The Cuban Five are hoping to get a hearing before United States District Judge Joan A. Lenard to present evidence that they were denied the fundamental constitutional right to due process of law in their trial and conviction in Miami. The recent attempt of the Bureau of Prisons to transfer one of The Five, Ramón Labañino, to FCI Miami (Low) demonstrates the pervasiveness of the problem which denied them due process at trial.
Since the trial,the Five have learned that the Office of Cuban Broadcasting, through Radio Marti, was paying nominally independent journalists to disseminate that office's message.
The message is regime change in Cuba. Conviction of the Five became a sub-text of that message. The Office of Cuban Broadcasting, chartered to send propaganda to Cuba to effect regime change, illegally used its $34 million annual budget to propagandize the community in Miami, of which the jury is a part and for which the jury speaks, to secure the conviction of The Five.
It is said that frogs can boil to death if water is gradually heated; the frogs simply are not aware of how hot the water has gotten. The Bureau of Prisons' transfer attempt shows just how hot the water actually is.
Ramón was being held in a medium security facility. Removal of what is called an "administrative variable" allowed his transfer to a low security facility. There is such a facility in Miami, Florida. The Bureau of Prisons decided to send Ramón there.
Ramón told the Bureau of Prisons that this was not a good idea, but since he could not identify a specific threat, the transfer went through. When he arrived in Miami on January 15, 2013, the official who interviewed him immediately recognized the problem. In Miami, unlike the rest of the nation and the rest of the Bureau of Prisons, both some inmates and some staff hold deeply rooted animus to the regime in Cuba that makes Ramón's very safety, let alone his fair treatment, a problem. The result was that Ramón was "thrown in the hole," the special housing unit, and held incommunicado. Even his attorney was denied the right to meet with him.
Ultimately, a visit by an attorney was allowed, but Ramón and his attorney were locked in the attorney visitation room and a special guard stood watch outside the locked door.
The Warden at the Miami Federal Correctional Institution realizes that Ramón is in danger there. Will the District Judge realize how hot the water is and allow the attorneys for the Five their day in court?
Comité Nacional para la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos
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