Pedro de la Hoz
A letter sent over the weekend by famous US artists and intellectuals to President Barack Obama asking him to free five Cubans incarcerated in that country for fighting terrorism has had an impact on other prominent international figures. Joining the demand over the last 48 hours were Irish Mairead Maguire and Argentinean Adolfo Perez Esquivel, both Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Also expressing their support have been US political scientist and linguist Noam Chomsky, Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, and singers Daniel Viglietti (Uruguay), Manu Chao (France-Spain), Victor Heredia (Argentina), and Danny Rivera and Roy Brown (Puerto Rico).
In Chile, the petition for an immediate release of the Cuban Five was backed by writer Pedro Lemebel, journalist Manuel Cabieses, and sociologist Ariel Dorfman, well-known the mass media personalities.
The initiative, which asks Obama to issue an executive order and free Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, emerged from a group called Actors and Artists United for the Freedom of the Five Cubans, headed by Danny Glover and Ed Asner, the latter being the artist with the largest amount of Emmy prizes in the history of this award given by US television.
Those signing the letter base their request on the fact that the Five, unfairly imprisoned for 12 years now, did not commit any crime against the United States or constituted a threat to that country’s national security.
Personalities of great prestige in the movie industry, like producer Oliver Stone, actress Susan Sarandon and actor Martin Sheen, who were part of the cast this year for Wall Street 2; Esai Morales, who played the leading role in La Bamba; and Elliot Gould, well-known for his performance in MASH (1970) and the Ocean saga, also supported the demand, along with Glover and Asner.
En 1987 Gould participated in the film Conspiracy: the Trial of the Chicago 8, which covers the trial of activists who protested at the aggression against Vietnam during the national convention of the Democrat Party in August, 1968. In the film, he played the role of Leonard Weinglass, defense counsel of the Chicago Eight then and currently of Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Five.