Bad Handwriting in La Joven Cuba (16) / Regina Coyula

Translator’s note: This series of posts are comments from Regina to authors or commentors on the blog La Joven Cuba.

For Osmani, for your post on the “Five.”

The “Wasp Network” is, I believe, the only Cuban intelligence network discovered by the American government over more than fifty years of dispute. You must have noticed, given that you undertook a preliminary investigation, that there is a gap of years between the date on which the arrests were carried out and the date when the national press published the existence of those five names, ignoring that the rest of the network had pleaded guilty and accepted a plea bargain with the prosecutor, under which they incriminated the five who chose to declare themselves innocent. That is how American law works, with its Anglo Saxon roots, different from our Hispanic antecedents.

Personally I believe the trial was polarized; personally I believe that the sentences were excessive, especially in the case of Gerardo. The agents informed the Central Intelligence Agency and they didn’t know that plans that such information generated because of compartmentalization; so I believe that Gerardo was not responsible for the shooting down of the planes and the deaths of the Brothers to the Rescue crews. I have spoken with combat pilots who have assured me that they are capable of forcing any civil aircraft to land. So why the decision to shoot them down? I think the Cuban government wanted to give a warning, and also wanted to stop President Clinton from lifting the Embargo.

My respect for the decision of these five Cuban agents to accept responsibility for their intelligence work, my respect as well for remaining steadfast in their beliefs, in this time when ideologies have undergone drastic changes. But they are not innocents, they knew in accepting the mission the risks involved, the greatest of these being to be detected and arrested.

The Cuban government spares no expense when it comes to them: they have lawyers, solidarity groups, media campaigns, the presence of their relatives across wide geographical points to defend their cause. And it makes sense. The Cuban government was giving clues to the FBI to follow the thread that ended with the capture of the network, and if I’m not mistaken, also led to the arrest of Ana Belen Montes, a Cuban intelligence agent who infiltrated the Department of Defense, about whom Cuba has not said one word.

Our government would do well to publish a tabloid with all the relevant information, but all, not only what suits them. This would be transparency, something very scarce in the information we receive.

September 17 2011