Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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A US high ranking religious figure visits one of the Cuban Five

Mar. 15, 2007
Reprinted from

On March 9th, the Catholic Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Thomas J. Gumbleton visited Fernando González Llort at Oxford prison in Wisconsin. This is the first visit that a high ranking U.S. Catholic authority has paid to one of the Cuban Five prisoners in the United Status since 1998.

When he learned about the injustice committed by the United States government against the Cuban Five, Gumbleton, who in 1972 was the founding president of Pax Christi in the United States, showed interest in visiting one of the Five to bring his support and solidarity.

The Bishop, who is one of the most important leaders of the U.S. peace movement, has embraced many just causes and currently is a strong opponent of the Bush Administration's war on Iraq. In March 2005, together with Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu and others, Gumbleton was one of the signers of a paid ad in the New York Times about the case of the Cuban Five.

Bishop Gumbleton spoke with Fernando for several hours and they connected immediately. According to Gumbleton “Fernando and I have more things in common than I thought,” and he added “Fernando is in the prime of his life, is a sincere and receptive person, and is very current about international affairs, including news about the Catholic Church."

What the Bishop was most impressed with was that Fernando did not speak about his case in particular, or the case of the Five, but about the cause of the Cuban people to fight for its independence and sovereignty. Gumbleton saw through Fernando an immense determination and commitment, to the point of sacrificing everything necessary, including his own freedom, for the goodness of his country.

The Bishop also commented that Fernando keeps his spirits high and looks strong physically. For Gumbleton, these are two signs of Fernando's optimism, not only about the victory of the case of the Five but also that Cuba will be victorious.

At the end of his visit, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton committed himself to educate the Catholic community that he represents in the United States, about the case of the Five and said that he was very thankful for the opportunity to know Fernando in person.


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