United States secretly paid media to spin news against Cuban Five
Edited 06 June, 2010,
Five Cuban men convicted on charges of espionage over ten years ago and put in prison may have been the victims of a smear campaign by the US government.
The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five claim to have evidence that proves the US paid tens of thousands of dollars to Miami journalists to spin stories against the five men to convince the jury to convict them.
The five men, Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez were arrested in 1998. They said they were conducting a service to the Cuban government by monitoring terrorist groups in Miami and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was aware of their presence and task. The men are serving sentences varying from 15 years to two life terms.
The apparent new evidence highlights this case again and also brings up the topic of US-Cuba relations generally.
The evidence the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five has found was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made 18 months ago.
"Fourteen names came back of journalists who it turns out were receiving covertly monies from the US government," said Gloria La Riva, the coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five.