danny gloverBy: Danny Glover

As we mark the 15th Anniversary of the unjust incarceration of the Cuban Five, I pause to reflect on the many millions of people of all backgrounds across the United States and around the world who have come to understand, to empathize, and to support Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González‘s quest for freedom to return to their homeland, to embrace their families, to stand securely with fellow citizens in enjoyment of their national achievements and in defense of their independence.

Throughout my adult life I have worked with thousands of people across the United States to demand that our justice system uphold its highest standards to humanely treat the incarcerated and to openly, and quickly correct its failings. This is the character of civilized nations that our leaders and institutions should urge other nations and peoples around the world to uphold. I join millions calling for my nation, the United States of America to live up to its supreme principles.

 I was first introduced to the Cuban Five wives in 2003 in Porto Alegre, Brazil at the World Social Forum. But not until my great friend and comrade, Saul Landau, engaged and involved me in their struggle did I feel I could be useful in increasing the awareness and support of their plight. Reading the poetry of Antonio Guerrero, visiting Gerardo Hernández with Saul on numerous occasions at the federal penitentiary in Victorville, CA, and developing creative messaging in support of the Five through YouTube and other social media platforms, have been just a few examples of the ways in which we have been able to engage and inform others about the Five’s struggle.  Saul Landau’s resounding and steadfast commitment to the freedom of the Cuban Five continues to energize and deepen my own commitment, and has strengthened my resolve to advocate for the release of these brave men.