FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Cuban Five and the Garbus Memo

by RICARDO ALARCÓN de QUESADA

Havana.

The US Government seriously violated the Constitution and the Law to guarantee the unfair sentences of the Five Cuban patriots who will soon arrive at 14 years of arbitrary and illegal punishment. This was not an isolated event, but rather a systematic effort during the whole process against the Five that cost millions of tax payers’ money. There is only very limited information available on the duration, resources used, people involved, and other important aspects of the operation.

Disclosing this behavior would force the authorities – both the Court and the Executive- to arrange for the immediate release of our five compañeros and, consequently, Washington has also conspired to hide what it did thus committing an additional crime: cover up.

This is the essence of the affidavit just submitted to Florida’s South District Judge, Joan Lenard, by Martin Garbus, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo’s lawyer. The text supports his previous request demanding the overturning of Gerardo’s conviction or, as an alternative, the Judge’s order to release all the evidence the Government is hiding and the granting of an oral audience.

Although there are many other violations mentioned in the process of appeal – now in its last, extraordinary stage- this document focuses on the conspiracy of the Government with Miami media to condemn beforehand the accused and render a fair trial impossible.

The nature of the conspiracy was to use these media to unleash an unprecedented propaganda campaign of hatred and hostility. To this end they used a large group of “journalists” –in true fact Government cover agents- who published articles and comments time and again, day and night, to produce an authentic flood of misinformation. Between November 27, 2000 –when the trial started- and July 8, 2001 -when they were found guilty- The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald alone had published 1111 articles, an average of more than 5 per day. Something similar happened with the Diario de Las Américas, thus totally saturating the printed press.

The “journalists” were paid by Radio and TV Marti from the US Federal Budget. These guys did additional work for these two media and their items were disseminated in the Miami area where both anti-Cuban sources had at the time, and still have, direct broadcasting, and are also replicated through local media (this is another violation of US law that forbids official propaganda within the US territory).

These so called journalists not only acted through Radio and TV Marti and printed media, they also used local English and Spanish radio and TV stations as well as printed publications that circulate there, some of which are free.

It was impossible to escape the permanent flow of propaganda anywhere in South Florida.

 

But the criminal action of the “journalists” –and the Government that paid them- went beyond mere propaganda. During the trial the defense denounced several times that these journalists were seeking to influence the members of the jury by divulging materials whose presentation the Judge had forbidden. Obviously they could only have obtained the materials from the D.A.’s Office.

If all this were not enough, the “journalists” also harassed witnesses and jurors. The latter complained to the Judge saying they were frightened, because they were followed with cameras and microphones. This was acknowledged several times by Judge Lenard who asked the Government –obviously without success- to help her avoid situations that tarnished the image of the US Judicial System. (See Official Record of the Trial, pages 22, 23, 111, 112, 625, 14644-14646).

In August 2005, the three judges in the Court of Appeals unanimously ruled the mistrial of the Miami process because it had taken place under what they described as “a perfect storm of prejudice and hostility”, created by the local media. When the three judges gave their historical ruling they did not know –they or anybody else could not have known- that the orchestrator of the perfect storm was the DA’s Office that prevaricated openly and forfeited its constitutional duty to preserve legality and guarantee a fair trial.

The first news of the Government conspiracy with its “journalists” came out a year later in September 2006. Since then the Government has opposed the efforts of US civil society organizations to make it disclose –in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)- the extent of the payments and contracts. The DA’s Office has also opposed the requests included in the extraordinary appeals of our compatriots and has threatened to resort to “executive privileges” and “national security reasons” to maintain the cover up.

The case of The Cuban Five has a bizarre link with media and journalism. In Miami the media was a decisive tool to condemn them. Outside Miami they are punished with silence.

The unquestionable denunciation by Martin Garbus poses a challenge to professional journalists. Will they let this be covered up again and become accomplices of those who tarnished their noble profession? Or will they try to save the honor of their profession by demanding that the fakes be unmasked and that truth and justice prevail?

Ricardo Alarcón is the president of the Cuban National Assembly.

Translated by CubaNews.

Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada has served as Cuba’s UN ambassador, Foreign Minister and president of the National Assembly.

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail