Washington (Prensa Latina) Renowned U.S. Attorney Arthur Heitzer urged President Barack Obama to act swiftly to release the Cuban Five, who have been confined in federal prisons for 15 years now. Heitzer’s call to the U.S. President coincides with the beginning today of an international campaign recalling the 15th anniversary of the imprisonment of those Cuban anti-terrorists.
Heitzer, who has practiced civil rights and employment law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin since 1975, said in a letter to Obama that the U.S. government should “play fair,” because the continued imprisonment of any of the Five is unfair. “When the people in the Heartland hear about this case, they agree. But it is both your job and your power to make things right, sooner rather than later,” the lawyer said according to the text of his letter released by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five.
Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodriguez, and Fernando Gonzalez Llort remain imprisoned, while Rene Gonzalez Schewerert was released from prison to serve supervised parole in 2011 after completing his sentence. The Five worked in the United States to prevent further acts of terrorism against Cuba, such as those organized for more than 50 years by violent groups based in southern Florida, Heitzer said.
The lawyer pointed out in his letter to Obama that the unanimous decision by three judges of the Court of Appeals in 2005 was an admission that the Cuban Five convictions were the result of a “perfect storm” of hatred in Miami for the Cuban Revolution, along with intimidation, violence, death threats, and prosecutorial misconduct. Heitzer also reiterated that the more than six-month long legal process included no evidence of U.S. classified information and none of the men were ever charged with espionage.
Editor’s Note: While I’m certain that Arthur Heitzer is a good lawyer, “renowned” is a bit of a reach. “Renowned” attorneys would include David Boies – who was named Lawyer of the Year by the National Law Journal or John Keker, previously recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers. A Google search for the name “Arthur Heitzer” and “attorney” or “lawyer” found just 2,670 hits. In fairness, the search “arthur heitzer milwaukee attorney” resulted in over 27,000 hits, although it includes ad cite like yellow pages, manta, superlawyers.com, etc.