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Issue #1719      February 17, 2016

International campaign

Release political prisoner Ana Belen Montes

“The whole world is just one country. In this world country, the principle of loving others as one-self is an essential guide to harmonious relations between neighbouring states.” These were the words Ana Belen Montes used during her trial for conspiracy to commit espionage for the government of Cuba.

She was sentenced in October 2002 to 25 years in prison. Ana Belen Montes, aged 59, was born in West Germany from a Puerto Rican conservative family background on February 28, 1957. She worked for the Defence Intelligence Agency DIA as a senior analyst from 1985.

She had many assignments on Cuba and served in the US Interests Office in Havana to study the Cuban military and again in 1998 to monitor the visit to Havana by Pope John Paul II. She had access to all the intelligence gathered on Cuba by the Defence Department due to her high ranking as senior analyst

Unfortunately, Ana Belen Montes is another victim of the failed US policies towards Cuba. She just wanted Cuba to be able to exercise its right to self-determination just like the United States does. Ana never received any payment from Cuba or any one else; she only listened to her conscience and her desire for a new type of relations between Cuba and the US.

None of her actions endangered US national security or harmed any US citizens. On the contrary her noble cause prevented actions against Cuba. In fact her actions saved Cuban and American citizens from terrorists attacks.

Ana was arrested by the FBI on September 21, 2001 and charged with spying for Cuba. She was sent to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC Carswell, in Fort Worth, Texas, a federal prison for female inmates with mental or physical health problems. Ana does not suffer from any mental illnesses but her health is compromised by her isolation and her inability to communicate with other inmates or to receive visits.

President Obama and Raul Castro say they are now both open to new relations of the type Ana Belen hoped for. This opportunity opened up on December 17, 2014 beginning with the release of three other unjustly held political prisoners, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino & Gerardo Hernandez, and the reopening of embassies in both countries.

Ana Belen Montes is due for release in 2027. The Communist Party of Australia joins the international campaign for her release and calls on President Obama to pardon her. We call on all our Guardian readers and supporters to learn more about her case and to add their names to the on-line petition: petitions.moveon.org/sign/buried-alive

Next article – Next onslaught in Gaza

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