The Implications of This Trial on the Relations between Cuba and the U.S.A.
Cuban Five as Criminals
The Five as Antiterrorists
Whether the Cuban Five are terrorists or not has to be seen from an international perspective that is impartial and takes into consideration the viewpoints of the Cubans as well as the Americans. The question has gained particular relevance in light of the international protests that consider the Cuban Five as antiterrorists and not criminals. According to Robert Pastor the National Security Adviser for Latin America in President Jimmy Carter's time:
"Holding a trial for five Cuban intelligence agents in Miami is about as fair as a trial for an Israeli intelligence agent in Tehran. You'd need a lot more than a good lawyer to be taken seriously."
This says a lot about the stance that the Cuban Five need to be looked at from. This paper will look at both sides of the coin, as the Cuban Five have been responsible for bloodshed even if they are considered antiterrorist. At the same time considering their activities as criminal when they were working for their country might seem to be in antinationalism flavor and Nobel Laureates having also written to the United Nations convinced that the Cuban Five are not criminals.
Cuba's history has been checkered with war and conflict. Most of the conflict has been attributed to the United States government which has been aiding in the conflict and has infiltrated Cuban soil at several occasions. This has led to anti-American sentiment in the region.
The revolution led by Fidel Castro in Cuba against the former leader, Batista was successful and he took over reassuring the United States that he was anti-communist. But later it started showing communist sentiment when it appropriated land and private property and at the same time nationalized American land as well. This led to America responding by freezing Cuban assets and supporting the movement against Fidel Castro. However after the Cuban missile Crisis, America vowed not to aid anti-Castro movement and since then has remained out of it.
However during this time, the Cuban anti-Castro communities that had lost support of the United States were exiled with a large population of the anti-Castro communities held in Miami.
As far as the Cuban Five as considered these were men who claimed, when they were caught by the American authorities that they were spying on the Anti-Castro communities who they said were involved in terrorist attacks in Cuba.
These men, named: Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, and Rene Gonzalez, have been imprisoned in America on the charges of spying on American Military and being involved in the murder as well as the attacks on an Anti-Castro organization called Brothers to the rescue.
The background of the Five is that they were acting as foreign agents as well as a Castro defense group wherein they were retaliating against the measures taken by Brothers to the Rescue, who on several occasions, invaded Cuban airspace on purpose in order to drop leaflets and to raise public sentiments against Fidel Castro's government.
Their trial was held in Miami, where there are many Anti-Castro communities, which is one of the reasons why the trial is seen to be unfair in the international communities and is being objected to vehemently even by Nobel Laureates.
Why the Trial Was Unfair
The Cuban Five are seen to keep the cause of the Cuban Revolution and the cause of Fidel Castro alive by the Cuban government, while the exiled Cuban community in America considers them to be criminals who are violating their rights and are perpetuating fear in their community regarding even though they are far away from the country.
Even then, as far as the trial goes, the world is seeing the trial that was held as being unfair as it was not held on the Cuban soil, where these people belonged. This paper too agrees that the Cuban Five were not subjected to a fair trial as they should have been allowed a trial in their own country. It is hypocrisy being practiced at the level of the American government, where Raymond Davis, an American CIA agent's trial was protesting severely against the trial of the agent in Pakistan, as they said that he was of American origin and that his trial should take place in the country from where he originated.
As far as the issue of the Cuban Five is concerned, they were tried in state where anti-Castro spirit already persisted among the largest population of the community in America. It would have still been better had the government held the trial in some other state so that the jury members would at least have been somewhat impartial. While the jury did not consist of any exiled members, the press coverage coming out of the region was negative. Moreover even though the government was unable to prove that the members had passed on any confidential information, the fact remained that the Cuban Five's appeals were ignored and they were sentenced to life imprisonment and various other penalties varying with the involvement that the five were indicted of individually in their attacks on the Brother to the Rescue's two airplanes.
That was the reason why even Robert Pastor presented his reservations against the trial stating that there was too much pressure on the courts in their region.
One of the reasons that have been oft cited by the critics of this punishment is that they U.S. government was looking at its personal objective of being reelected again, and as Miami is a populous consistency with the exile members of the Cuban community being settled there in large numbers, there was pressure on the Obama government to appease them in order to garner support from them in the next election.
The Aftermath of the Trial
As far as the aftermath of the trial is concerned, there have been many protests among the international community regarding the ruling as their jailing as being foreign spies and causing spread of top secret information was not proved in the court. Even then they were subjected to harsh treatment by the court and were assigned the sentences they were.
As far as the families of these prisoners are concerned the wives of these five have been increasing international awareness for their rights. What they are objecting against is also that the U.S.A. has not granted them a visa to be able to at least visit their husbands in jail in America, while the years are slipping by, there seems to be no appeasing decision in sight.
And this comes in juxtaposition of the American government chastising the Castro government of human rights abuses and violations where the President slammed the Cuban government for the death of a hunger striker who was jailed. Moreover, there have been crackdowns in Cuba against anti-Castro movements and that is the reason why the United States have got a reason to condemn these attacks.
Several writers have been critiquing the issue as follows; Bruce Nestor was quoted in an article titled UNITED STATES: Cuban Five ruling a "travesty of justice" as:
"Bruce Nestor of the U.S. National Lawyers Guild said that the decision "not only denies justice to the five defendants in this case, but it also has very profound implications for any person seeking a fair trial, particularly a fair trial in the current political climate in this country." (Denny, 1993)
Another critic of the trial has said that:
The main reason for America being anti-Cuban is that the government has become communist and does not follow the democratic process that American does. It was this difference in ideology that led to the Cold War between America and Russia, and it what is brewing conflict among the two countries as well.
Cuba too has reciprocated that it does not want to continue or purse relations with the U.S.A. On the back of this trial and various other differences that have characterized Cuban existence. Moreover, this drama has led to the indications of undercurrents where the government in USA has done this to secret votes from the Cuban community living in America.
The Implications of This Trial on the Relations between Cuba and the U.S.A.
This trial is not the only reason why the relations of Cuba and USA have deteriorated. The U.S.A. And Cuba have always been at odds with each other in ideology and in principle and many Cuban believe that America's ever changing policies and stances towards Cuba and its leaders have led to the turmoil. As far as the existence of the Cuban community in America is concerned, they are seen as capitalists and mercenaries by the Castro government who feels that this private clique which are also referred to as the Florida Mafia are keen on exploiting Cuba and are keen on only…