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News ::
17 Aug 2003
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Aug. 21, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper


[A group in the U.S. called the Campaign for Peace and Democracy put out a statement denouncing Cuba for having tried a group of people in March for counter-revolutionary activity instigated by the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba. Joanne Landy spearheaded the CPD anti-Cuba campaign with an ad in The Progressive magazine. On July 15, Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five political prisoners who is held in a federal prison in South Carolina, wrote a letter to Landy in response. Below are excerpts from his letter.]

Dear Ms. Joanne Landy:

Being a Cuban revolutionary all of my life, having fought in Angola
against the South African invasion and being, at the present time,
incarcerated in a U.S. federal prison for protecting the Cuban people
from the terrorist actions supported, encouraged and silenced by the
United States government, I hope that--if being progressive is still to fight for a better world--I might be entitled to the benefit of being considered a progressive person.

So, when I opened a magazine called precisely The Progressive and read
an ad by the Campaign for Peace and Democracy requesting signatures in
order to condemn Cuba for its alleged "repression of dissidents," I was, at best, in disbelief.

I can't imagine that somebody can consider himself a progressive person and then take at its word the endemic slandering and lies of the U.S. media in regards to Cuba. It would only take a little bit of
intellectual honesty and some research to discover that the money to pay the "dissidents" is appropriated, overtly and openly, by the U.S.
authorities to be distributed through entities like NED and USAID among whomever, on the island, decides to make a living as a dissident.

Who gives any moral authority to the American government to create a
paid opposition in Cuba? What international principle of law applies to this behavior? Since when is it a role of a U.S. diplomat to tour the island organizing the "opposition" and giving out money?

Whoever, in his own country, receives money from a foreign power to
undermine his government is considered a traitor, be it in Cuba or in
any other nation of the world, including the United States.

These so-called "dissidents" have--contrary to what appears in the ad--all the right to express their opinions in Cuba. All they have to do is to stand up at a nomination meeting and explain to their neighbors that they want to take the country back to 1959, return the Cuban land to the United Fruit Company, recall the terrorists that now live in Miami to the island and give them their properties back, sell the country to the transnationals and become themselves the political class who will take care of all those people's petty interests. If their neighbors agree with them, they will be nominated without having to spend one dollar. In any event nothing would happen to them for looking stupid while expressing their political platform in front of the electorate.

But if they run into a revolutionary constituency--and their neighbors
are committed to their country and support the government of the people, for the people and by the people, and have fought and died for their society, and don't want to betray the memory of the patriots who have given their lives for the sovereignty and independence of Cuba--no "dissident" will be nominated nor will he obtain any vote.

And if they don't deserve the confidence of their people, they don't
have the right to go to the American Embassy--the last place I would
think of as a haven for democracy--to find a source of sovereignty that only lies in the Cubans.

Cuba, for more than 40 years, has faced a state of hostility and war
that has caused more than 3,000 deaths and more than 2,000 injured on
account of terrorist and armed actions carried out by traitors paid,
trained and supplied by the U.S. government. Those mercenaries were
dealt with through the legal system. They weren't arbitrarily declared
"enemy" or "illegal" combatants, or disposed of through a drone-launched rocket so that Fidel could pose to the cameras declaring them "no longer a problem," or subjected to secret military tribunals, nor were their families' homes demolished by the Cuban military.

They were given sentences according to their involvement in their
terrorist activities instead of the irrational punishment accorded here to the Puerto Rican patriots, just for their affiliation to a given organization, or the vindictive treatment given to me and my co-
defendants for protecting Cuba from those mercenaries who now, with
their money and connections to the U.S. administration, sponsor schemes like the one of the "dissidents" or the encouragement to illegal immigration from Cuba in order to justify the aggressive policy against Cuba.

The Cuban people has had no other option than to take their losses and
to keep building the socialist society that too many have fought for,
leaving it to history to make us justice and relying on extreme patience and enormous courage. ...

Consider for a moment the awesome power accumulated by the U.S.
imperialist government. Consider the enormous sense of impunity that
right now can be felt by these people who just accomplished a war of
aggression defying the whole world, lying in front of everybody like
nobody did before to justify it, creating a criminal and illegal
doctrine of preemptive war, breaking any principle of international
relations in the process and getting away with all of it. Compare this
overwhelming power with the little island of Cuba and it won't be hard
to see how much damage this fascist establishment can inflict on my
country. ...

Rene Gonzalez Sehwerert

Federal Correctional Institution

Edgefield, S.C.

Cc: The Progressive

- END -

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