As part of Cuba and the U.S.'s normalization of relations, the last three members of the Cuban Five spy ring (known in Cuba as the "Five Heroes") were released from prison and sent home to Cuba. Their release draw praise from human rights activists and criticism from Cuban Americans who hold the Cuban Five responsible for the death of relatives shot down near Cuban air space while participating in an unauthorized Brothers to the Rescue flight.
Statement by the Cuban President
By Foreign Staff (The Washington Post, December 17, 2014)
In this statement to the Cuban people, Castro outlines his administration's perspective on the reinstatement of diplomatic relations with the United States and welcomes home the remaining members of the Cuban Five. While emphasizing that socialist system will be maintained, Castro also acknowledges the need to update the current economic model in order to achieve a "prosperous and sustainable socialism."
Report on the Convictions and Disproportionate Sentences Imposed on the Cuban Five
BY PETER SCHEY (CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, JUNE 2014)
This comprehensive report was sent to President Obama and the U.S. Attorney General by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in an effort to objectively review the critical evidence regarding the Cuban Five and synthesize the case in a single document. The report concludes that "there are strong grounds for humanitarian release of the remaining three members of the Cuban Five still serving federal prison sentences in the U.S." and explores legal frameworks available for their removal to Cuba.
The Cuban Five Were Fighting Terrorism. Why Did We Put Them in Jail?
By Stephen Kimber (Washington Post, October 2013)
Kimber criticizes the U.S. government's handling of the case of five Cuban intelligence agents who, while monitoring potential U.S. threats to Cuban national interests in 1998 (including a terrorist attack), were charged by the U.S. government with "conspiracy to commit" and imprisoned. Kimber highlights the injustice that four (now three) of the Cuban Five are still in prison, whereas anti-Cuban militant exiles who have confessed to terrorism (such as Luis Posada Carriles) walk the streets of Miami freely.
USA: The Case of the 'Cuban Five'
(AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, 2010)
In this report, Amnesty International (AI) describes its concerns about the fairness of the trial of the five men imprisoned in the USA since 1998 on charges related to their activities as intelligence agents for the Cuban government (the Cuban Five) and recommends that U.S. executive authorities review the case. Among other issues, AI questions the wisdom of holding the trial in Miami, a community hostile toward the Cuban government, as well as the lack of substantial evidence on which one defendant, Gerardo Hernández, was convicted of conspiracy to murder. The report emphasizes that, although the defendants have not denied acting as unregistered agents for the Cuban government, they have disputed the most serious charges against them.
Legal Documents Resources
(NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO FREE THE CUBAN FIVE, 1999-2014)
This website provides links to a plethora of legal documents, published between 1999 and 2014, that relate to the case of the Cuban Five. In addition to a compilation of over 85 legal briefs specifically detailing the Five case, the site also includes legal records on the trial of Luis Posada Carriles, alleged mastermind of the 1976 terrorist bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner that killed 73 people.