Havana, Sep 12 – The Cuban anti-terrorist fighters condemned in the United States sent a message today in this capital “to the conscience of the world and the American people,” as published by the Granma newspaper.
Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, and Fernando Gonzalez were arrested in 1998 in Miami, for monitoring Cuban groups that organized and executed terrorist actions against the island.
The Cuban Five, as they are universally known, were condemned to long and harsh prison sentences that included several life terms.
After completing 13 years in prison, a period of supervised release on parole, and renouncing his U.S. citizenship, Rene Gonzalez returned to Cuba in April 2013. He has been the only one of the Five to return the island so far.
“Fifteen years ago, on September 12, 1998, our homes were broken into with the brutality of five simultaneous arrests, beginning one of the most shameful chapters in American legal history: the trial against those who today are known as the (Cuban) Five, the document stated.
In their message, the Five denounced the fact that the evidence in their case was tampered with, damaged, or destroyed. The judge’s orders were openly flouted. The terrorists who the defense called as (hostile) witnesses were publicly threatened with imprisonment if they did not plead the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.
The Five also criticized the role of the media, which they accused of complicity in keeping the American people ignorant of the case, “while the trial venue was mercilessly bombarded with propaganda against the defendants.”
In their opinion, the conduct of the prosecutors, judges, and the government in this case was no accident.
Only the lifting of that other blockade, the one imposed against the U.S. people to keep them in the dark about the case, would there be any hope of ending that injustice, they said.
“The Five will continue to be deserving of this massive display of affection, will continue being worthy sons of the solidarity and the generous people who promote it, and of the support from those around the world who have joined our cause,” they said.
Source: Prensa Latina