of an Infamy
Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Foreign Affairs Licentiate, René González
Sehwerert, Flight Instructor, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Economic Licentiate,
Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Civil Engineer and Fernando González Llort,
Foreign Affairs Licentiate, all heroes of the Republic of Cuba.
12: The FBI arrests at 5.30 a group of "Cuban spies , members of
the Wasp (Avispa) Net ; They are named: René González, Antonio Guerrero, Luis
Medina, Rubén Campa and Manuel Viramontes. Other names are given until reaching
10, among them women, but the main ones, are the first, according to what has
been stated. Few hours later of that same day, the FBI reports about the
operation and about the arrested ones to Cuban American representatives of the
Chamber: Ileana Ross Lehtinen and Lincoln Díaz Balart, both of long anti Cuban
21: The 10 mentioned peoples are accused by the FBI before the
Federal Court of Miami, "of working as government agents of Cuba"
22: A Judge denies bails
29: René, Antonio, Luis, Rubén and Manuel are driven to the
"hole" euphemistically called Special House Unit, reduced to punishing
cells with great mould and humidity, where they stay 23 out of 24 hours of the
day. They only get out an hour for "recreation" ( to stretch legs in a
closed space and only a hole in the roof). They were being kept 17 months in the
"hole" of the Federal Center of Detention at Miami.
2: A Federal instruction jury at Miami starts a cause for spying USA
and having served as illegal agents of the Communist government of Havana",
the local press informs that " the true identities
of three accused are not known."
6: Miami Herald and Nuevo Herald inform that an agreement is trying
to be reached with several detainees, " with minor responsibilities in the
wasp net", who "were not instructed of any charge together with the
19: In an interview with CNN at Lisbon, Portugal, President Fidel
Castro explains openly Cuba´s position with respect to the right the homeland
has to defend itself from terrorist acts against its people, organized and
financed from USA . He informs which the goals were of the five Cuban patriots,
already arrested, who faced the risk in order to obtain and transmit information
about such criminal actions being carried out with the tolerance and complicity
of North American authorities. He reiterates that the island is not interested
in any type of information about strategic matters of USA.
7: After eight months in jail and in the "hole" , the
District presents its accusation against the five. They are being charged of 26
penalties, when the five were eight months in jail and in the "hole" ,
thus violating the Buro´s Bylaws of
the Justice Department which establishes this tough sanction for
"disciplinary cases" and for "a top stay of 60 days."
24: Antonio Guerrero writes his poem " I will return" with
Polo Montañez´s music and sang by him. Two of his strophes say : From North to
South I will give to the people/ a share of my love in my shelter/ From East to
West I will raise to the front/ with kindness always promised/ I will sing my
songs to fate/ and with my voice I will make shake death."
25: Defense Attorneys complain before Joan Lenard judge because of
the restrictions imposed on them to have access to documents access (100
000 pages) We have to work in a "gloomy place", they say.
29: The five accomplish 12 months of confinements in punishing
3: Defense Lawyers present motions to judge Joan Lenard in which they
argue sessions should be carried out outside the county of Miami -Dade, since it
a basic nuclei of the Cuban anti Castro exile " and therefore there are not
the ideal conditions for a fair trial." According to the local journey
Nuevo Herald, Defense believe it will be extremely difficult to find enough
people to form part of an impartial jury for the case."
Hearings should start on May 22
15: The judge states that the trial " would have to wait until
16: This process will be much more interesting than any TV program,
the Judge Joan Lenard , declares wise and severe to the Miami Herald.
27: Doctor Lenard decides that the trial is to be held at Miami and
not in Fort Lauderdale, as the Defense had already requested. Defense Lawyer,
William Norris, who pleas the impossibility of a fair sentence in that
community. He quotes five antecedents in that sense and the judges states
September 5 for the beginning of the trial, after the adjournment.
25: Lawyer Joaquín Méndez, defense attorney of Fernando González (
in that moment he was still named Rubén Campa) asks the District to force FBI
to hand over all information available about the known terrorists Luis Posada
Carriles, Orlando Bosch, Nazario Sargent, Hubert Matos, Ramón Saúl Sánchez
and José Basulto, likewise, terrorist organizations such as: Alfa 66, Omega 7,
National Cuban American Foundation and Brothers to the Rescue, among others.
