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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkAmericas & Beyond 

Media Took Gov't Cash During Trial of 'Cuban 5'
email this pageprint this pageemail usThe Real News Network
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June 14, 2010

Ten years later, evidence that conviction of 'Cuban 5' influenced by journalists on State Dept payroll.

Go to Part 2
See related video: Wilkerson on Cuba

Cuban Five - from Wikipedia

The Cuban Five, also known as the Miami Five (Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labańino, Fernando González, and René González) are five Cuban intelligence officers convicted of espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, and other illegal activities in the United States. The Five were in the United States to observe and infiltrate the Cuban-American groups Alpha 66, the F4 Commandos, the Cuban American National Foundation, and Brothers to the Rescue.

At their trial, evidence was presented that the Five infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue, obtained employment at the Key West Naval Air Station in order to send the Cuban government reports about the base, and had attempted to penetrate the Miami facility of US Southern Command.

On February 24, 1996, two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft were shot down by Cuban military jets in international airspace while flying away from Cuban airspace, killing the four US citizens aboard.

One of the Five, Gerardo Hernández, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for supplying information to the Cuban government which according to the prosecution led to the shootdown. The Court of Appeals has, however, reversed the conviction on the conspiracy to commit murder, since there is no evidence that Hernández knew the shootdown would occur in international airspace.

The Five appealed their convictions and the alleged lack of fairness in their trial has received substantial international criticism. In June 2009 the US Supreme Court declined to review the case.

In Cuba, the Five are viewed as national heroes and portrayed as having sacrificed their liberty in the defense of their country.

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