International staff writer—
you make a statement, I’ll prosecute you, was the District
Attorney’s threatening advice to Roberto Frómeta, a member
of the counterrevolutionary terrorist F-4 organization. Frómeta
was going to be a defense witness at the trial of the five
Cubans and admit what was stated publicly on the Miami
streets: he had purchased an anti-aircraft missile from a FBI
agent to shoot down Cuban helicopters during attacks on the
island’s beaches. The reason: because “we have to put an
end to tourists’ support for Castro.”
Frómeta was discovered with the missile he was placed under
house arrest; now the DA was warning him that if he testifies
about his anti-Cuban terrorist activities at the Five’s
trial, he really will be prosecuted. In Havana to speak about
this ill-starred passage of U.S. jurisprudence was lawyer
Roberto González, brother of René — one of the Cubans who
received cruel sentences at a trial where the principles of
U.S. justice were seriously violated.
the 2002 International Penal Science Meeting at the
International Convention Center, a special panel was formed
precisely to discuss those arbitrary acts. Apart from Roberto
González, others who spoke included Puerto Rican lawyer
Rafael Anglada, one of the Five’s defense team, and Rodolfo
Dávalos, head of the Faculty of Law at Havana University.
June 1998, the Cuban government handed over a report to the
United States warning of terrorist activities against the
island that were being planned in Miami. That report was
introduced by the defense team at the trial, but not examined
by Judge Lenard, confirmed González, who pointed out that
three months later, in September 1998, the five Cubans were
also referred to the fact that the DA prevented statements
from other sinister individuals such as Luis Suárez from
counterrevolutionary terrorist organization Alpha 66, which
has a military training camp in Miami Dade County.
any doubts remain about the impartiality of a trial that had
no legality and is entirely the product of an aberrant policy
against Cuba, then González made a comparison at the meeting
which illustrates the true nature of the Five’s trial.
Lenard asked FBI agent Stuart what he thought about the wave
of 10 explosions in Havana. His reply needs no further
comment: in Havana there would be less verifiables and less
pressure; in Washington there would be more pressure, was the
FBI agent’s ironic reply.
the Five were sentenced in September 1998, they declared
themselves to be anti-terrorist fighters who had not
registered as agents of a foreign government because they
wanted to infiltrate violent counterrevolutionary groups in
order to save innocent lives.
Five asked their defense lawyers to visit Cuba to check how
terrorism instigated from Miami had caused 3,478 deaths and
lawyers came and interviewed the families of the accused; when
they returned to the United States and informed the DA that
they had sufficient proof to apply for just cause in court,
the DA replied that that wasn’t the way.
Lenard took it upon herself to demonstrate her position when
she rejected the defense team’s petition that the only
charge that the Five could face was one of lesser damage
(being an unregistered foreign agent, a charge that carries a
sentence of up to 15 years). The judge’s reply was to state
that in law, acts of terrorism committed against innocent
persons are indeed pernicious and illicit, but acts of
terrorism committed by others do not justify the improper and
illegal conduct of not registering as agents of a foreign
government in the United States.
those words, the judge isolated those accused of terrorism who
were combating it, by inferring “yes, they might be
terrorists but they’re ‘my terrorists,’” indicated
González during the panel discussion. The five are political
prisoners, he affirmed, because the sentences are those of
aberrant political sentiments.
PROOF THAT THEY WERE SPIES
can be no crime or penalty if there is no law that typifies
it, if there is no legal precedent: these principles of U.S.
justice were infringed in the case of Gerardo Hernández,
Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino when they were found
guilty on charges two and three. This was the argument set
forth by Rodolfo Dávalos, senior professor at the Faculty of
Law, University of Havana.
three Cubans were charged with conspiracy to compile and
transmit national defense information. Prof. Dávalos
highlighted how during the trial it was proved that the men
had not accessed information endangering U.S. security because
the documents in question only contained information
officially available to the public, and there are many more
government publications than those found in Antonio
is no proof that they were Cuban spies, because they had no
secret information endangering U.S. national security. The
only thing they did and admitted to doing was to infiltrate
Miami-based terrorist organizations, stressed the law faculty
maintained that there was no evidence for the second charge
Gerardo Hernández faced: intent to commit homicide, alone or
with others, on U.S. territory or in its jurisdictional waters
(that charge was added several months after the trial began).
He explained that Gerardo was not even in the United States on
the day the DA stated that Gerardo sent an alleged message to
the Cuban government concerning the Brothers to the Rescue
flights. In addition, the accused was not responsible for any
danger because the decision to shoot down the two Brothers to
the Rescue light aircraft over the island’s waters was not
taken by him but by the Cuban government, on behalf of
want the Cuban government to sit at the accused’ table
alongside Gerardo,” stated the professor. However, he added
that U.S. law establishes that every sovereign state has the
right to respect the sovereignty of another state, and no
country has the right to try a government in a district court
because the correct venue is before an international jury.
This is why there is no substance to the second charge — the
one that will take Gerardo more three lifetimes to serve.
vengeful sentence in Miami
HE life sentence
plus two additional verdicts of five years and eight months,
handed down to Antonio Guerrero by the Miami Federal Court on
December 27, is not just irrational but completely unjust and
confirms the vengeful aspect of the rigged trial.
authorities must act against the Miami mafia and extreme right
who today, after 40 years, continue to engage in acts of
terrorism against Cuba are clearly linked to the darkest
episodes in recent U.S. history: the assassination of President
Kennedy, the Watergate scandal, ...
can’t trust the FBI
A group of U.S.
senators recently requested an independent investigation into
the FBI, as they believe the organization can no longer be