Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
100716HenryKissingerNosePicking
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.

Day12Fixed

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
cp-store

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

The Fraudulent Case Against Gerardo Hernández

A Fabricated Murder

by RICARDO ALARCÓN de QUESADA

On February 24, 1996, a lamentable event took place in front of the Malecón in Havana. Two small planes belonging to a terrorist group in Miami were shot down by anti-aircraft defenses when they violated Cuban national territory. Dozens of similar violations had taken place that year and the government had publicly warned it would not tolerate repetitions of such actions.

This event greatly increased tensions between the United States and Cuba and was the subject of intense debates within the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the UN Security Council. 

On May 7, 1999 — more than three years and two months after the event– the government of the United States, irresponsibly and capriciously, used the incident and turned it into Count No. 3, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, against Gerardo Hernández Nordelo alone.

The proceedings against the Five focused mostly on this charge.

To this accusation the court devoted most of its sessions, experts and witnesses Relatives of the men who lost their lives on February 24 were present every day in the courtroom, made public demonstrations, and gave press conferences right then and there in front of the members of the jury. 

This issue was the focus of the media campaign. Thousands of articles and comments were produced about it for the press, radio and television.

Strangely, the media paid great attention to Count No. 3 even before it existed. It can be stated without a doubt that the charge was the result of a conspiracy between the government and the terrorist groups responsible for the event. In this conspiracy, the “journalists” paid by the government had a decisive role.

In September 1998, when the FBI arrested the Five, the US Attorney pressed charges against the accused. Count 3 was not there, there was no mention of aircraft incidents, shot-down planes or anything of the sort. The accusation against Gerardo was added more than seven months later when he and his comrades were in solitary confinement, isolated from the world, in their first visit to “The Hole” that lasted 17 months.

An analysis of the Miami press between September 1998 and May 1999 is evidence of the previous statement. We can find many declarations by leaders of terrorists groups widely spread and amplified by “journalists”, asking the government to add the new allegation. Among other things we can read extensive information on the meetings between prosecutors and terrorists, from which the “Second Superseding Indictment” would emerge to take the place of the first and include Count 3.

A reading of both documents from the US Attorney would make any self-respecting journalist be surprised and feel an obligation to enquire. According to these documents, the FBI had managed to discover who Gerardo Hernández Nordelo was really, and what he was doing in the United States, at least since 1994, more than two years before the 1996 incident. They had been able to decipher his communications with Havana; they knew what he was doing and what he was being instructed to do. Thus, they did not act against Gerardo and his comrades, because they knew his work was not at all damaging to the US or the American people.

They also knew that Gerardo had nothing to do with the 1996 events. In those days, there was a great uproar, not only in Miami, but also in Washington. Bill Clinton, the president at the time, has written that he had received proposals even of a military attack against Cuba. The more aggressive groups in South Florida ranted night and day, calling for war. The complicity of these groups with the local FBI is well-known. Can anyone believe they would have done nothing against “the culprit” for the shooting down of the planes? That they would have done nothing against him if they had had him right there, surveilled by the FBI, in Miami?

And Cuba? None of the communications between Havana and Gerardo, in the FBI’s possession and presented at the trial, suggest that there was even the slightest concern about his safety or the need to protect him from the risks he could face if he had had any participation in the incident. Gerardo continued his work in Miami for almost three more years. He came to Cuba for vacation and nobody thought he should stay here to protect his life.

When he was arrested in September 1998, he was not charged with anything related to the 1996 events simply because the FBI knew, at least since 1994, what Gerardo was doing and therefore knew he had nothing to do with that unfortunate incident.

However, in 1999 they came up with the unbelievable slander of accusing him of first degree murder – with malice aforethought – and they did this – the FBI, that is, the government– to satisfy the wishes of the terrorist mafia and their lip-servicing buddies in the media who were also on the government payroll.

So weak was the charge that the US Attorney understood later they could not prove it and asked to withdraw it. This would have made front page news in any other case, but not in the case against the Five.

Ricardo Alarcón is the president of the Cuban National Assembly.

Translated by CubaNews.