Political Prisoners of the Empire  MIAMI 5     



Havana.  March 1, 2013

Statement from Josefina Vidal, U.S. director at the Cuban Foreign Ministry

IN the context of the publication of the February 27 MINREX statement, referring to a new outrage against one of the Five, a State Department official, who asked not to be named, gave a statement to the EFE news agency.

A cable from EFE, datelined February 28, noted that the U.S. admitted that it has denied consular visits to René González, due to "reciprocal travel restrictions." In the report, headlined "U.S: Consular visits to Cuban René González denied for reasons of reciprocity," the agency quotes a non-identified State Department official who stated, "Both the U.S. Interests Section in Havana and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington are subject to reciprocal travel restrictions."

"The Cubans are not letting us travel outside of Havana without previous authorization and so we are responding with the same restriction here."

"The problem is that the (Cuban) Interests Section cannot travel outside of Washington, and González is in Florida," he added. "If they let us travel outside of Havana, their officials can travel to see him."

The Spanish agency also added that, according to the State Department, González can travel to Washington to meet with Cuban officials, if those responsible for his supervised release allow him to travel there.

Responding to these statements from the State Department, the director of the United States Department at the Cuban Foreign Ministry stated:

"The United States Interests Section (USIS) in Havana invariably receives travel permits for outside of the capital in order to visit American prisoners and Cubans naturalized in the United States who are serving prison terms in any part of Cuba. In recent months, United States officials, including the USIS director himself, have had consular access in the provinces of Matanzas, Camagüey, Ciego de Avila, Artemisa and Mayabeque. We do not know what reciprocity he is talking about, as all travel permits for USIS consular visits have been authorized without exception. However, beginning September 2012, the State Department has denied all applications to visit René González presented by consular officials at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, in open violation of its obligations to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. The United States authorities have also denied René’s recent applications for permits to travel outside of the area in which he is serving his additional sentence of supervised release, which is keeping him unjustly distanced from his wife, who is not permitted to visit him."

Havana, February 28, 2013

- MIAMI 5 

                                                                                                  PRINT THIS ARTICLE

Editor-in-chief: Lázaro Barredo Medina / Editor: Gustavo Becerra Estorino
Granma International: http://www.granma.cu/

E-mail | Index | Español | Français | Português | Deutsch | Italiano 
Only-Text |
Subscription Printed Edition
© Copyright. 1996-2013. All rights reserved. GRANMA INTERNATIONAL/ONLINE EDITION. Cuba.