by Andrés Gómez, director of Areítodigital
Miami — Although nothing should surprise us after 11 years of the judicial process carried out by the U.S. administrations against the Cuban Five, once more, that is exactly what has happened.
The orders and reasoning in the decision issued last Friday, Sept. 16 by judge Joan Lenard of the southern Florida federal district court, over the conditions of the three-year supervised “freedom” for René González, one of the Cuban Five, are despotic and profoundly cynical.
The supervised release was imposed on René by the same judge in the sentencing phase in December 2001.
René was found guilty for the crime of not having registered as an agent of a foreign government in the scandalous trial of the Cuban Five in Miami. It was a trial marked by countless fundamental violations. The sentence ordered by judge Lenard against René was 15 years of prison plus three years of “conditional release,” the shortest sentence imposed on the Five.
In the terrifying atmosphere in Miami created by the media of that city, the federal prosecutors, the courts and the organizations of the extreme Cuban American rightwing — the “perfect storm” as characterized by the exemplary 2005 decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals — all of them associate an “agent of a foreign government” with the idea that the accused person is evil, in this case and in this city, being a spy of the Cuban government. It has been this way from the beginning and throughout the long and painful years with the case of the Cuban Five.
According to the Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938, a foreign agent is simply a person who represents the interests of a foreign power. Nothing more. In the immense majority of the cases it has to do with activities of public relations or lobbying. Since 1966 it is rare that a person or organization has been tried for this crime.
And never before the case of René and Fernando (another of the Five also found guilty of the same charge) has a person been given such an excessive sentence for the crime.
If the original sentence for René was unjust and excessive, even worse is the recent decision of judge Lenard with respect to the phase of supervised freedom, because it is after René completed all his prison sentence, with exemplary conduct besides, and without having been permitted to see his wife all that time.
René, a U.S. citizen by birth, had requested permission to return to Cuba after he completes his 15 year sentence on October 7, to be with his wife and daughters again, instead of remaining three years on parole in the United States. René is also a Cuban citizen.
Not only did judge Lenard reject the possibility for René to return to Cuba to be with his family; she also decided that René would complete his three years of parole in Miami.
In Miami where the terrorists of the Cuban American extreme rightwing live and conspire freely and with impunity, organizations that René had infiltrated in order to learn their criminal plans and prevent them from being carried out. We must not forget that that was the sole mission of the Five in Miami: to prevent terrorist acts.
Now, for the three years of parole, René will be at the mercy of those terrorists who are guilty of so many odious crimes, some of them committed right here.
Who will guarantee his safety and life as the law demands? The Miami police? The FBI? Those are the same authorities that assure impunity for the terrorists. Or will it be federal government authorities? The government that has never prosecuted the terrorists responsible for detestable crimes, such as those responsible for the assassination of Carlos Muñiz Varela, member of the Antonio Maceo Brigade. That crime remains without justice for more than 30 years.
Are these the authorities that will guarantee the safety and life of René in Miami during his three years of imprisoned supervised release?
por Andrés Gómez, director de Areítodigital
Miami.- A pesar de que a estas alturas del proceso judicial llevado por los gobiernos de Estados Unidos en contra de los Cinco desde hace ya casi once años nada nos debe sorprender, una vez más en el transcurso de todos estos años no ha sido así.