[Marxism] Cuba Wants U.S. to Release Five Agents
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Wed Aug 10 07:06:19 MDT 2005
Cuba Wants U.S. to Release Five Agents
By VANESSA ARRINGTON
Associated Press Writer
Posted August 10 2005, 8:49 AM EDT
HAVANA -- Parliament Speaker Ricardo Alarcon called on the
U.S. government to release five accused Cuban spies serving
long prison terms after a U.S. federal appeals court threw
out their convictions and sentences.
Alarcon applauded Tuesday's ruling that said the men's
trial in Miami wasn't fair and impartial because of
community prejudice and extensive media coverage. He
insisted the men be liberated while awaiting a new trial.
"What the U.S. government should do is grant them freedom
immediately," Alarcon told Granma International, the
Communist Party's weekly newspaper distributed overseas.
"If they want to accuse them of something else, then accuse
them, present evidence, and search for an impartial
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in Atlanta ordered a new trial after agreeing with
defense attorneys who challenged the 2001 convictions,
saying that prejudice against President Fidel Castro and
his communist government runs high in Miami.
Alarcon said the decision vindicated his government, which
has run a high-profile campaign on the island and abroad
promoting the five men as heroes who were victims of
anti-Cuban bias in southern Florida.
"No one can say any longer that our claim that the judicial
process was filled with prejudice ... has no basis," he
Several of the men's relatives, who were in Caracas,
Venezuela, on Tuesday with Cuba's delegation to a youth
festival, were overjoyed by the ruling.
"It's been many years since I've received such good news,"
Olga Salanueva, wife of prisoner Rene Gonzalez, told Cuban
broadcasters, alternating between smiles and tears. "We've
obtained a victory."
Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Gerardo Fernandez, Fernando
Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero were convicted in June 2001
of serving as unregistered agents of a foreign government.
All five acknowledge being Cuban agents but said they were
spying on "terrorist" exile groups opposed to Castro, not
the U.S. government.
Family members and the parliament speaker said they were
confident the men would be acquitted in a future trial.
"I don't have the slightest doubt that any honest person
analyzing this case will arrive at the same conclusion (as
the appeals court)," Alarcon said.
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