BACKGROUND: On Feb. 24, 1996, the terrorist group Brothers to the Rescue invaded Cuban airspace with three planes, after invading Cuban territory several times in previous months, despite repeated warnings by the Cuban government. On Feb. 24, the Cuban air force downed two of the invading planes. Four BTTR pilots were killed.
Three years later, Gerardo Hernández of the Cuban Five, who had nothing to do with the shootdown, was falsely charged by the U.S. government -- during the Clinton administration -- with "murder conspiracy" for the shoot-down. Cuba insists it acted to protect its people and territory. A Miami jury, in the inflammatory anti-Cuba atmosphere of that city, convicted Gerardo Hernández and the Five of all charges. As a result Gerardo is serving an unjust double life sentence in Victorville Federal Prison, California.
The Clinton Administration was complicit in the provocative BTTR flights.
Twice before the 1996 shootdown, Bill Richardson met with Cuban President Fidel Castro and assured him that President Bill Clinton promised the BTTR planes would be prohibited from flying on Feb. 24, 1996. Read Fidel Castro's reflections of his meetings with Richardson and additional detail in The New Yorker Jan. 1998 article.
But Clinton did not act to stop the illegal flights. Instead, by his inaction, the terrorist José Basulto was allowed to instigate a dangerous and deliberate provocation by the BTTR planes.
Now, in his new book, "How to Sweet Talk a Shark," Richardson blames the Cuban anti-terrorists, the Cuban Five who were in Miami to protect their compatriots of Cuba. He dishonestly and opportunistically blames Gerardo Hernández.
An excerpt from Richardson's book: "The Cuban Five are clearly spies who had done some real damage--the spy leader, Gerardo Hernández, also provided intelligence to Havana that led to the 1996 crash of two civilian airplanes over the Florida Straits."
Against this blatant lie, Gloria La Riva of the National Committee, and Richard Becker of the ANSWER Coalition, decided to challenge Richardson's falsification.
Gerardo Hernández is in federal prison with a double life sentence, and his only "crime", along with his four brothers, was protecting people from U.S.-sponsored terrorist attacks that originate in Miami. He has suffered 15 years of cruel and vindictive imprisonment, for the refusal of the U.S. government and its agents, Clinton, Richardson and others, to act decisively against terrorist attacks on Cuba. Until the struggle is able to free Gerardo, he faces life without parole. The remaining four also face many years of U.S. prison.
Help us expose the crime of the Cuban Five's imprisonment! Learn more about the U.S. railroading of Gerardo; arm yourself with the facts and help us organize more public events to shed light on the Five's cause and build support for their Freedom!
Read Gerardo Hernández's Affidavit of Innocence for his Appeals
Read Attorney Garbus's memorandum for Hernández about the U.S.-paid journalists
National Committee to Free the Cuban Five
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org * web: www.freethefive.org