic events known internationally as 9/11, where over 3,000 innocent lives were lost, including Jamaican citizens, and from which untold economic damage and psychological scars haunt that great nation even today.

Compare that with Cuba, which since the triumph of their revolution led by Fidel Castro in January of 1959, has had to endure over 52 years of terrorism of one sort or the other backed by various administrations of the United States government both overtly and covertly, resulting in over 3,400 lives being lost, injuries to thousand others and at immense economic and social cost to that nation.

It is faced with an escalation in terrorist activities during the 1990s that Cuban government decided to infiltrate the terrorist groups based in Miami that Rene Gonzales, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzales, Geraldo Hernandez and Ramon Labanino, internatio-nally known as the Cuban Five, were assigned to prevent further destruction to their homeland.

The information that they gathered and shared with the United States authority resulted in them being incarcerated instead of the terrorists, including one of the most notorious, Posado Carrilies, who is linked as the masterminds behind the mid-air explosion of the Cubana airline which resulted in deaths of 73 Guyanese, Korean and Cuban nationals in the crime of Barbados in 1973.

The continued incarceration of the Cuban Five for fighting terrorism therefore exposes the United States of America's double standards and should be roundly condemned as we join in the international struggle to free the Cuban Five.

Trevor G. Brown

The Gleaner

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