Solidarity message of Native American and political prisoner
Leonard Peltier to Fidel, the people and the revolution
#89637-132 U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 1000
Leavenworth, KS 66048-1000
My honorable brothers and sisters of Cuba:
the many years of serving an unjust imprisonment his Excellency President
Fidel Castro, the Revolution and the great Cuban people have offered me
almost three decades of solidarity, supporting my struggle as I seek justice
and my freedom. Freedom that I lost as I was sentenced to two life sentences
in a US prison for simply opposing the exploitation and the oppression
of my people.
year is the 50th anniversary of the attacks on Fort Moncada in Santiago
de Cuba and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes; attacks carried out by the
great revolutionary forces led by His Excellency President Fidel Castro.
These attacks carried out on July 26, 1953 signaled one of the most significant
acts against imperialism; as well as, being the first step in the overthrow
of US backed dictator Batista. My people, the indigenous people of North
America, know your struggle, as we have for more than 500 years fought
against imperialism. This imperialist aggression has been responsible
for the deaths of our ancestors, the rape of our women, and the ransacking
of our lands. Now more than ever, we are obliged to fight for our freedom
and our autonomy.
would like this opportunity to once again express my solidarity with His
Excellency Fidel Castro, with the Cuban Revolution and with my brothers
and sisters in Cuba. I call for an end to all campaigns of foreign subversion
and aggression towards the government of Cuba and it's people. The war
on terrorism conducted by the US is nothing more than a smoke screen to
carry out illegal acts of aggression that break International Law. In
light of the acts of aggression and terrorism carried out by the imperialist,
the Republic of Cuba has the right to defend and protects it's national
sovereignty. Lastly, I call on the government of the United States to
immediately free my five heroic brothers who remain unjustly imprisoned
for trying to prevent acts of terrorism from Miami, against their nation
and their people. I promise that I will maintain my solidarity with my
brothers and sisters in Cuba and ask humbly that you support my struggle
for my freedom.
victory! In the spirit of Crazy Horse,
The eagle’s feather
ORLANDO ORAMAS LEON, Granma daily staff writer
(29 August 2003) -- THE North American Indigenous Movement had already
been founded in the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota when Daniel Yang
was born. He’s currently in Cuba as an ambassador for U.S. native
peoples and is the godson of Leonard Peltier, that indefatigable warrior
unjustly imprisoned for defending the ancestral hopes and rights of his
him are a drum and legendary pipe to help his prayers reach the Great
Spirit. His clear voice intones the hymn of the Movement, accompanied
by the drum whose beat is the heartbeat of Mother Earth. And although
his words might be hard to understand, the message remains strong in the
evocation of an ancestral struggle that still has many battles ahead.
color red predominates in his traditional dress and an aura of mystery
envelopes him when he offers us a "purifying" toke on the pipe
or when he lights a bowl of dry salvia -- the sacred plant of his people,
traditions stretch back much further than the five centuries that saw
the beginning of the North American Native Indians’ struggle against
those who are still oppressing and discriminating against them and confining
them to reservations.
these traditions confer the most valuable decoration that a warrior can
receive -- the eagles’ feather. For the first time ever, he explained,
the North American Indigenous Movement has given one to a head of state
and someone outside of the United States. It is an exceptional decoration
that signifies success, honor and bravery.
affirmed that the Movement had authorized him to award it to the undefeated
fighter President Fidel Castro because together with his people he has
maintained aloft the resistance of the Cuban Revolution and an unswerving
solidarity with the Movement’s cause. Whilst speaking those words
he drew on his pipe in order to impart more force to the message entrusted
is the number given to Leonard Peltier who has spent the last 28 years
in U.S. jails. His major crime has been continuing to defend the stolen
and pillaged rights of U.S. native peoples.
the thirty years now he and activists from the Pine Bridge Reservation,
South Dakota have been mobilizing in defense of other indigenous peoples;
hundreds of native people have been killed there. The police and FBI have
very rarely concentrated so many of their agents -- not to clear up those
deaths but to suppress the native people’s protests.
was charged with homicide but this was never proved. What is certain is
that his rigged trial brought him to the notice of indigenous peoples
and gave international importance to the silent and shameful situation
of U.S. Native Indians.
chose Daniel to be his godson, who confirmed how U.S. justice has been
reducing his appeal options. Peltier is serving double life in a maximum-security
cell in Lavenworth jail, Kansas.
former U.S. administration had promised him a pardon. President Bill Clinton
himself confirmed this during an electoral tour of a reservation. In the
last days of his mandate, Leonard’s family was informed of the decision
and he gathered up his belongings in prison. But in the end, Justice Department
pressure reconfirmed the injustice.
has lost the sight in one eye in prison, suffers from diabetes, arthritis
and high blood pressure, but he was still able to paint a picture for
Fidel and Cuba. It is the vision of an unbeaten warrior, as he sees us
from his incarceration.
it’s not by chance that he is embracing the cause of the five Cuban
anti-terrorist fighters and entrusting his godson to carry his support
to their families in Cuba. Yang underlined that the five Cubans and Peltier
have been condemned for fighting terrorism against the Cuban people and
the indigenous nations of North America.
30 years after Leonard Peltier was locked up, 90 per cent of Pine Bridge’s
workforce is unemployed. U.S. native peoples have the highest suicide
rate in the country. Discrimination and exploitation are currently acquiring
new forms but for the same ends: to marginalize indigenous peoples.
Yang explained that the North American Indigenous Movement is continuing
to fight for Washington to acknowledge the hundreds of treaties that have
been ignored throughout 500 years.
rights, including those to land, water and self-determination, have been
and continue to be denied by the colonizers. Daniel stressed that they
were a society of warriors who want to live in peace, but peace has still
to be won because the reservations where they are confined are the poorest
places of the world’s richest power.
puffed on the pipe, the smoke of the salvia invoking the spirits. Afterwards,
the drumbeats announced that a notable warrior was about to receive the
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