Kicki Nordstrom, the president of the World Blind Union, has just
written a third letter to the Foreign Minister of Cuba asking for the release
of Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, a blind Cuban lawyer, human rights activist
and independent librarian who has been imprisoned without trial since March
4.  The Cuban government ignored her two previous letters.  Juan Carlos was
beaten, kicked and pistol-whipped when he was arrested in March, and the
continuing mistreatment of this peaceful blind man has caused alarm around
the world.  Ms. Nordstrom's most recent letter is re-printed at the bottom of
this message.

     The WBU and other human rights groups will win the release Juan Carlos
Gonzalez Leiva only if members of the international community express their
concern.  Leaders of the World Blind Union will hold a meeting in Cuba in
mid-September, and it is VERY IMPORTANT for  people all around the world to
show support for the WBU by sending messages to Cuban officials about the
case of Juan Carlos.

      We hope you will take the few moments needed to send an e-mail to Mr.
Felipe Perez Roque, the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, about the case of
Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva.  The Cuban government is sensitive to bad
publicity, so please be assured that your message WILL DEFINITELY HAVE AN

      Messages to the Cuban Foreign Minister can be sent through the Cuban
delegation to the United Nations.  The e-mail address is: ([log in to unmask]) and
please send COPIES to: ([log in to unmask]) and
([log in to unmask]).

     In your messages, we hope you will ask for the release of Juan Carlos
Gonzalez Leiva, and also for the return of books confiscated from the
Agramonte Independent Library.  Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva is the director of
the Agramonte Independent Library, and after his arrest in March the library
was raided by the Cuban police and a number of books were confiscated,
including books in Braille. Earlier this year, in advance of a library
conference in Jamaica,  Ms. Nordstrom asked IFLA's section for the blind to
take action on behalf of Juan Carlos.

    Thank you for taking the time to consider this request, and please be
assured that your assistance in this important matter would be deeply

Sincerely yours,

The Friends of Cuban Libraries


Dear Minister Felipe Perez Roque:

On behalf of the World Blind Union we once more appeal to the Government of
Cuba for clemency and compassion in the case of Juan Carlos Gonzalez-Leiva, a
blind man being held in detention in the provincial prison of Holguin since 4
March.  The facts of the situation, as far as they are known to us, are set
out in our previous letters of 3 April and 14 May and do not require
repetition here.  However, reports of the increasing poor health and
disorientation of Juan Carlos give even greater cause for concern than
before.  It is our hope that our upcoming visit to Cuba, where a meeting of
our Executive Committee is to be hosted by the National Association of the
Blind of Cuba (ANCI ) on 14 and 15 September will not be clouded by this
unresolved problem.  Our persistent appeals to the Cuban Government have no
political intent whatsoever but have as their sole aim the release of Juan
Carlos Gonzalez-Leiva on humanitarian grounds. Your urgent action in the
matter is the only response we expect as the world agency speaking for 180
million blind people in over 160 countries, including Cuba.

Yours respectfully

Kicki Nordstrom

William Rowland