Cuba accused the Obama administration of mirroring the Bush administration after the U.S. denied a visa to the wife of a convicted intelligence agent for the communist country.
In a letter that began circulating Monday, Cuba’s U.N. Ambassador Abelardo Moreno Fernandez ordered that the U.S. government issue Adriana Perez. “a humanitarian visa immediately so that she may visit her husband,” Gerardo Hernandez.
The ambassador said that after waiting a total of 95 days, the U.S. Interests Section in Havana denied Perez visa clearance for the 10th time, using “the crude argument” that she “constitutes a threat to the stability and national security of the United States,” reports the Associated Press.
“This is shameful confirmation that the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is using the same argument as her predecessor Condoleezza Rice to deny Ms. Adriana Perez her visa,” Moreno Fernandez said.
“This decision of the United States authorities violates the country’s own law and demonstrates a systematic violation of its international obligations,” he said. It “is also a systematic and flagrant violation of human rights and an act of torture against Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo – unjustly sentenced to two life sentences plus 15 years in prison – and members of his family.”
In June, the Supreme Court rejected the motion to review the conviction of Hernandez in addition to four other agents. The court refused to acknowledge the outcry despite numerous calls from Nobel Peace Prize winners and international legal groups.
Although the “Cuban Five,” who were arrested in 1998, hold tight to the belief that the did not receive a fair trial because of the anti-Cuban sentiment in Miami. While exile groups say the men have been fairly punished, they are hailed as heros in Cuba.
Rima Vydmantas, State Department spokeswoman, said the U.S. does not divulge details of individual visa cases.
“The fundamental issue is whether the applicant qualifies for the visa under U.S. law on his or her own individual merits,” she said.
Included in the lette to the secretary-general was an “appeal to the parliaments and peoples of the world,” approved by Cuba’s National Assembly, which calls for the immediate release of the “Cuban Five.”
The appeal states that President Obama “has the constitutional authority and the moral obligation to ensure justice.”