12: The District denies to supply such information, needed for the
6: in a letter, René González sends to his wife Olga: "I want
you to remember…nobody has the power of making me unhappy here, as nobody
could do that when you were jailed , going through very bad moments…Be happy
at all means, do not allow a pessimist thought, or an unpleasant remembrance or
the trace of a meanness sometimes made you live a bad moment. Think that all
things you went through in and out jail, due to the strong temperament, moral
and principles…What I like most, to think about you and build in my mind our
21: René González starts to write a diary where he would register
details of his captivity, of his strength and of his mates, of the fake argument
of the district's accusation against them and reveals details of the whole
27: The judicial process is started at Miami, against González ,
Guerrero, Medina, Campa y Viramontes. The first sessions are dedicated to choose
possible juries. The new Herald states that the District asks for all penalties
that could reach 10 years , for having served as foreign agents without
communicating it to the North American government." It adds that may be one
of them shall receive a bigger penalty.
28: Manuel Viramontes admits that his true name is Gerardo Hernández
21: In an article in the first page , The New Herald, recognizes
:" The fear to a violent reaction by the Cuban exile side if a jury decides
to absolve the five men, accused of having spied for the island regime, and this
has led to many potential candidates to ask the judge to accuse them of civic
duty." The journal, speaker of the most recalcitrant of anti Cuban groups,
quoted one of those citizens:
"Yes, I am afraid for my safety if verdict does not please the Cuban
6: Two of the accused reveal their true names : Luis Medina is Ramón
Labañino and Rubén Campa is Fernando González, according to the Miami press,
defense makes responsible to anti Castro organizations , since they represent a
real danger for the Cuban government and having looked the violent withdrawal of
the island regime, it was in the need of keeping itself informed from dangers
21: Ramón´s First letter to his wife Elizabeth , after spending 17
months in the "hole" "In the most difficult moments , in the most
extreme loneliness, when we missed even human voice, I always had you and
without any doubt , eternally at my side , also there was my mother. We were
all, my daughters, my beloved relatives and friends and in a very top place that
first mother we all due , my homeland."
1: First letter from Gerardo Hernández, after 17 months without
communication in the "hole" " I am the one who is proud of you .
For me the most important thing in the world is you to be at my side , that you
understand the need and importance of this sacrifice I have imposed upon
you….I am living the life I have chosen, the one I always dreamt
and that is why I do not complain about anything nor regret…Sacrifice
will never be greater, than the ones others did with their own lives for the
homeland… I will never let you down."
6: North American Almirant , Eugene Caroll, former Operations navy
chief, testifies that Cuba has warned about constant air provocations against
the capital by Brothers to the Rescue, which could bring serious consequences if
they continued. Two weeks after February 24,
I informed to that respect to the White House and CIA, but they did not
do me any case, he stated.
20: Colonel John George Buchner testifies , who occupied an
outstanding position in the Command System of the Air Defense of North America
and declares that Brothers to the Rescue´s flights over Cuba were
"military movements" in planes which " had all military
traces" He adds that he arrived to the conclusion after listening to the
tapes the Havana control tower recorded with the incursion apparatus, plus
public statements of Brothers to the Rescue.
21: New testimony of George Buchner, who admits that planes could
have been withdrawn over Cuban territory.
28: Alarm and panic among the Miami Mafia. El Nuevo Herald writes:
They are trying to blame the exile of a series of
aggressions and present Fidel Castro´s regime as a victim."
Terrorist Declarations from Raúl Saúl Sánchez, who called to abstain
themselves or testify to avoid that " we be placed at the accused
16: General Charles Wilhelm testifies , former commander Chief of
South Commands. He ascertains that service intelligence infiltration hostile to
that Army Command, is almost a remote possibility because of the high security
level of the military facility. So, a tough hit was given to District false
accusations that Cuba was trying to penetrate the quoted base.
