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Vol. 77/No. 21      June 3, 2013

Who are the Cuban Five?

Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González are Cuban revolutionaries who during the 1990s accepted assignments from the Cuban government to gather information on the activities of Cuban-American counterrevolutionary groups operating in southern Florida. These paramilitary outfits, organizing on U.S. soil with virtual impunity, have a long record of carrying out bombings, assassinations and other deadly attacks, both against targets in Cuba and supporters of the Cuban Revolution in the United States, Puerto Rico and elsewhere.

On Sept. 12, 1998, the five were arrested by the FBI. They were framed up and convicted on a variety of charges, which included acting as unregistered agents of the Cuban government and possession of false identity documents. Without a shred of evidence, three were charged with “conspiracy to gather and transmit national defense information.”

Hernández was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder based on the pretext that he bore responsibility for the Cuban government’s 1996 shootdown of two aircraft flown by the counterrevolutionary group Brothers to the Rescue that had invaded Cuban airspace in disregard of Havana’s repeated warnings. He is serving two life terms plus 15 years. His wife, Adriana Pérez, is barred from entering the United States.

All but René González remain in prison. In October 2011 he began serving a three-year “supervised release.” On the pretext of his dual citizenship, his request to return to Cuba had been denied until May 3, when Judge Joan Lenard finally agreed that if González renounced his U.S. citizenship, he could stay in Cuba.
Related articles:
Havana int’l youth conference discusses fight to free Cuban 5
‘Free the Cuban Five’ Rally at the White House Saturday, June 1, 1 p.m.
Gerardo Hernández cartoon exhibit opens in New Zealand
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