Thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Havana on Tuesday to protest against terrorism and in solidarity with a group of Cuban intelligence officers imprisoned in the United States.
The predominantly student marchers were united by the slogan “I am Cuba,” and demanded the release of the so-called Cuban Five.
The five were arrested in 1998 in Florida, and subsequently found guilty of espionage against the U.S. government.
Havana denies the group were spying on the United States; rather, the Cuban government argues the five intelligence officers were investigating suspected terrorist plots allegedly being hatched by anti-Castro extremists in Miami.
Three of the five are still imprisoned in the United States, despite years of condemnation from Cuba and other Latin American nations.
In 2005, the convictions were criticized by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, which found the U.S. trial did not take place in a “climate of objectivity and impartiality,” and hence couldn't be considered fair.
Today, the intelligence officers are viewed as heroes in Cuba, and are icons of the country's fight against terrorism.
The latest protest in Havana comes after 32 Latin American parliamentarians from 14 countries issued a renewed call for the release of the remaining imprisoned officers.
Earlier this month, protesters rallied in Washington to demand the group's freedom, carrying placards reading “enough is enough,” and “Obama give me five.”
RR, RHC, Granma