Comité Nacional por la Libertad de los Cinco Cubanos

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Alice Walker backs 5 jailed Cuban agents

Sept. 13, 2007
Reprinted from Miami Herald

(AP) -- The Cuban government distributed a letter on Wednesday in which American author Alice Walker expressed her support to the children of five Cuban intelligence agents imprisoned in the United States.

Walker, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple, has in the past joined American writers, artists and intellectuals in demanding the release of the so-called Cuban 5, who were convicted in 2001 of being unregistered foreign agents operating in the United States.

The letter was released Wednesday at a news conference held in Havana to unveil a new Cuban book celebrating the five. It was signed ''Alice,'' with ''Walker'' in parentheses.

''In my own experience, everything to do with attaining justice has been very hard, very difficult, a very long struggle. Apparently endless, in fact,'' the letter said. ``That is unfortunately the experience of much of the world. Still, we persist in our hope of justice.''

In addition to the charges of being unregistered agents, three of the Cuban 5 were convicted of espionage conspiracy for efforts to penetrate U.S. military bases, and one was also found guilty of murder conspiracy in the deaths of four Miami-based pilots whose small, private planes were shot down by a Cuban MiG in 1996.

All five have denied the charges and say they were sent to South Florida to gather information about ''terrorist'' exile groups opposed to Castro, not the U.S. government.

The agents are currently seeking a new trial that they hope will overturn their prison sentences, which range from 15 years to life.

Click here to read the statement by Alice Walker referenced in this article, along with a statement by Danny Glover


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