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Vol. 76/No. 27      July 23, 2012

Who are the Cuban Five

Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González are Cuban revolutionaries who during the 1990s accepted assignments from the Cuban government to gather information on the activities of Cuban American counterrevolutionary groups operating in South Florida. These paramilitary outfits, organizing on U.S. soil with virtual impunity, have a long record of carrying out bombings, assassinations and other deadly attacks, both against targets in Cuba and against those in the United States and Puerto Rico who oppose Washington’s efforts to overthrow the Cuban Revolution.

On Sept. 12, 1998, the five were arrested by the FBI. They were framed up and convicted on a variety of charges, which included acting as unregistered agents of the Cuban government, possession of false identity documents, conspiracy to commit espionage, and conspiracy to commit murder. They were given prison terms of up to double life plus 15 years.

In August 2000, shortly before the trial was to begin, federal cops arrested Olga Salanueva, who is married to René González, and threatened to revoke her permanent resident status unless he agreed to testify against his four comrades. After he rejected this blackmail, U.S. officials deported Salanueva back to Cuba. She lives in Havana together with their two daughters, Irmita, 28, and Ivette, 14, who was born in Miami shortly before González’s arrest.

René González was convicted on trumped-up charges of not registering as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent. Incarcerated for more than 13 years, he was transferred from federal prison to “supervised release.” Currently living in Florida, he is ordered to remain in the United States under the control of the federal courts’ probation office until October 2014. He is denied the possibility of being reunited with his wife, who is permanently barred from entering the United States.
Related articles:
‘My years in US taught me about capitalism’: ‘And made me value even more the gains of the Cuban Revolution’ says Olga Salanueva
Where to write to Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando
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