The case of the Cuban 5 is a story that is not often told in the American mainstream media.
Sadly, that’s been the story for far too long, as today signals the thirteenth anniversary since five men attempting to tackle terrorism were put behind bars by the United States.
The mainstream press has covered former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s recent trip into Cuba as he tries to bring home Alan Gross, a US government contractor imprisoned in Cuba. What you don’t hear, however, is the story of the five Cuban men that the United States has held in prison in the USA for over a decade.
Gloria La Riva says that the Cuban 5 deserves front page news in the US because they are prisoners of the United States and victims of this country’s aggression against Cuba. She says that the group began monitoring the actions of terrorist organization in Miami, Florida during the earlier 1990s, and though they aimed to protect lives, a miscarriage of justice has landed them in jail for 13 years now.
“They never had weapons,” said La Riva. “They only had their eyes and eyes on this anti-terrorist mission.” With what many argue as nothing more than good will, the United States made the men go on trial in Miami despite numerous attempts from the defense to have the trial moved back to their homeland. Now, says La Riva, it is being revealed that the government paid off a number of prominent journalists in Southern Florida to cover the story in what she says was a “negative, prejudicial and harmful way.”
Unfortunately, a lot of that information remains classified by the US government, and as La Riva attempts to obtain it through the Freedom of Information Act, the Cuban 5 remain in jail while the mainstream media draws its attention towards the case of one of America’s own, spying on Cubans but for the sake of the US. It’s a double standard employed too often in America and sadly the Cuban 5 are only a sampling of one of its many examples. La Riva says the US is putting millions of dollars into attempting to destabilize Cuba, all the while they are spending tons on keeping the Cuban 5 in American prisons for the sake of helping their country.
The United States government, said La Riva, is the roadblock that not only keeps the Cuban 5 behind prison, but keeps the mainstream media from reporting on the real news. Alternative outlets have been denied FOIA papers to tell the men’s story even 13 years later, but La Riva hopes that through the National Committee to Free the Cuban 5, someday those men will walk as free as they deserve to.