Elio Delgado Legón*
HAVANA TIMES, Feb 15 — An important part of the mass media campaign of lies directed against Cuba is that of complicit silence so that people don’t learn the truth about various issues related to our socialist country.
Today I’ll refer to only one of those matters.
This relates to five Cubans who were arrested and tried in Miami for having infiltrated terrorist organizations to detect the planning of such actions and to inform the Cuban government.
The actions of these five helped to save many lives – those of Cubans as well as Americans.
These Cubans were accused of spying and other charges, none of which could be proved. Nonetheless, they were convicted in the longest trial in United State history. They were each handed down excessive prison time – ranging from two life sentences plus 15 years for one of the men, life sentences for two of the others, 19 years for a fourth man, and 15 years for the fifth.
In the case of the individual who was given two life sentences, one of these was for a charge that had been withdrawn by the prosecution due to insufficient evidence. In any other trial this odd turn of events would have been of great interest to the press, but in this instance nothing is spoken about it.
Many renowned personalities from around the world have sent petitions to the president of the United States demanding freedom for the five Cubans, who have now spent more than 13 years unjustly imprisoned.
Recently the distinguished US actor Danny Glover said that if US citizens had done what these five Cubans did, they would have received medals. And he’s right.
“The Cuban Five,” as they’re known internationally, were punished more for being from socialist Cuba than for having committed crimes.
The 70th convention of the US National Lawyers Guild issued a resolution on this case, from which I would like to cite one section:
WHEREAS: Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, Cuba and its people have suffered from continued terrorism including sabotage and assassinations (completed and attempted), killing over 3,000 of its citizens and maiming thousands of others;
WHEREAS: Cuba has repeatedly protested the planning, financing and launching of such attacks from the U.S., in private and public protests and requests to the U.S. government, and Cuba determined the necessity of sending its own agents to monitor continuing plots in order to deter or minimize further such attacks;
WHEREAS: On May 27, 2005, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Commission, issued its Conclusion that depriving these five Cubans of their liberty contravened Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights…
WHEREAS: The NLG has previously called attention to these injustices, including a 2006 Convention NEC resolution resolving “to build a strong people’s movement through advocacy and media campaigns, and to advocate for a new and fair trial for the Cuban Five,” and a September 2007 request to the UN Commission on Human Rights to conduct an investigation into the failure of the U.S. government to honor the findings and conclusions of the UN Working Group;
Why hasn’t the US mainstream media reported on this resolution or that of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention?
It’s simply because they have bowed to the campaign of lies against Cuba and one way to lie is by silencing the truth.
What’s more, Leonard Weinglass (1933 – 2011), who was one of the most prestigious lawyers in the United States, said in an interview: “When the five were arrested in 1998, the Pentagon and the Department of Justice issued a statement saying that no harm had been done by them to the national security of the United States. Now, after these man have spent 10 years in prison, we have a statement by a high court asserting that there was no espionage committed and that no highly secret information was obtained or transmitted.”
In that same interview, Weinglass added: “Unfortunately, this case is one of those situations where I think the US government is using its justice system for a foreign policy objective. Historically when this happens and the existence of political prejudice is later revealed, Americans feel a great sense of shame with regard to their laws and have less confidence in their justice system and courts of law.”
I could cite hundreds of statements by personalities, such as twelve Nobel Peace prize winners, the American writer Alice Walker, former US President Jimmy Carter; the former head of the U.S. Interests Office in Cuba, Wayne Smith; and many others whose statements on the case have not been reported by the information multinationals. This is because they know that Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez are innocent and should be released. Notwithstanding, the US government insists on punishing Cuba through them.
(*) I am a Cuban who has lived for 75 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.