PEP COLUMN: A message for Eric Holder
When Mr Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, visited Barbados last week, Mr David Comissiong, the president of both the People’s Empowerment Party and the Clement Payne Movement, visited the United States Embassy with a letter addressed to Mr Holder, and two accompanying documents pertaining to United States actions in relation to Cuba and Libya.
Mr Holder’s staff refused to accept the package of documents. Mr Comissiong had to post the said documents to Mr Holder’s Washington, DC address.
For the public record, we now reproduce Mr Comissiong’s letter as follows:
“Dear Mr Holder
On behalf of the officers and members of the Clement Payne Movement, I welcome you to Barbados – the land of your parents – and extend best wishes for a useful and productive visit to our island. Our organization would like to utilize the opportunity provided by your presence in Barbados to make appeals to you in relation to the following two matters:
(1) The case of the so-called Cuban Five – the five Cuban patriots who had infiltrated anti-Cuba terrorist organizations based in Miami, and who were arrested by the United States authorities in 1998, charged with a number of espionage-related offences, were unjustly convicted, and given unjust and excessively long prison sentences, . . . and
(2) The matter of the multiple violations of international law committed by the government of the United States and its NATO allies in its recent military campaign against . . . Libya.
We have addressed these two matters in two [enclosed] documents . . . .
(1) A copy of a 2007 petition on the Cuban Five that was crafted by our organization, and that was signed by Barbadians who are either attorneys-at-law or who are otherwise associated with the legal profession in Barbados. There are some 82 signatories, several of whom are highly respected legal luminaries in Barbados. Essentially, the said petition is demanding the immediate release of the Cuban Five.
(2) A copy of a Caribbean People’s Resolution On The Crimes Committed Against Libya. The resolution catalogues the multiple international crimes committed against Libya and requests the governments of the world to issue official public statements denouncing these breaches. It also requests the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to institute investigations and prosecutions against persons implicated in these international crimes.
Our organization is hereby requesting of you, that you use your good offices, influence and authority to initiate a process at the highest levels of the United States government to secure the release of the unjustly incarcerated Cuban Five.
We are also urging you to reflect deeply on the contents of the resolution on Libya, and to consider whether the administration which you serve – the historic Barack Obama administration – is living up to the high promise and expectations that were attached to it by people all around the world when it initially came to power in 2008.
We now look forward to receiving a response from you, and thank you in advance for your serious and sensitive consideration of both of these matters.”