Visa denial: “Unnecessarily punitive”

The latest refusal of the US Interests Section in Havana to grant visas for Olga Salanueva (left) and Adriana Perez (below) to visit their husbands will be the focus of activities as the 10th anniversary of the Cuban Fives imprisonment nears - an imprisonment characterized by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions as "arbitrary”.

Their husbands, Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, are two of the Cuban Five, as they are internationally known, who infiltrated anti Cuban exile groups in order to prevent further terrorist attacks against Cuba organized by extremists in Miami. In a travesty of justice, the U.S. government arrested the very people working to prevent terrorist acts. Meanwhile, that same government allows known dangerous terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch to roam free in Miami.

Internationally renowned human rights attorney Leonard Weinglass, a member of the Fives legal team, has suggest that the case is an example of the US government using the justice system to achieve a foreign policy objective and described the latest court decision as ‘40 pages of ideological prejudice’ The ideological nature of the case is no better demonstrated than by the manner in which the families of the Five are being treated.

The US regime has repeatedly denied visitation rights for the families - a violation of U.S. laws and international norms of prisoners’ rights. Olga has had her visa application rejected nine times, being advised July 16, that the ban is now permanent. Adriana is still awaiting a reply to her ninth visa request. Amnesty International has described the situation as unnecessarily punitive. During a recent visit by Tony Guerrero’s his sister and son prison authorities locked down the prison part way though the visit, a particularly cruel act that typifies the harsh and repressive treatment being served out to the Cuban Five and their families.

BBC interview with Adriana Perez,

Adriana Perez has been consistently denied a visa by the
U.S. government to visit her husband in violation of international law and human decency

The Gerardo Hernandez BBC Interview can be seen here.