On June 8, 2001, a U.S. federal court in Miami
convicted five Cubans René González, Ramón
Labaniño, Fernando González, Antonio Guerrero, and
Gerardo Hernández on various conspiracy charges concocted
by the FBI. These included conspiracy to act as an unregistered
agent of a foreign power and to commit espionage for the government
of Cuba. Hernández was also convicted of "conspiracy
to commit murder" on the doubly-absurd charge that while in Florida he was somehow involved
with the Cuban Air Forces legitimate downing of two hostile
The convictions of these five men and the sentences
imposed 15 years to double-life are a travesty of
justice. They are not only an attack on Cuba, but a blow to democratic
rights in the United States. This includes the unconstitutional
way in which the FBI carried out its so-called investigation of
these men, the frame-up character of their trials, and the brutal
prison conditions they are subjected to.
The real crime of these heroic men was defending
their country by gathering information on the activities of counterrevolutionary
groups operating on U.S. territory groups with long records
of launching violent attacks against Cuba, carried out with the
knowledge and complicity of the U.S. government.
Thanks to an international outcry as a worldwide campaign began getting out the facts of this case, in August 2005 a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned their guilty verdicts and ordered a new trial citing the 'perfect storm' of prejudice and intimidation prevented a fair trial in its Miami venue.
One year later, following an appeal by the U.S. Justice Department, the full assembly of the same Court of Appeals overturned that ruling.
Currently the defense has an appeal of that decision prevailing before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the meanwhile –ordered by the full Court of Appeals to rehear other issues besides venue– another three-judge panel ordered new trials for four of the Five, trials to be heard at some upcoming date in Miami.
The FIve remained scattered around the country in maximum security prisons, two of them even denied the right to receive family visits.
Please become part of the efforts to win complete justice for the Five!
- Learn more
about the Cuban Five:
Understanding the Appeals Court Ruling (CubaSolidarity.com article)
- Help get the
word out about their fight. Download flyers to distribute
to your friends:
- Write to the
five compañeros. Cards and letters will be very
much appreciated. They can help break the isolation Washington
has tried to impose by sending the men to jails thousands of miles
from each other. (Please note that in several cases a name appears
in parentheses. These are pseudonyms under which they are listed
in prison and must be included in the address.) Click on their
names to read their stories.
- Write to the
families of the five patriots to lend your moral support:
- Organize a
forum at your campus, community center, labor organization,
or elsewhere to get out the truth about the five and broaden support
for demanding their freedom. Even house meetings with a few friends
and coworkers to explain this case are an invaluable part of this
effort. Check the Events & Groups directory for help from
Cuba solidarity activists near you.
- Circulate petitions or gather statements
of support demanding freedom for the five.