The days pass and the Island’s official media offers no news about the latest developments with respect to one of the Five Heroes, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo. The picture is unusual, so much silence about the cause of the Five.
Neither the Roundtable TV show, nor the newspaper Granma have commented on the contradictory statements of Gerardo, a man who, according to the government, sacrificed the best years of his youth to save his people. Even the mission of Cuban doctors in Venezuela is not as great a sacrifice.
That is, it’s not a sacrifice if you compare it to the reward of being able to buy a house and the supplies necessary to furnish it. Something almost impossible to do from within the island. There are more than a few Cubans who would like to go on a mission to the richest and most prosperous empire on the planet.
The sacrifice is to remain in prison carrying the sins of others, who enjoy complete freedom. However the Five assumed this risk and so they are also bearing the consequences. Despite the silence on the Island, I don’t think events have taken them by surprise. The government knew well what its senior “Wasp*” would say.
The contradiction between Gerardo’s declarations and the position of the Cuban government with regards to the downing of the two Brothers to the Rescue planes in 1996, which cost the lives of four people, seems more of a last ditch effort to reduce the sentence of the head spy, sentenced to two life sentences plus fifteen years for conspiring to commit murder.
The sentence was upheld by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. According to Granma in its 20 August 2010 edition, this “supposed evidence was not proven.” There is no doubt that they knew what the new allegations of the defense would be. They knew that the pilots were shot down in international waters and that Gerardo didn’t know the intentions of the government of the Island with respect to that.
It doesn’t appear, however, that there has been a divorce between the spy and his bosses. They spent months waiting for the response of the American government with respect to Gerardo’s habeas corpus petition. There are extraordinary recourses established in American law for closed cases like that of Hernandez Nordelo.
Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, president of the national Assembly, knew this, as he was assigned the government task of crowing the case of the Five in every international theater where he stepped foot. This is the same person who calls the American government immoral, but who himself represents one that has no scruples when it comes to assassinating its opponents.
The silence about the declarations of Gerardo come as no surprise, rather it is complicity. The people of Cuba, however, remain oblivious to the facts, despite being the ones who pay the costs of the propaganda campaign, which includes international conferences and 111 committees for the release of the Five, created all over the world.
*Translator’s note: The spy network the “Give Heroes” belonged to is called the “Wasp Network.”
January 30 2011