As we put to relaxation 2018, Antonio Bascaro—the longest-serving non-violent federal hashish prisoner—endured his final Christmas behind bars. After almost 39 years in jail, he’s lastly scheduled to be launched in June of 2019. Bascaro, an 84-year-old Cuban warfare hero, has suffered in jail since 1980 for conspiracy to import and distribute hashish.
Prior to being incarcerated, he attended two years of medical faculty, however left to pursue his ardour for flying. He joined the Cuban Naval Air Force and have become one in every of their greatest pilots. Bascaro excelled to the purpose that he even had a quick stint with the CIA in an effort to overthrow Fidel Castro.
But his precision as a pilot attracted heavy hitters within the Miami drug scene. After leaving the Air Force, Bascaro started importing hashish into the United States.
“He could fly close to the water, he could not be detected,” stated Eugene Fischer, a pal Bascaro made in jail for a (you guessed it!) hashish conviction. Fischer has since handed away as a consequence of problems from the poor circumstances he endured in jail.
Alas, Bascaro’s ardour for flying (and hashish) received him in hassle. 38 years in the past, Bascaro was arrested and charged for importing 600,000 kilos of hashish into the United States. Federal brokers anticipated him to show over the proof, however he refused to cooperate as a consequence of his deep sense of loyalty and honor. Bascaro’s case performed out in the course of the harshest years of the War on Drugs. Jury nullification wasn’t an choice. A jury would by no means train their proper to nullify unjust drug legal guidelines because of the overwhelming propaganda and worry instilled within the American psyche.
Ironically, the precise kingpin who employed Bascaro was already launched from jail. Bascaro is the one one who stays locked up for this non-violent crime. Despite the severity of his sentence, Bascaro and his household remained hopeful that sometime he’d be free and eventually, the day is almost right here. Instead of counting down the years, they’re counting down the months and weeks.
“Even though we have a date and nothing can stop it, it just doesn’t seem real,” says daughter Aicha Bascaro, her dad’s biggest supporter. “It is hard to believe because for so many years we have been hoping that he will come out, but he never did. It’s like I am scared to believe it. My siblings and I are planning a huge welcome home party with lots of his friends in Miami. He will be staying in Florida with his sister. He is doing okay. As you can imagine, he already has a huge plan. He is going to get a driver’s license to start driving right away. He even knows what computer he wants to get. He is ready to start living again.”
Although Bascaro’s launch date is close to, his well being stays a priority. His household feared he would die behind bars, and that worry intensified as he aged. The following hyperlink is Bascaro’s on-line petition asking for President Trump to grant him clemency. Presently, the petition has almost 110,000 signatures. As we witnessed within the well-publicized case of Alice Johnson, the president has the facility to launch anybody at any time.
Voices Of the Cannabis War (VOW), an advocacy group devoted to being the voice of pot prisoners, urges you to signal the petition as a message to the federal authorities indicating help for Bascaro’s launch. No one must be caged, not even for a day, particularly due to a plant.
If you want to attain Bascaro instantly, you possibly can ship him mail:
Antonio Bascaro #03846-021
PO Box 779800
Miami, FL 33177
You may also comply with updates on Bascaro by way of Facebook. To study extra about his life as a Cuban hero and the way he obtained to the US by way of the lens of his daughter, you’ll be able to take heed to VOW’s present right here.
Kristin Flor and Mindi Hall are founders of VOW, a non-profit comprised of devoted hashish activists who attempt to be the voice of prisoners incarcerated for hashish. VOW writes articles, hosts radio exhibits and talking engagements, works on particular tasks, and makes photographs in honor of these locked up on account of hashish crimes. VOW has ‘vowed’ to assist free these individuals by way of schooling, prisoner help, courtroom help, and serving to to finish prohibition.