FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

A Fabricated Murder

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.

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

August 06, 2020
H. Bruce Franklin
How the Fascists Won World War II
Robert Jacobs – Ran Zwigenberg
The American Narrative of Hiroshima is a Statue that Must be Toppled
Howie Hawkins - Madelyn Hoffman
Reverse the New Nuclear Arms Race
Brian Kelly
Ireland and Slavery: Debating the ‘Irish Slaves Myth’
George Wuerthner
Trouble in Paradise Valley
Talli Nauman
Native Americans Win Historic Victories in U.S. High Court Rulings
David Mattson
“Man Attacks Grizzly” and Other Leading Bleeding Stories
John Kendall Hawkins
Suffrage: The Myth of Sisterphus
George Ochenski
An Unbelievably Disastrous State of Affairs
Binoy Kampmark
State of Pandemic Disaster: Melbourne Moves to Stage Four
Howard Lisnoff
The ACLU Has Never Done a Damn Thing for Me
Priyanka Singh – Sujeet Singh
Time to Empower the Invisibles: India Awaits a Mental Health Revolution
August 05, 2020
Roy Eidelson
Black Lives Matter: Resisting the Propaganda of Status Quo Defenders
Melvin Goodman
The Department of Homeland Security: the Ideal Authoritarian Tool
Paul Street
Misleaders at a Funeral: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama Eulogizing Racial Justice in the Name of John Lewis
Seiji Yamada
Hiroshima, Technique, and Bioweapons
Vijay Prashad
How Trump Managed to Lead the World with the Worst Response to the COVID Pandemic
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s Alternative
Jonas Ecke
The Worst Hunger Season Yet to Come: Global Moral Failure in the Time of Covid-19
Rafiq Kathwari
The Battle for Kashmir
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Arch-Kleptocrat is Found Guilty
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
U.S. Cold War China Policy Will Isolate the U.S, Not China
Lee Camp
Why Housing Is a Human Right
Sam Pizzigati
For Egalitarians, a Sudden Sense of Possibility
Jonathan Cook
Can Israelis Broaden Their Protests Beyond Netanyahu?
Thomas Knapp
Ten Years After Lieberman’s “Internet Kill Switch,” the War on Freedom Rages On
Binoy Kampmark
Staying on Message: Australia, the US and the AUSMIN Talks
Elliot Sperber
The View From Saturn 
August 04, 2020
John Pilger
Another Hiroshima is Coming…Unless We Stop It Now
Dave Lindorff
Unsung Heroes of Los Alamos: Rethinking Manhattan Project Spies and the Cold War
Kenneth Good
Escalating State Repression and Covid-19: Their Impact on the Poor in Kenya
Dean Baker
We Need an Economic Survival Package Not Another Stimulus
David Rosen
Globalization and the End of the American Dream
John Feffer
The Pandemic Reveals a Europe More United Than the United States
Patrick Cockburn
The Government’s Failed Track-and-Trace System is a Disaster for England
Ramzy Baroud
‘Optimism of the Will’: Palestinian Freedom is Possible Now
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Yale Faculty on Hydroxychloroquine and Its Use in COVID-19
Manuel García, Jr.
Ocean Heat: From the Tropics to the Poles
Sonali Kolhatkar
Why the Idea of Jobless Benefits Scares the Conservative Mind
Greta Anderson
Framing Wolves in New Mexico?
Binoy Kampmark
Pulling Out of Germany: Trump Adjusts the Military Furniture
Shawn Fremstad – Nicole Rodgers
COVID Stimulus Checks Shouldn’t Penalize One-Parent Households
Adam Shah
The 1 Percent’s Attack on Unemployment Benefits is a Sign of Our Broken Democracy
Evaggelos Vallianatos
On the Beauty of Life
B. R. Gowani
Mohammed Rafi: Singer and Human Par Excellence
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail