By Leslie Feinberg, Workers World, June 13, 2007
People across the U.S. and around the world found a way to send a birthday greeting of solidarity to Gerardo Hernández, one of the Cuban Five imprisoned in the U.S. for almost nine years for the “crime” of having infiltrated CIA commando groups in the U.S. in order to stop terror attacks on their island nation.
Tanya Torres, radio host of the KPFK program “Cantos sin Fronteras” (Songs without Borders) out of Los Angeles, had planned to devote half of her two-hour time slot on June 2 to birthday messages for Hernández.
The response to her broadcast appeal overwhelmed the program’s electronic mailbox.
Messages poured in from the U.S., Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Germany, and from Cuba. Puerto Rican independence fighter Rafael Cancel Miranda penned a poem and message for Hernández.
Torres opened up the whole two hours of programming for the messages. But even after the messages were edited down, only 66 of the hundreds could be read in that time period. The host added that the phone calls did not stop during the entire program.
The most moving message was from Adriana Pérez—married to Gerardo Hernández—who has not been allowed by the U.S. government to see her spouse for nine long years. A live interview allowed her to voice her love to Hernández from their home in Havana.
The four other Cuban Five prisoners—Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González—each dedicated special songs to their compañero that aired during the program.
After listening to the radio show in Victorville Penitentiary in Adelanto, Calif., Gerardo Hernández said, “This program just knocked me dead.”
One of the other Victorville prisoners who also tuned in reportedly asked Hernández, “Did your eyes water when you heard the program? Because mine did.”
The U.S. government has locked up the Cuban Five in dungeons. But people of consciousness and courage everywhere are working hard to make the keys to free them. For more information about how to help, visit freethefive.org or freethefiveny.org.
Feinberg is an initiator of Rainbow Solidarity for the Cuban Five (www.freethefiveny.org).