Declaration of Cuba´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs On the Denial of Visas to the Wives of Two Cuban Heroes

Last June 20th, 2003, comrades Olga Salanueva Arango and Adriana Pérez O'Connor, respectively wives of the Heroes of the Republic of Cuba, René González Sehwerert and Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented to the American authorities their applications of visas to travel to the United States of America with the objective of visiting their husbands, unfairly imprisoned in American jails.

More than four months after having requested the visas, in spite of numerous claims for an answer by Foreign Affairs, the authorities of the US Section Interests in Havana, have informed officially that the visas for both of them have been refused once more.

With this new reprisal, the American government tries to subdue the revolutionary spirit of our imprisoned comrades and that of their wives, by imposing them an additional punishment lacking all justification.

They are once again denied their right of traveling to the United States to visit their husbands. In every opportunity that they have requested authorization to enter American territory, the Government of that country has refused to grant them with the visas what violates not only the International Right, but also, the American legislation itself. To justify such a decision, the American authorities go to the ridicule argument that the comrades constitute a threat to the national security of the United States of America.

This decision of the American authorities, violates their international obligations countersigned in the Declaration on the Protection of all the people against torture and other treatments or cruel, inhuman or de-grading punishments; the principles for the protection of all the subjected people to privation of freedom; the principles for the protection of all the subjected people to any detention form or imprisonment; and the mini-mum rules for the treatment of prisoners, among others.

The behavior of the United States Government, besides being universally a clear transgression to the recognized international norms, also constitutes a systematic and flagrant violation of the human rights of our imprisoned comrades and their relatives.

It is evident that this decision reflects the desire of the American authorities to punish the example of heroism and patriotism by our Five Heroes imprisoned by the Empire and of pleasing this way their pals in the South of Florida.

For more than 40 years the governments of the United States have organized and encouraged, or allowed, the realization of numerous terrorist actions against Cuba, of which have been also victims civilians from other countries, including Americans. These actions have not ceased and their responsible ones act with total impu-nity. Some of them stroll by the streets of Miami and talk by the media inciting to the realization of such facts.

It is the Government of the United States, that has self-proclaimed leader in the fight against international terrorism, the one that imprisons five countrymen, precisely, for having penetrated the terrorist groups that, with the protection of the US authorities, freely operate against Cuba from within American territory, as it is explicitly said in declassified official documents by Washington D.C. and reiterated, also, in the accusatory records of the trial against the Cuban patriots; in the arguments of the office, opposed to consider the topic of terrorism in the process; in the declarations of witnesses that recognized their participation in actions of that type; and in the sentence of the tribunal, where in writing, it was exposed the protection enjoy by terrorists from the Government of the United States that encourages and protects them.

It is also the Government that, in spite of all the information that has been offered on these groups, has not taken measures to stop and to put an end to those actions.  It is that same Government the one that rejects the Cuban proposals to subscribe cooperation agreements in regard to fighting against the terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal emigration.

Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs demands the American authorities to reconsider this arbitrary negation of visas and in execution of their international obligations and of the own American laws, allow that Olga Salanueva Arango, her little daughter Ivette and Adriana Pérez O'Connor, can enjoy their inalienable right of visiting their husbands and father unfairly imprisoned in jails of the United States.

Havana, November 17th, 2003.


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