30: "After four months of trial, the District has not introduced
yet the evidences it said it owned to accuse those suspicious men of spying for
Cuba, lawyers and observers coincided." The new Herald says this day.
1: Defense pleas end and the District after 102 hearings start
deliberations with the 12 juries.
8: A tricky , prejudiced and under great pressure trial , fraternize
with joy with the Miami Mafia, local TV left evidence of the unbelievable deed.
17: The unfair guilty five give knowledge a message guided to the
North American people: "We did not violate nor jeopardize the North
American people´s security and we did contribute in some measure to discover
plans and terrorist actions against our people , avoiding death of innocent
peoples: North Americans and Cubans."… We declare ourselves
innocent…our families will feel proud for this gesture in favor of humanity in
the struggle against terrorism."
20: Granma publishes a wide and detailed information about the
manipulated decision of the jury under the title; Heroic Behavior in the
Entrails of the Monster" . It has just been committed a repugnant justice
and qualifies the trial as fraud and cynical. Then it reproduces the courageous
message of the patriots to the USA, written on June 17. On June 20 , the first
Round Table is broadcasted : "In the Entrails of the Monster" there
the police and jury behavior is unmasked and evidences are revealed about the
innocence of the five. President Fidel Castro attends this fist Round Table,
where notice is given of the long list of terrorist actions against Cuba , all
organized at Miami and innocence of the five is reiterated, who have kept a
dignifying attitude along four years. Homeland contemplates you all, pride. The
23: Before 60 thousands peoples all gathered in a combative Open
Tribune of the Revolution at the Cotorro municipality of Havana, President Fidel
Castro states that the battle of ideas the Cuban people is going ahead , now it
is added with a tremendous force the demand justice to be done and that the five
Cubans jailed at Miami, be free. At evening hours of that same day , in a TV
program, the Commander in Chief states the five patriots have placed their lives
in danger not only for the Cubans but for the North Americans too: "These
comrades have committed no crime and we are willing to prove they are political
prisoners of the empire," he says.
25: At the Round Table René´s Diary is started to be read, text
which allows to know details of the fraudulent trial at a Miami Court. That same
day and after the visit of Miami of the Secretary of Justice of USA, John
Ashcroft, who met himself with executives of the Cuban American National
Foundation, the five are sent again to punishing cells, where they will stay for
48 days. In the same in communicated "hole" where they were confined
during 17 months of jail.
27: Cuba denounces this new action against the patriots adopted in
reprisal for their dignifying attitude and the battle started in the island for
23: The first Solidarity Committee with the Five is announced , in
25: the poem book "From my Altitude" of Antonio Guerrero is
presented , at the Jose Marti memorial. Outstanding personalities of the Cuban
culture, are present: Cinthio Vitier and Roberto Fernandez Retamar, who praise
26: Parade of the people, in front of the Interest Section of USA in
Havana , qualified as the biggest of all parades of the national history. More
than one million citizens from Havana ask the release of the heroes who defend
their people from death. President Fidel Castro leads the huge march.
27: Granma journal publishes a gratitude
letter from the five to the Cuban people, for its actions in favor of their
freedom, likewise a poem is included "Stanzas for my people", signed
by the young men.
28: At Uruguay the first Latin American Committee of Solidarity is
created. The second was in Argentine.
4: They are innocent, they have no committed any crime , the Cuban
7: The Cuban Chancellery sends the North American Department a
protest note for the decision of
handing just five visas to the patriots relatives.
they are only authorized to travel for the sentence hearings to Antonio, Gerardo
and René´s mothers. Visas were denied to the logical accompanying relatives of
mothers, all aged people .
10: Defense Attorneys denounce irregularities during the process and
the precarious conditions of detention of the five, aspects which must be taken
into account at the time of dictating sentence, " because they have been
particularly tough and irregular"
12: Gerardo Hernández is condemned to two life sentences plus 15
years , In his plea , he points out
"I trust that if it is not in this one, or some level of the system, reason
and justice will prevail above all, apart
from political prejudices and vengeance wishes and it will understood no damage
has been done to this country , deserving such a condemn , but if it were not
like that , allow me to repeat the words of one of the greatest patriots of this
nation, Nathan Hale when he said: I only regret not to have more than one life
to give to my homeland."
