[Ppnews] Cuban 5 - Please, Read the Transcripts!

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 24 18:06:24 EST 2010

La Jornada: Please, Read the Transcripts!

Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada*

La Jornada

February 23, 2010

Havana - The exclamation that I used to entitle 
this article was raised by an eminent jurist 
when, in his time, he tried to do Sacco and 
Vanzzetti justice. And it is relevant now 
regarding the Five Cubans imprisoned in the 
United States for fighting against terrorism.

Because Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and 
René, who are suffering cruel and unjust prison 
sentences for more than 11 years, are in one 
word, innocent. This is known by those who have 
looked for the truth in the official site of the 
United States government (US Department of 
Justice, US District Court of Southern Florida, 
United States vs. Gerardo Hernandez et al).

They were kidnapped, confined in solitary during 
17 months, at the same time that the kidnapping 
of Elián González was taking place, a case that 
the entire world knew well about because the 
media was tirelessly reporting on it day and 
night. But very few people knew about the 
kidnapping of the other five Cubans.

So, it was easy for the government to deny the 
detainees an impartial trial in another venue and 
to impose them to stand trial precisely in Miami, 
in an environment of illegality and violence that 
gave universal notoriety to that city.

On top of that, the reason why the Cuban Five 
were arrested was because of their efforts to 
discover plans against Cuba by these same 
terrorist groups accustomed to kill and to 
threaten people also in Miami. Complying with 
that risky and difficult mission required of our 
compatriots to ignore some norms and legal 
dispositions. They could not inform the US 
authorities what they were doing simply because 
these authorities have always been accomplices of 
the terrorists. The trial in Miami is the best proof of that.

 From the preparatory stage of the trial the 
prosecutors openly recognized it: "The fight 
against terrorism is the motivation of the 
accused and motivation should not be aired in 
front of the jury” (Official documents, US 
District Attorney Motion in Limine, 2000). When 
the trial started, the prosecutors returned to 
the fray:  “The court is strongly advised that 
witnesses exercise their right to base on the 
Fifth Amendment so that terrorist activities 
against Cuba are not made public.” (Official 
documents from the trial, District attorney Motion, March 20, 2001).

On her part, the judge agreed: “The terrorist 
acts by others cannot excuse the wrongful and 
illegal conduct of this defendant or any other” 
(Joan Lenard, Transcripts of the Trial, December 14, 2001).

The government asked for the most outrageous 
sentences – 4 lives plus 77 years as a whole – 
but insisted that that punishment was not enough. 
It was necessary according to the prosecutors, to 
make sure that none of the Five could conduct any 
future action against terrorist groups.

The judge agreed adding this unusual sentence: 
“As a further special condition of supervised 
release the defendant is prohibited from 
associating with or visiting specific places 
where individuals or groups such as terrorists 
are known to be or frequent.” (Lenard ibidem).

Those who read the pages of the infamous process 
against them in Miami will discover immediately 
that the Cuban Five are fighters against 
terrorism, truly heroes, who have sacrificed 
their lives to save the lives of their people. 
Those who read these pages will also realize that 
the United States government is to blame for 
promoting terrorism against Cuba, and also for 
defending and protecting terrorists.

This is the great truth that the US government 
has strived to hidden. And without a doubt they 
have been successful. Its enormous media 
machinery - the “disciplined media” according to 
Chomsky­ has taken it upon itself to impose the silence and misinformation.

People in the United States and in many other 
places are prevented for knowing the truth. What 
would happen if they could read what really happened in Miami?

* President of the Cuban National Assembly of the People’s Power.

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