The Cuban Five
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The Razor's Edge
2014-06-28 12:32:48 UTC
June 17, 2014
Terrorism As A Weapon Of Hegemony
The Cuban Five
Once again, the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) joins hands
with the people of Cuba and justice-loving people in every nook and cranny
of the planet, in
demanding the immediate release of the three remaining prisoners from the
Cuban Five who are still languishing in US jails, after 13 years.
Two were released after completing their prison terms — Rene Gonzales on the
7th of October 2011, and Fernando Gonzales on the 27th of February 2014. It
is important
to emphasize that they walked to freedom with their dignity intact. The
three who are still in jail — Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon
Labanino —
deserve our fullest support and solidarity. We should continue to campaign
for them with all our heart and soul.
To reiterate, the imprisonment of all five is a travesty of justice. The
Cuban Five were monitoring Cuban exile groups in the US in the nineties who
had a proven record of
committing terrorist acts against the Cuban people. They were gathering
information about the terrorist missions that these groups were planning and
had informed the US
authorities about what they (the Cuban Five) were doing. And yet they were
arrested and jailed after an unfair and unjust trial.
If the Cuban Five working under the direction of the Cuban government was
determined to expose terrorist activities being carried out against their
motherland from US
soil, it was mainly because Cuba and its leadership had been victims of US
sponsored terror and violence for decades. In 1976, a Cuban commercial plane
with 73
passengers on board, a number of them school children, was bombed, killing
everyone. The alleged mastermind of this terrorist act, Luis Posada
Carriles, is still alive,
protected by the US government. There was also an unsuccessful invasion of
Cuba by groups in the US in 1961, the infamous ‘Bay of Pigs’ fiasco. A
series of terrorist
attacks targeting hotels and tourists in the nineties sought to cripple the
Cuban economy. And there have been innumerable attempts to assassinate the
Leader of the Cuban
Revolution, Fidel Castro, right through the 47 years that he was in power.
Add to all this the crippling economic sanctions imposed upon Cuba by every
US Administration
since 1961 and we will get a complete picture of how a small nation of 11
million people has had to endure the terror unleashed against it by its
superpower neighbor.
Why has Cuba been the target of terrorism in all its manifestations for so
long? The reason is simple. The US elite will not accept in its
neighborhood, a nation which is
determined to choose its own path to the future without being dictated to,
or dominated by, the US. It will not tolerate a people who are committed to
defending their
independence and sovereignty. To put it in another way, the US drive for
hegemony does not permit another nation— especially a nation with a
different worldview — to
preserve and enhance its dignity.
This hegemonic attitude is borne out by the US’s treatment of other
countries in Latin America. Whenever a nation steps out of line, the US
line, it is clobbered. Sometimes
through terror and violence. Look at Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama,
Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, at different times and in
different circumstances. Even in
West Asia, terror has been employed to both undermine governments which want
to maintain a degree of independence from the US and the West and to create
and chaos in society. This is the story of Somalia and Sudan, of Libya and
Lebanon, of Iraq and Syria. In Southeast Asia too, the Vietnamese, the
Cambodians and Laotians
have all experienced US terror, just as the people of the Philippines had in
the past. Weren’t the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also exposed to a
US “rain of terror” in
Let’s be clear about this. Terrorism is a tool for dominance and control.
Terrorism is a weapon of hegemony. The US — like some other states too—uses
this weapon in
both ways. It employs terror when it suits its interests. It also fights
against terrorism when it serves its agenda. This is why for the US there
are “good terrorists” and “bad
terrorists.” It is quite happy to collude with the former and crush the
This was obvious in Iraq following the Anglo-American occupation of the land
in 2003. In the initial phase the occupier encouraged the Shia militias to
fight the Sunni
remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime. Once the Shias got into power through
the democratic process and moved closer to Iran, the US became worried and
Sunni militias fighting the Shia dominated government. Now of course,
Sunni-Shia clashes, compounded by various other forces, have assumed a life
of their own.
In Syria, it is an open secret that the US and other Western and regional
actors have been actively involved in supporting the armed rebels against
the Bashar al-Assad
government in Damascus. Some of the rebels are favored more than others by
the US just as other rebels are linked to some of the other external
players. The good
terrorists from the US perspective receive a lot of assistance including
weapons and funds through channels connected to US allies in the region. Are
there bad terrorists in
the Syrian conflict? While the US may not approve of the tactics used by
some of the rebels, it has refrained from strong denunciation of them since
it shares their
overriding objective of eliminating Assad. So it is Assad who is the bad
terrorist in the eyes of the US. Assad is bad because he has been consistent
in his opposition to US-
Israeli hegemony over West Asia.
There is parallel of sorts to the Cuban situation. All those individuals and
groups opposed to the Cuban government, however violent they may be, are
good terrorists and
have been bestowed with all kinds of aid by US agencies through various
conduits. Fidel Castro, and his successor, Raul Castro, are the bad ones.
Fidel in particular was
demonized in the mainstream Western media as few other leaders had been.
Needless to say, it was because of his principled position against US helmed
articulated with such depth and clarity, that a grossly negative image of
the man was disseminated through the media.
But Fidel Castro and the Cuban Five have demonstrated that in the ultimate
analysis truth will triumph. Today, Fidel commands a lot of respect and
affection among
ordinary men and women everywhere for what he has accomplished for his
people and indeed for the people of Latin America and the Global South.
Similarly, the cause
of the Cuban Five has become one of the major rallying-points in the
worldwide struggle for human freedom and human dignity because it symbolizes
the struggle of the
powerless against the powerful.
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is President of the International Movement for a Just
World (JUST), an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
2014-06-28 15:41:28 UTC
Post by The Razor's Edge
June 17, 2014
Terrorism As A Weapon Of Hegemony
State terrorism against the Cuban people you mean.

