Dear President Barack Obama and President Raul Castro,
We appeal to you to restore to their wives and children prisoners held dear by their own people, Alan Gross, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.
Each country premises that its courts produced just convictions and sentences that must be served. Each also forcefully advocates for their citizens believed to have acted in good faith and victimized by the other’s biased legal process. While neither nation accepts that the cases are comparable, both have been criticized for trial procedures and a negative political atmosphere as well as disproportionate punishment.
If our countries enjoyed normal relations of mutual respect, these problems may never have arisen and certainly could be more easily resolved. Instead, prolonged incarceration is used as a new reason for not moving beyond half a century of conflict.
You are both highly regarded for strong commitment to family. For strictly humanitarian reasons we urge you to cut through the logjam of conventional political wisdom and entrenched interest groups so that six painfully separated families are reunited with a spirit of hope and reconciliation.
Instead of their unhappy situations being an obstacle, freedom can become a path to a more propitious future.