Fidel Castro Finally Meets with the Cuban 5

Fidel Castro with the Cuban Five on Feb. 28, 2015.  Photo: Estudios Revolución
Fidel Castro with the Cuban Five on Feb. 28, 2015. Photo: Estudios Revolución

HAVANA TIMES — The long awaited reunion between Fidel Castro and the Cuban Five finally took place on Saturday February 28, disclosed the retired leader himself on Sunday night.

Over ten weeks since their return to Cuba on December 17, 2014, the happy encounter took place at Fidel’s home in Punto Cero, extending for five hours, with photos taken by Estudios Revolución.

The Cuban Five, arrested in 1998 and tried and convicted in 2001, became the focus of an endless national and international campaign by Castro during the last years of his presidency. The Cuban leader argued that their mission in the US had been to gather information on groups planning terrorist actions against Cuba and was never to spy on the US military.

Here is the official English translation of Fidel Castro’s account of the meeting with the Cuban Five.

I received them on Saturday, February 28, 73 days after they stepped foot on Cuban soil. Three of them had served 15 long years of their youth breathing in the damp, foul smelling, repugnant air of yankee prison cells, after being convicted by venal judges. The other two, who also attempted to stop the empire’s criminal plans against their homeland, were also sentenced to various years of brutal imprisonment.
The very same investigating bodies, completely devoid of the most basic sense of justice, participated in their inhumane incarceration.

Cuban intelligence services had absolutely no need to track the movements of a single U.S. military team, as they could observe from space everything that moved on our planet through the Lourdes Radio Electronic Exploration Centre, located to the south of the Cuban capital. This center was able to detect any moving object thousands of miles from our country.

The Five anti-terrorist Heroes, who never did any harm to the United States, worked to anticipate and prevent terrorist acts against our people, organized by U.S. intelligence agencies which the world knows more than enough about.

None of the Five Heroes carried out their work in search of applause, awards or glory. They received their honorific titles because they didn’t seek them out. They, their wives, parents, children, siblings and fellow citizens, we all have the legitimate right to feel proud.

In July 1953, when we attacked the Moncada barracks, I was 26 years old and had far less experience than that which they demonstrated. If they were in the U.S. it wasn’t to harm that country, or take revenge for the crimes being organized there and the explosives that were being stockpiled to be used against our country. Attempting to stop this was absolutely legitimate.

The first thing they did upon arrival was greet their families, friends and people, without neglecting for a minute the rigorous health checkup.

I was happy for hours yesterday. I heard amazing tales of heroism from the group presided by Gerardo and supported by them all, including the painter and poet, whom I met while he was building one of his works in the Santiago de Cuba airfield. And their wives? Their sons and daughters? Sisters and mothers? Was I not also going to receive them? Well, their return and joy must also be celebrated with the family!

Yesterday, I immediately wanted to converse with the Five Heroes. For five hours this is what we did. Fortunately, yesterday I also had enough time to request that they invest part of their immense prestige in something that will be extremely useful for our people.

Fidel Castro Ruz
March 1, 2015
10:12 p.m.

5 thoughts on “Fidel Castro Finally Meets with the Cuban 5

  • I do note that your post omits any mention of morality and justification on the part of the Cuban Five’s actions against U.S. sanctioned terrorism against their country.
    I can well understand your reluctance to enter into that arena given your love of immiserating capitalism
    You can try to attribute your lack of humanity to your “political bias ” if it makes you feel better about your lack
    of regard for humanity but I’m not buying it.
    Yes war is hell but the U.S. imperialism, which you shamelessly defend and support, doesn’t have the honesty or the morality to say why they do what they do in killing people around the world.
    Go read the INTRODUCTION to “Killing Hope’ at the same-named website .

  • As you are well aware, the US had a long history of running covert operations against Cuba. Early on, Fidel Castro decided the best defence was to operate forward in the US. Since the first year of the Revolution Fidel had spies in the US, including several within the exiles training for the Bay of Pigs. For decades, the US underestimated the quality and quantity of Cuban spies in the US.

    The Cuba Five were not the only Cuban spies in the US. They were part of the Red Avispa network which included several more spies, most of whom managed to escape the US and return to Cuba. And don’t forget about Ana Montes, who worked as an analyst inside the US intelligence agency.

    Read Brian Latell’s “Castro’s Secrets” for a thorough history of the spy vs spy war between Cuba and the US. While Latell, a retired CIA analyst, is open about his pro-US bias, he is quite critical of the failure of the US intelligence agencies to respect the Cuban intelligence agencies. In Fact, Latell describes Fidel Castro as the most brilliant intelligence director of the 20th century.

    You can argue that Castro was justified in sending spies to the US, if it suits your political bias, but you cannot deny that these agents were foreign spies working in an “enemy” country. They were arrested, charged and convicted as such. War is hell.

  • Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor ?
    Ever It would serve little purpose for Cuba to spy on the U.S. military .
    It made all the sense in the world for the Cubans to try to learn when the next terrorist attack might be coming from in Florida where so many have originated .
    Any U.S. military involved in the terrorist strikes against Cuba would be clandestine to maintain the farce that they were not involved and therefore would be hard for any Cubans to penetrate .
    Opa Locka airport has long been known as the CIA send-off spot for clandestine flights to the Caribbean and Latin America,
    Were the Cuban Five primarily spying on the U.S. military for which they were convicted, they could have safely admitted it after conviction or any time after their release . They didn’t.
    BTW, radar blips are all the intelligence needed to detect aircraft intruding upon Cuban airspace.
    Yeah, yeah. We know.
    It’s that international communist conspiracy out to paint the USA red.
    What next ? Cubans are sending in aliens from another planet ?
    You die-hards are really grasping at straws lately ..

  • Free at last, Free at last. Thank God Almighty the Cuban 5 are free at last!

  • If the purpose of the mission was never to spy on the US military, then why did they access US military bases? The Cuban Five were part of a much larger Avispa Spy network which was engaged in gathering intelligence against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key West, the McDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Homestead, Florida.

    The Cuban Five were also compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers, along with those of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica.

    Information collected by the Cuban Five and passed onto the Cuban intelligence agency, was used to target and shoot down two unarmed Cessna aircraft operated by the Brothers to the Rescue organization.

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