"The lie behind the "5"
Not "5" but 12.

The "Five Cuban Heroes" proclaimed by the Cuban regime were actually
part of a network of 12 spies that infiltrated the U.S. In addition to
the five spies who maintained their innocence but were convicted in a
jury trial (with no Cuban-American jurors), five pleaded guilty to
charges of spying in exchange for reduced sentences, one was deported,
and one fled to Cuba to escape arrest. The trials cost U.S. taxpayers
one million dollars to provide the defendants with a free legal
representation. An appeals court is reviewing the five spies' conviction.

Confirmed by the Cuban embassy in Syria:

September 12: The FBI arrests a group of "Cuban spies at 5.30 A.M. they
are members of the Wasp Net; they are named:René González, Antonio
Guerrero, Luis Medina, Rubén Campa and Manuel Viramontes. Other names
are given until reaching 10, among them two women, but according to the
statements, the main ones, are the first mentioned."

a text that conveniently disappeared on thye new version of the site
where the Wasp network was no longer mentioned when the site was unified
with others:

Cuba originally denied they were Cuban agents.

The Cuban regime initially denied the five men were Cuban agents; it
took almost three years, after the spies' conviction, for the regime to
acknowledge that the five spies were in fact acting under its orders
and that they were "heroes."

Complicit in extra-judicial killing.

The regime is silent on the fact that the ringleader of the spies,
intelligence agent Gerardo Hernandez, was found guilty of being closely
involved in the Cuban air force's shoot-down of two civilian planes,
over international waters, that resulted in the deaths of four persons.

"The US government's espionage case also became enmeshed with an
incident that happened in February 1996, in which Cuban air force jets
shot down two of three Cessna aircraft flying toward Havana. Four
pilots, members of the anti-Castro exile group, Brothers to the Rescue,
were killed. Several of the Wasp network agents had infiltrated Brothers
to the Rescue, including Rene Gonzalez, the pilot. In addition to
charges related to information-gathering and the sending of "nonpublic"
information to a foreign power, Gerardo Hernandez was charged with
contributing to the deaths of the four pilots for passing along to Cuban
intelligence information about the group's planned fly-over. Several
other Cubans who were eventually indicted in the incident fled to Cuba
before they could be arrested."


Spying on military installations.

The object of the five's spying was not solely the anti-Castro community
in Miami, as the Cuban regime maintains. Among the U.S. military
installations of particular interest to the five spies was the Central
Command located in Tampa, which focuses on the Middle East and has no
operational responsibilities for Latin America.

