The Washington Post
publishes article about the Five
IN an unusual move by a major U.S.
newspaper, The Washington Post October 4
published an article on the case of the Cuban Five,
which points out that the imprisoned anti-terrorists
should be considered heroes in that country as well.
In the article entitled "The Cuban
Five were fighting terrorism. Why did we put them in
jail?" Canadian writer Stephen Kimber addresses
countless irregularities in the prosecution of
Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero,
Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez.
"Consider for a moment what would
happen if American intelligence agents on the ground
in a foreign country uncovered a major terrorist
plot, with enough time to prevent it. And then
consider how Americans would react if authorities in
that country, rather than cooperate with us,
arrested and imprisoned the U.S. agents for
operating on their soil," notes Kimber, author of
What Lies Across the Water: The True Story of the
"Those agents would be American
heroes. The U.S. government would move heaven and
earth to get them back."
"This sort of scenario has occurred,
except that, in the real-life version, which
unfolded 15 years ago last month, the Americans play
the role of the foreign government, and Cuba — yes,
Fidel Castro’s Cuba — plays the role of the
aggrieved United States."
"The five agents were tried in that
hostile-to-anything-Cuban city, (Miami) convicted on
low-bar charges of "conspiracy to commit" everything
from espionage to murder and sentenced to impossibly
long prison terms, including one double life
sentence plus 15 years," the article reads.
Kimber contrasts the behavior of
U.S. authorities in the case to that displayed when
dealing with terrorists of Cuban origin, who have
openly admitted their participation in violent
attacks on Cuba.
He recalls the case of terrorist
Rodolfo Fromenta who, in 1994, was caught in an FBI
raid attempting to buy a Stinger missile, a grenade
launcher and anti-tank rockets, which he said he
planned to use to attack Cuba.
"Those actions clearly violated U.S.
neutrality laws, but America’s justice system mostly
looked the other way," said the Canadian writer, who
also refers to Luis Posada Carriles, the
intellectual author of the in-flight bombing of a
Cuban airliner off the coast of Barbados in 1976,
along other terrorist actions, including attempts to
assassinate the historic leader of the Cuban
Revolution Fidel Castro.
Kimber writes, "The closest the U.S.
government has come to prosecuting Posada was in
2009, when the Obama administration charged him —
not for his role in the Havana bombings but for
lying about his role on an immigration form. He was
"Today, Posada, 85, walks the
streets of Miami, a living contradiction in
America’s war on terrorism. How to square his
freedom with President George W. Bush’s post-Sept.
11 declaration that "any nation that continues to
harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the
United States as a hostile regime?" How to square
Posada’s freedom with the continued imprisonment of
the Cuban Five, whose primary goal was to prevent
terrorist attacks? It is a contradiction Americans
"Now you begin to understand why the
Cuban Five — as they have become known — are
national heroes in their homeland, why pictures of
their younger selves loom on highway billboards all
over the island, why every Cuban schoolchild knows
them by their first names: Gerardo, René, Ramon,
Fernando and Antonio," the author explains in his
The Post is the oldest
and largest newspaper in the U.S. capital, with
nearly 500,000 copies daily and over 800,000 on
Sunday. The paper gained notoriety in the 1970’s
with its coverage of the Watergate scandal which led
to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Along
with The New York Times and The Wall
Street Journal, The Post is considered
one of the country’s most influential newspapers. (SE)