Since Wednesday, 21st of July, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo has been in “the hole” again; this time in conditions so harsh that his health and physical integrity are being seriously affected.
He is locked in a minimum-space punishment cell with no ventilation that he shares with another prisoner, withstanding temperatures above 100°F, with no contact permitted with the outside world.
In this action against our comrade took part FBI officials that made it clear that Gerardo is confined by a decision of that agency.
Throughout the long process against the Five Cubans, US Federal authorities have employed similar methods to impede their defense and obstruct justice. On the eve of each of their appeals, our comrades were isolated in “the hole” to make it impossible to communicate with their attorneys. History is now repeating itself when Gerardo has filed a habeas corpus, the last legal resource remaining to him in the U.S. system that unjustly convicted him and imposed the barbaric sentence of two life terms plus 15 years in prison. For the twelve years since his arrest, the U.S. authorities have banned his wife, Adriana Perez Oconor, from visiting him.
Gerardo has maintained his indomitable courage, his unyielding will, his optimism and his belief in victory. He is a young man, just turned 45, but twelve years of imprisonment in conditions of extreme cruelty have begun to seriously affect his health. He suffers various ailments that are not addressed, causing deep concern.
Since April Gerardo had been trying, unsuccessfully, to be seen by a prison doctor. This did not happen until Tuesday, July 20, when he was diagnosed with two serious problems and the need for additional exams was determined. But the next day Gerardo was not sent to the hospital, but instead was locked in a brutal punishment cell. Since then he has not seen the doctor nor received any sort of treatment.
This situation must cease immediately.
We hold the U.S. Government responsible for the health and physical integrity of Gerardo Hernández Nordelo.
Let us, one and all, raise our voices to save Gerardo, a hero, an innocent who deserves to live in freedom.
National Assembly of the People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba.
August 1st 2010