Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Breaking News - Cuban Five Win a New Trial!

Announcement from the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five

Today, August 9, after more than one year of weighing the evidence, the 11th Circuit Court of a Appeals vacated the trial court's ruling against the Cuban Five and ordered a new trial with a change of venue. This is a sensational victory for the Five, the Cuban people, and the international people's movement that supports them! The Five will now receive a new trial in a place other than Miami. This blow to the U.S. government undeniably was made possible by the hard work and growing support of progressive, justice-loving people in the U.S. and all over the world.

The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five is holding a telephone press conference today with the Five's attorney, Leonard Weinglass, the coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, Gloria La Riva, A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition Coordinator, Brian Becker, and other activists and legal experts to discuss this landmark victory. We will send more information as soon as we have it. In the meantime, call 323-464-1636 with questions.

The Five are one big step closer to freedom. Let's continue the struggle and ensure total victory. Free the Cuban Five! U.S. Hands Off Cuba!

Volverán! They will return!
National Committee to Free the Cuban Five

For more info call 323-464-1636 or e-mail freethefivela@yahoo.com.
Or check the Free the Five webpage here.

Amazing, amazing news. Still not much national traction as of midnight. Here are the main important bits:

1) After 9/11, Cuba voluntarily provided information on wanted terrorists that had US connections or were operating here. Cuba asked the US for a meeting to discuss the matter and share info. The US ignored Cuba's letter for 5 months. Finally there was a response. But instead of arresting the terrorists and those accomplices in the US, the US arrested the 5 brave people who were tracking those behind such mayhem.

2) The 5 were brought to the courts in Miami, while the Elian Gonzalez case was still fresh news in Florida. This despite the fact that the same US Government had, just months earlier, taken the position that an obscure immingration law case could not be tried in Miami because of potential bias.

3) 3 of the 5 were sentenced for life, the other for 15-19 years for trying to inflitrate, not the US Government or anything relating to National Security, but instead for trying to get close to terrorist masterminds such as Orlando Bosch, as well as other exile groups committed to "any means necessary" in removing Castro.

4) The murder charge(s) relates to one of the Cubans relaying information on the illegal flight of a "Brothers to the Rescue" plane to Cuba. When the plane crossed Cuba's airspace, the plane was shot down by the Cubans, who were within their rights under internaional law.

5) The decision today to overturn a decision based on locality is extremely rare and precedent setting. It shows the unique conditions in Miami, where justice when the Cuban issue is involved, is impossible.


Blogger David Oscar Markus said...

more at www.sdfla.blogspot.com

4:41 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

The plane never crossed into Cuban air space.

Let's hope a re-trial gives us an opportunity to see them sentenced even harsher than previously.

8:36 AM  
Blogger jsb said...

Also, the shooting was premeditated.

"Federal agents also found shortwave radio messages from Cuba warning that René Gonzalez and another pilot should not fly with the Brothers around the time of the shoot-down."


9:05 AM  
Blogger leftside said...

The plane did indeed cross into Cuban airspace - on this occasion as well as in previous trips. "From the official report U.S. radar data in the ICAO report show (the pilot) also overshot his assigned lane by five miles and that Basulto flew 7.5 miles past his lane and penetrated 1.7 miles into Cuban airspace." (June 27, 1996, Miami Herald)

The only question was about where it was when it was actually shot down. Even if it was, as reports indicated, outside the territorial zone, Cuba had declared the area as a "military danger zone," because of Cuban air force and navy maneuvers scheduled there Feb. 21-28. Cuba has also made clear its intention to protect its airspace if the US would not punish those responsible for flights the FAA called reckless and careless ``so as to endanger the life and property'' of others. (March 1, 2001 Herald) So yeah, if you call that premeditation... I call it a public warning of Cuba's right to defend its airspace.

The pilots totally changed their flight plans without giving notice (against the law) -- and knowingly flew into the military zone. "... We decided to disregard it" the surviving pilot said.

We also know the State Department knew of the planned incursion and had notified the Federal Aviation Administration the previous afternoon that the pilots might violate Cuban airspace. It is clear the US chose not to enforce flight regulations with regards to the "Hermanos" flights in the past and up to the unfortunate event. This has now changed.

12:54 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Matt, you support murderers. It is unbelievable the extent to which you'll bend over backwards for these people. Is it because you sympathize with their socialism that you excuse murder? Either way, you are an apologist for murderers. Keep it up. Your consistency alone gives away the extreme nature of your alliance.

Matt, you can't stop the counterrevolution. You can't stop the people. It will come. And I hope you see the light on that day. The Berlin Wall fell, and so will this cuban regime.

12:00 PM  
Blogger leftside said...

J.Scott, why resort to name-calling? Is it because the facts suprise you and upset your world order?

I wonder if you call your buddies Babalu Val and Paxety "apologists for murder" when they talk about excusing the terrorist Posada Carriles or the Bay of Pigs invasion - or US Soldiers who kill civilians that got too close to them (much like the Hermanos plane). Or better yet, I'd be interested if you'd agree with the Intl. Court of Justice who condemned the US for the Iranian civillian plane shot down by us in 1988 (killing 280), or the US Government who refuses to admit wrongdoing or apologize.

This post was about the Cuban Five. They were doing a heroic job in spying to protect human lives against terrorism. This was only needed because the US abrogated its responsibility against murderers by ignoring terrorit activities in Florida.

Finally, it is worth noting that ALL of Latin America's murderous regimes in the last 40 years (Chile, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Salvador, Haiti, etc.) were right-wing. Since the counter-revolution failed in Cuba there have been no extra-judicial killings or disappearances in Cuba. Perhaps Cuba is alone in that regard in the region?

4:46 PM  
Blogger leftside said...


The revolution will not fall in any forseeable future. 90% of the population voted to retain socialism 2 years ago. If there is anything that unites Cubans, it is their hatred of Capitalism and US Imperialism. Even the few folks who I spoke to on the island who said they would like to see Castro move on, said they wanted no part of the US' laughable "Plan for Transformation."

The Berlin Wall fell but history is not over. Today in Russia, more people support a return to Socialism than the liberal reforms Putin is tying to push.

4:50 PM  
Blogger jsb said...

Look at Eastern Europe, the birthplace of the counterrevolution, including recent counterevolutions in Romania and Ukraine. It will spread. You can't stop it. Nobody can. The people will rise up. And the corrupt governments will be thrown out. Just as Stalin-apologists are remembered, so too will you be remembered. It's sad someone as seemingly smart as yourself is on the wrong side of history.

10:48 AM  

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