The arrest and trial of the five was accompanied by a propaganda barrage in the big-business media that sought to convict the Cubans in public opinion. Victims of police brutality and other government attacks know these methods all too well. Much of the "evidence" produced by the government--obtained by breaking into private homes over the course of several years--was what the FBI claims it recovered from computer hard drives and radio transmissions. These break-ins are in line with a drumbeat of encroachments over the past decade on Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure--in our homes, cars, and locker rooms.
Despite these illegal break-ins, the prosecution did not prove the original charges of "stealing military secrets." Like Wen Ho Lee, whose frame-up by the U.S. government on charges of passing nuclear bomb secrets to China eventually shattered last September, the Cubans were kept in solitary confinement for more than a year and a half prior to the trial. These spy scares target not only the defendants but are aimed at intimidating opponents of U.S. government policies and justifying assaults on democratic rights.
The five Cubans and the Cuban government acknowledge they were collecting information on rightist and terrorist groups who, with the complicity of Washington, are responsible for attacks and provocations against Cuba. The Cuban revolutionary government has made it clear it will not stand by while these outfits plan, organize, and launch assaults against their country. The defendants and their lawyers did an effective job of exposing the extent and character of these actions through court testimony.
The U.S. ruling class, with its four-decade-long bipartisan policies against the Cuban Revolution, is responsible for creating the rightist outfits that operate on U.S. territory and carry out attacks against the island. These terrorist groups have been one aspect of Washington's wide-ranging war against the Cuban Revolution, which has included a mercenary invasion, war threats, an ongoing economic embargo, a drive to politically isolate the country in the world, and assassination attempts of government leaders. The U.S. government also maintains a travel ban that denies the right of most U.S. residents to visit Cuba.
Washington's policy of aggression against revolutionary Cuba has been conducted under every single Democratic and Republican administration since the victory of the Cuban Revolution in 1959. The hand-off from the Clinton to the Bush administration in the case of the five Cubans was seamless. The reason for this implacable hostility by the U.S. ruling class is that Cuban working people and their revolutionary leadership have refused to be bought off, intimidated, or derailed from their battle to free the country from the tentacles of imperialism, open the fight for socialism, and extend active solidarity to revolutionary fighters around the world.
Not only did the U.S. government have a direct hand in establishing the various counterrevolutionary Cuban-American groups, it knows their every move. Just as U.S. police agents honeycombed the Ku Klux Klan in the 1960s, they are deeply rooted in the rightist Cuban-American outfits in Florida. Just as U.S. agents knew beforehand of the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four Black girls and many other KKK terrorist actions, there is nothing the anti-Cuba groups do that Washington doesn't know about, help plan, and often suggest through its agents. Although the power and reach of the counterrevolutionary forces in Florida has diminished in face of the continuing strength of the Cuban Revolution, they remain a threat both to Cuba and to the rights of working people in the United States, including Cuban-Americans.
The frame-up trial and trampling of justice in the federal court in Miami is not an aberration--it is how imperialist justice works in the USA. The fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo by cops in New York and of Timothy Thomas by police in Cincinnati--that's how imperialist justice works. Holding people in jail on secret evidence and deportations without the right to even an administrative hearing-that's how imperialist justice works. Frame-ups of fighting unionists such as the Charleston Five dockworkers--that's how imperialist justice works.
Working people here need to join with Cuba in demanding the release of these five political prisoners in U.S. prisons, and in opposing the attack on democratic rights their conviction represents.
Cuba responds to U.S. 'spy' convictions
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