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Vol. 74/No. 32      August 23, 2010

Latino unionists demand
visas for Cuban 5 wives
On August 6 the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) at its 18th National Membership Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, unanimously passed a resolution in support of the immediate granting of visas for Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez, wives respectively of René González and Gerardo Hernández, two of the Cuban 5. LCLAA is an organization of Latino unionists from both the AFL-CIO and Change to Win trade union federations.

Below are major excerpts from the resolution.

WHEREAS: for more then a decade the United States government has continued to deny visas to Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez, whose only purpose to come to the U.S. is to visit their husbands in prison, René González and Gerardo Hernández respectively are two of the Cuban Five who are serving long sentences in the United States.

AND WHEREAS: on December 18, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security denied a Humanitarian Visa to Olga Salanueva. Without any explanation, they denied this elementary recourse to come to the U.S. with the sole purpose to see her husband René González, sentenced to 15 years in prison.

AND WHEREAS: Adriana Pérez on July 2002 traveled to the United States to visit her husband Gerardo Hernández, who is unjustly serving two life sentences plus 15 years in a U.S. prison, was detained upon her arrival in the Houston Airport. She was photographed, fingerprinted, interrogated for 11 hours, prevented from speaking to a lawyer or Cuban diplomat(s) and subsequently sent back to Cuba, cruelly preventing Adriana from seeing her husband. That this was the last time she was granted a visa to see him during the 11 years he has been imprisoned.

AND WHEREAS: the last visa denial for Adriana was on July 15, 2002, the day of their 21st wedding anniversary and four months later on November 2, Gerardo Hernández’s mother died and not even on a sad event like this in the life of any human being was Adriana Pérez allowed to visit her husband to console him.

AND WHEREAS: the applications for Humanitarian Visas for Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez are supported by an important number of religious and legal and Human Rights institutions. From the World Council of Churches to the U.S. Council of Christian Churches, the Cuban Council of Churches, the Association of American Jurists, Amnesty International, several Noble Peace Prize winners, parliamentarians, elected officials and intellectuals from all over the world. People and personalities such as former Bishop of Detroit Thomas Gumbleton, former General Secretary of the U.S. Council of Churches Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, union leaders such as the co-founder of the Farm Workers Union Dolores Huerta, the president of the ILWU Local 10 of San Francisco, California, Melvin MacKay… .

THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED: that the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) supports the immediate granting of Humanitarian Visas for Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez for the purpose of visiting their husbands who are imprisoned in the U.S.
Related articles:
Prominent unionists back the Cuban Five
Steelworkers host meeting in Toronto
Cuban 5 prisoner’s art inspired by ‘just cause’
Write to the Cuban Five  
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