Confirmed by one of the spies in the Avispa ring at her trial:

"In Miami, the indictment states, Marisol Gari helped keep tabs on
security at the CANF headquarters and helped manage another agent in his
bid to get a job at Southcom, which oversees American military
operations in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Gari also is accused of preparing a report for her Cuban bosses
comparing the costs of U.S. mail service, Federal Express and other mail

The Miami Herald September 14, 2001
Lawyer: Accused spy to plead guilty


"Alleged Cuban spies George and Marisol Gari, known in their
intelligence-gathering cell as Luis and Margot, reported to at least two
of the five spies convicted in June, U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis said Saturday.

The FBI, meanwhile, said the low-profile couple arrested in Orlando on
Friday also reported at times to alleged fugitive spy Ricardo Villareal,
also known as Hector. "He is probably in Cuba,'' said Judy Orihuela,
spokeswoman for the FBI in Miami.

A federal indictment -- born out of the ongoing crackdown against La Red
Avispa, or The Wasp Network, Cuban spy organization -- accuses the
couple of trying to gain access to mail going to the Cuban American
National Foundation and attempting to infiltrate Miami-Dade County's
Southern Command."

Couple accused of reporting to two Cuban spies
An indictment says George and Marisol Gari tried to gain access to CANF
mail and Southern Command.
Herald Staff Report. Published Sunday, September 2, 2001"

"A husband and wife who lived in Miami for about eight years were
arrested in Orlando on Friday and charged with being part of a
now-dismantled Cuban spy ring -- the latest salvo against Fidel Castro's
foreign espionage apparatus on U.S. soil.

A federal indictment accuses George Gari, 41, and Marisol Gari, 42, of
being agents for the Cuban Directorate of Intelligence who assisted in
two primary goals: trying to infiltrate West Miami-Dade's Southern
Command headquarters and to penetrate the inner circles of the Cuban
American National Foundation, a prominent Cuban exile group.

The couple allegedly belonged to Cuba's La Red Avispa, or Wasp Network,
which the FBI busted in September 1998. Five high-ranking intelligence
agents from the group were convicted on federal spying-related charges
in June. Those men are awaiting sentencing."

Couple belonged to Cuba spy ring, FBI says
Husband, wife are arrested in Orlando
By Gail Epstein Nieves, Lesley Clark and Sara Olkon. ***@herald.com.
Published Saturday, September 1, 2001


But evidence showed that Labañino supervised other spies in their
efforts to infiltrate U.S. military installations -- an offense that
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard found worthy of the maximum punishment
as recommended under federal sentencing guidelines.

The proceedings continue today with the sentencing of spy René González.

Labañino, in a politically charged 47-minute speech, said he and his
fellow spies were defending Cuba's interests by monitoring for a
possible U.S. invasion and by countering exile-sponsored "terrorism''
against the island."

The Miami Herald
December 14, 2001
2nd Cuban agent given life term for espionage

"On 12 September 1998 the FBI arrested 10 people associated with the "La
Red Avispa," or the Red Wasp Network ring, including eight men and two
women in their various south Florida residences. They were accused of
spying on US military installations and anti-Castro exile groups in
south Florida and transmitting this information to Cuba. Among the
military installations the group attempted to infiltrate were the US
Southern Command Headquarters in Miami, MacDill Air Force Base near
Tampa, and Boca Chica Naval Air Station in Key West. The group's goals
included documenting activities, exercises, and trends at the
installations; monitoring anti-Castro groups and disrupting their plans;
and developing positions of vantage from which to warn Cuban
intelligence of impending military strikes against Cuba."

"HERNANDEZ, LINDA and her husband NILO HERNANDEZ, 46, were members of
the Wasp Network, a Cuban spy ring in south Florida. Linda, 43, was born
in New York but returned to Cuba where she grew up and married Nilo. In
1983 the couple returned to the United States where he later became an
American citizen. In 1992 they were "activated" as spies and ordered to
move from New York to Miami. They were arrested on 12 September 1998
along with eight other members of the ring. [See also Gerardo Hernandez
and Alejandro Alonso.] Linda was charged with attempting to collect
information for the Cuban Intelligence Service by infiltrating a
right-wing Cuban exile group called Alpha 66. Nilo counted aircraft at
nearby Homestead Air Force Base and reported using a shortwave radio.
Although the information they passed to Cuba was in the public domain,
in a plea bargain, the pair pled guilty to acting as unregistered agents
of a foreign government. Each was sentenced to seven years in prison in
US District court in Miami on 23 February 2000."

For lots of data see: