Partisan Defense Committee Statement

3 August 2010

Free Walter and Gwendolyn Myers!
Free the Cuban Five!

The Partisan Defense Committee protests the prosecution and imprisonment of Walter Kendall Myers and his wife Gwendolyn Myers. A retired State Department analyst, Mr. Myers pleaded guilty last November to charges of conspiracy to commit espionage. Gwendolyn Myers pleaded guilty to conspiring to gather and transmit defense information to Cuba, which has been under the gun sights of U.S. imperialism since capitalist class rule was overthrown some 50 years ago. At their sentencing on July 16, Walter Myers forthrightly announced, “We did not intend to hurt any individual American. Our only objective was to help the Cuban people defend their revolution.” United States District Judge Reggie Walton vindictively sentenced 73-year-old Walter Myers to life without parole, and the 72-year-old Gwendolyn Myers to 81 months. This could well be a death sentence for Gwendolyn Myers, who has already suffered a heart attack since her June 2009 arrest.

From the interests of the working class and oppressed in the U.S. and around the world, what the Myers are accused of is not a crime. We defend them as part of our defense of Cuba, a bureaucratically deformed workers state. We demand their immediate freedom.

The federal prosecutors claimed that in the years leading up to his retirement in 2007, Walter Myers examined hundreds of intelligence reports dealing with Cuba, many classified or top-secret and that information from these were passed on to Cuban authorities. According to the federal criminal complaint, Mr. Myers, a great grandson of Alexander Graham Bell, was recruited to Cuban intelligence along with his wife after they made a trip to Cuba in 1978. Myers’ diary of that trip recorded his growing bitterness over lack of decent medical care, oil company greed and indifference to poverty in the U.S. as contrasted with Cuba where efforts were underway to eradicate these evils.

The elimination of capitalist rule in Cuba in 1960-61 led to enormous gains for working people despite the rule of a bureaucratic nationalist caste led by Fidel Castro. The centralized planned economy guarantees everyone a job, housing, food and education. Cubans now enjoy one of the highest literacy rates in the world. Despite the crippling effects of the U.S. blockade, the free health care system is still far and away the best in economically underdeveloped countries. The revolution especially has benefited women: domination of the Catholic Church was broken, and abortion is a free health service. Infant mortality is lower than in parts of the First World, and Cuba has more doctors and teachers per capita than just about anywhere else in the world.

The U.S. ruling class has worked relentlessly to overthrow the Cuban Revolution and re-establish the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie—from the 1961 Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs) invasion to repeated attempts to assassinate Castro; from funding counterrevolutionary terrorists in Miami to the ongoing economic embargo. The U.S. rulers continue to harbor their trained terrorists, like Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles, who engineered the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. We say: Send Posada and Bosch back to Cuba to be tried by their victims!

We also defend and call for the release of the Cuban Five, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González and René González—courageous men who warned Cuba of the plots by such U.S.-supported gusano counterrevolutionary terrorists—as well as Ana Belen Montes, a Defense Intelligence Agency officer sentenced to 25 years for passing military information to the Cuban government. Their actions that assisted the defense of the Cuban deformed workers state from the most dangerous imperialist power in the world are not only defensible but laudable.

The Partisan Defense Committee calls on the international workers movement to take up the defense of these prisoners: Freedom for Walter Kendall Myers and Gwendolyn Myers! Free the Cuban 5! Free Ana Belen Montes! Defend Cuba! Down with the embargo! U.S. out of Guantánamo Bay now!

— 3 August 2010