13: Ramón Labañino is condemned to a life sentence plus 18 years.
He pronounces his plea and expresses; "If avoiding death of innocent human
beings and defending both countries from terrorism and avoid a useless invasion
I am condemned today, I will wear the prisoner uniform with the same honor and
pride with which a soldier carries its most precious badges.!
14: Rene Gonzalez is sanctioned to 15 years and states in his plea: I
do not have reasons for regret…I am in the right road.. at the end this matter
of the Cuban agents has an easy solution, Let Cuba live , respect the Cuban
17: I reaffirm my proud of bei9ng part of the Cuban people and of its
Revolution, Fernando González states in his letter to the mothers . To his wife
he had written months before; "In these moments, I have you here and as you
have always been until the final victory, no matter what it be, or sentence
18: Fernando is sentenced to 19 years of jail, Reading his plea he
points out: I sincerely trust that some day Cuba does not have any need of
peoples like me , voluntarily and for love to my country and its people, come to
this country to fight against terrorism. Al man who respect himself must first
of all to his people and to his history."
19: The Cuban Parliament agrees to confer the condition of
"Heroes of the Republic of Cuba" to Gerardo, Ramón, Rene, Antonio and
Fernando: Likewise it confers the Mariana Grajales decoration to : the mothers
and the Ana Betancourt to their wives. President Fidel Castro reiterates
that the heroes will come back to the homeland: I repeat, reiterate and
emphasize they will return!, and names the coming year as "Year of the Five
Prisoners of the Empire" Parliament approves it.
22: In an Open Tribune, with thousands of participants at the Ciudad
Escolar Libertad, President _Fidel Castro says truth will reach every corner of
the planet that in truth there is the absolute certainty the five Cubans
unfairly jailed will return to the homeland.
27: Antonio Guerrero pronounces his plea , after listening to a
sentence life plus 10 years of jail.. "I love the island where I grew up, I
was educated , also I love this country in which I was born, where during the
last 10 years of my life I have given and received true samples of love and
sincere affection…I have never done any harm to anybody nor place in jeopardy
the USA´s security.. One day will come in which we no longer the fear and death
and in that day history will be seen real justice of our cause.."
31: The five heroes give knowledge a message in which they thank the
honor and they confer and reiterate their commitment with homeland.
1: a congratulation message is sent to the Cuban people because of
the 43 anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution .
29: They are moved by plane from Miami towards the Atlanta prison,
Georgia. They are placed in the hole, again.
4 : Gerardo and Ramón are guided to the El Reno prison, at Oklahoma,
weathers are so low that guards wear coats and gloves. Prisoners wear pull over.
8: Gerardo is taken to Lompoc, California, his final jail.
12: Ramón gets out from Oklahoma and arrives to the isolated prison
of Beaumont, Texas his final destiny, he is located in the hole, during one
20: Fernando is moved to the hole, of the Indiana prison.
22: René arrives to his final prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania and he
is sent to the hole.
25: Fernando arrives to the Oxford jail, Wisconsin
28: Antonio communicates to his family he is at Florence jail, a tiny
point at Colorado.
4: the Journalist Union of Cuba hands the Felix Elmuza decoration and
the condition of Honor Members to Gerardo Hernández and Rene Gonzalez.
Caricatures and notes of both have been key issues to unmask the double moral of
the North American government and the bent knees of some sectors of the extreme
anti Cuban organizations located at USA.
23: the North American Department denies visas to Olga Salanueva ,
Rene's wife and Yvette , the four year daughter to an already programmed visit.
1: Seven millions of Cubans throughout the whole country, raised
their voices in May parades to demand the return of the five heroes , prisoners
of the empire.
Periódicos Granma, Juventud Rebelde y Trabajadores; agencias Prensa Latina y
AIN; Web de diferentes medios y sectores, especialmente las del Ministerio de
Relaciones Exteriores; Bohemia; El Nuevo Heráld. y Miami Heráld..