The Cuban Interests Section here in the U.S. capital
denounced an editorial in The Washington Post
which distorts events related to Cuba, including the
prosecution of Alan Gross and the case of the Five
Cuban anti-terrorists incarcerated in the United
In a December 31 editorial column,
the newspaper questioned the sentence imposed by a
Cuban court on U.S. citizen Alan Gross, convicted of
violating the law.
The Cuban diplomatic mission in
Washington explained in a letter to the Post,
"We would like to clarify that the accused was not
tried or convicted for any ‘humanitarian work’
associated with helping the Jewish community in Cuba
gain Internet access, since synagogues in Cuba had
connections long before his arrival."
"Mr. Gross violated Cuban law and
was carrying out undercover operations; the U.S.
government contracted him to implement federal
programs intended to disrupt the constitutional
order of our country," the text continued.
This is considered illegal in Cuba,
as it is in many counties, including the United
States and, as the document explains, the accused
has acknowledged his responsibility for the crimes
"It should be pointed out that the
Cuban government has informed U.S. authorities that
it is willing to seek a solution to Mr. Gross’ case
based on humanitarian reciprocity," the letter
At the same time, the Cuban
Interests Section criticizes a section of the
article attempting to justify the inordinate
sentences handed down to the Cuban Five, as René
González, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón
Labañino and Fernando González are known
The Cuban response to the editorial
asserts that the article ignores the worldwide
support for the Cubans, four of whom continue to
serve unjust sentences while René, the first to
complete his full sentence, is required to remain in
U.S. territory on probation for three more years.
The description of these five anti-terrorists
as "spies who infiltrated military installations in
South Florida" is an attempt to misguide readers,
according to the Interests Section statement.
"They were simply monitoring the
activity of extremist groups of Cuban origin in New
Jersey and Florida, attempting to anticipate their
terrorist actions and gather evidence about possible
attacks within U.S. territory," the letter continued,
"Thanks to the work of the Five, Cuba shared with
the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, during
William Clinton’s Presidency, dozens of video tapes
and many details about the campaign of terror these
individuals were planning and attempting to
"This evidence, however, was not
used to arrest the true terrorists, but rather to
prosecute the five Cubans in a judicial process
corrupted by political motivations."
"Documents corroborate that the U.S.
government paid journalists to write articles
defaming the five anti-terrorist Cubans in the mass
media during the trial, violating the rights of the
accused to an impartial trial."
"We encourage The Washington Post
to consider the arguments presented here to provide
better coverage of these issues," the message from
the Cuban Interests Section in Washington concluded.
The International Committee to Free
the Five Cubans - imprisoned in the United States
since 1998 - challenged the Post article,
pointing out that it ignores the opinions of many
artists, intellectuals, Nobel Prize winners and even
former President James Carter, who have advocated
for the release of the Five.
Among the Nobel Prize winners
supporting the Five are Wole Soyinka, Nadine
Gordimer, Desmond Tutu, Rigoberta Menchú, Adolfo
Pérez Esquivel, José Saramago, Harold Pinter, Zhores
Alfiorov and Günter Grass. (PL)