Ted Glick on Cuba

Walter Lippmann walterlx at enet.cu
Tue May 6 15:42:06 MDT 2003


Have you a URL for this?
It isn't on the Z homepage
and didn't come up either
at the home page or with
a Google search. It's so
nice to find someone who
is defending Cuba that I'd
really like to get that out
soon. Thanks.


Walter
----- Original Message -----
From: "Louis Proyect" <lnp3 at panix.com>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>; "PEN-L list"
<PEN-L at SUS.CSUCHICO.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 10:38 AM
Subject: Ted Glick on Cuba


Cuba Si
by Ted Glick
May 06, 2003

I am confident that the truth will win out someday, and
justice will be
done, but even if that is not the case, rest assured that I
will always
feel the same way. When you have a cause to fight for, a
people to
defend, a family that supports you, and a person you love,
and who loves
you back; when you know you can't let them down, you can
face up to
anything, no matter how difficult it is, with all the
serenity and
dignity in the world."

-Gerardo Hernandez, serving two life sentences plus 15 years
as one of
the Cuban Five, from a letter to his wife two days after
sentencing in
December, 2001

I don't remember when I first heard of the Cuban Five. I
know I read
about them in the newspapers when they were convicted of
espionage about
a year and a half ago in a Miami, Fl. courtroom. And since
then I've
seen various emails and articles written by U.S.
progressives about this
latest injustice perpetrated by our "criminal justice
system." I've read
enough to know that these were trumped-up, political charges
having
nothing to do with espionage but, instead, another in a long
line of
attacks on the Cuban people's right to have a government of
their own
choosing.

About a month ago the Cuban Five were mentioned again in the
newspapers,
this time in connection with seemingly repressive actions
taken by the
Cuban government against hijackers of a ferryboat and those
given the
name of "dissidents" by the powers-that-be in the U.S. The
conjecture
made in the newspaper articles was that the Cuban government
might have
rounded up and quickly tried and sentenced 75 "dissidents"
in the hope
of using them as bargaining chips to gain the release of the
Cuban Five.

I was deeply concerned by the execution of the three
ferryboat
hijackers. I also felt that, first, the number of people
arrested and
tried, and second, the sentences of from six to 28 years,
were
excessive. And I was concerned because the newspapers said
that the
trials were closed to foreign journalists, with the
impression being
given that the trials were essentially closed to the public.

Several weeks later, following research and after reading
many
statements and points of view on this subject from
progressives that
came my way via email, I feel much more sure about where I
stand, how I
see this set of issues.

It is clear that these actions by the Cuban government did
not come from
out of nowhere. There were a series of provocations by the
U.S.
government specifically directed against Cuba at a time of
great
political tension internationally because of the aggressive
and
militaristic U.S. war build-up. The specific chronology of
events, as
delineated by Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque at a
press
conference on April 9:

-On February 24th James Cason, head of the U.S. Interests
Section in
Havana, convened a meeting with Cuban "dissidents," most if
not all of
them on the U.S. payroll, and makes statements "aimed at
provoking the
Cuban government and people." Since coming to Cuba last fall
Cason has
traveled around the island meeting and playing an organizing
role for
the pro-U.S. "dissidents."

-February 28th: The Cuban Five being held in federal prisons
around the
U.S. are all put into solitary confinement with, apparently,
no word as
to how long they will stay there.

-March 7th: The U.S. State Department confirms that the Five
had been in
"punishment cells" for nine days.

-March 12th: Two days after being sent a diplomatic note
asking him "to
cease his openly provocative actions. . . Mr. Cason
organized a new
conspiratorial meeting in his own residence."

-March 14th: Another meeting is organized by Cason, this one
lasting all
day.

-March 18-19: The Cuban government arrests 65 of the
"dissidents." The
Cubans describe them as "mercenaries" because of the money
they take
from the U.S. government. According to the Cuban government,
"the
arrests took place as a result of the unbearable situation
we had been
placed in by Mr. Cason's provocations and irresponsible
behavior."

-March 19th: A Cuban DC-3 is hijacked to Florida, and "news
is leaked to
the press that the authorities [in Florida] were willing to
grant the
hijackers bail."

-March 31st: Another hijacking, this one of an AN-24.

-April 2nd: The ferry was hijacked. According to the Cuban
government,
the U.S. government, in violation of usual U.S. procedures
and
immigration agreements between the two countries, "said that
they were
not willing to act in this case as they had always done and
so we took
action and solved the problem."

-April 3-7: The trials of the now-75 "dissidents" take
place. The trials
are open to the public; "on average about 100 people per
trial attended
the hearings. . . mostly family members, witnesses and
expert witnesses.
. . The courts decided that they would not be open to the
press."


full: http://www.zmag.org

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