THE EDITOR, Sir:
The month of September marks important dates in the history of neighbouring states, Cuba and the United States.
For our sister nation Cuba, September 12 marks the 14th anniversary since five of its sons, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerro, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez, internationally known as the Cuban Five, have been incarcerated in the US for fighting terrorism directed at their country that was hatched on US soil.
While the tragic events of September 11, 2001 cost almost 3,000 lives, the aftermath of a US-prosecuted War on Terror has caused death and destruction as far afield as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, to name a few.
Our planet has not been the same.
One would have thought, therefore, that a logical alliance would have been forged between these two sovereign states, given their experience with terrorism.
Instead, successive US administrations have sought to undermine and criminalise with inordinately long sentences (Gerardo Hernandez receiving two life sentences and 15 years) five Cuban patriots for trying to protect their country from terrorist activities originating in Miami, resulting in loss of life and millions in damage to the infrastructure and economy of Cuba.
To add insult to injury and a major slap in the face of human-rights advocates, the US government has consistently denied the visitation rights for the wives of the Cuban Five on the specious grounds in one case that she was a 'threat' to the national security of that country.
Let us join the efforts of Colonel Lawrence Wilkinson, chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell between 2002-2005; former US President Jimmy Carter; Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Colour Purple; as well as millions across the world, in condemning the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban Five.
President Barack Obama, the eyes of the world are watching you.
TREVOR G. BROWN