Cuban Five questions

Hi, I’m Sigrun a producer working on the Newshour programme. Not much notice on this, but around 2000GMT we will talk to the daughter of one of the Cuban Five and we’d like your questions for her. Th Cuban 5 were convicted by a US court in December 2001 on a range of charges, including trying to obtain US military secrets and spying on Cuban exile groups. They argue that they were trying to protect Cuba from attacks by ant-Castro organisations based in the US. The Cuban government has since been campaigning for their release. We will talk to Irma Gonzales about the campaign to free her father. What questions would you like us to put to her? We’d be grateful for your thoughts.

15 Responses to “Cuban Five questions”

  1. 1 steve
    April 29, 2008 at 17:33

    A spy is a spy is a spy. They got caught, they go to jail. Sorry, dont’ spy if you don’t want them to get caught. However, I did have a Cohiba this weekend.

  2. 2 Jeff Meisner (Leiden, Netherlands)
    April 29, 2008 at 20:50

    I want the Cuban Five, and their families including Irma Gonzales to know that the grave injustice which the U.S. government has inflicted on them is known around the world. Many people, including many inside the United States, have come to their defense and support their struggle for freedom. They have done nothing wrong and were only engaged in gathering information on the paramilitary groups in Miami which engage in violence against Cuba.

    Sadly, I am not optimistic regarding their fate in the U.S. so-called “justice” system. They will likely join American political prisoners like Leonard Petier and Mumia Abu-Jamal who the government has resolved to keep imprisoned for life. That ensures that their voices will not be heard nor their rightfulness recognized. It is up to us on the outside to speak up for these victims who are wrongly labelelled “criminals” while the same government offers impunity to the murderous New York police officers, not to mention the war criminals occupying the white house.

  3. 3 steve
    April 30, 2008 at 01:45

    Oh lord Jeff. Mumia killed a cop. He’s not a political prisoner, he’s a MURDERER. The US caught some spies, BOO HOO! Maybe they shouldn’t have been spying?

  4. 4 Mark
    April 30, 2008 at 02:19

    What irony. The Cuban government imprisons countless of its own citizens for speaking out agaisnt its massive human rights violations and repression of every freedom and then has the audacity to demand that its captured spies be set free from prison in the US where they were legally tried and convicted under American law. This is a case of the perpetrator crying foul. Who can believe these criminals or their naive supporters. How about we offer to trade them for say 10,000 political prisoners in Cuba as a start.

  5. 5 John in Salem
    April 30, 2008 at 04:01

    Five people….. sent here to protect Cuba from attack.


    Now, if they were sent here to buy Powerball tickets, THAT I would believe.

  6. April 30, 2008 at 04:50

    Washington and her allies are not GOD or they are not the one created this world for people lives in. If they want peace with other nations that is good but people should not worship washington or begging them like woman.The more you beg washington and her allies the more they will bully non capitalist nations. Until the washington apologized to international for both past and current crime then let nations know that sign of peace is close but if they do not apologize, there is wars lay head of world.
    For these nations who are enjoying these global criminal commited by washington you will fill with shame when you see washington is dying.

  7. 7 Count Iblis
    April 30, 2008 at 16:18

    It may be more effective for the Cuban five family members to go to Europe and campaign here for their release. Many European countries have extradition treaties with the US even though they wouldn’t think of signing similar treaties with any other country if they had similar problems. In the US there is an issue with prosecutorial abuse whuch is hard to correct on appeal.

    We in Europe should say to the US: We won’t extradite people to you anymore unless you fix the problems with your system 😦

  8. 8 Count Iblis
    April 30, 2008 at 16:21

    Steve, Aldrich Ames helped Gorbachov (a good friend of Reagan) to catch a few spies. 🙂

  9. 9 steve
    April 30, 2008 at 16:47

    @ Count Iblis

    “Europe”, Germany in particular, released from prison after serving only 25 years, a woman who MURDERED five people in cold blood. Don’t lecture us about problems in the “system”.


    But then again, socialists love socialists terrorists and cuban spies. how silly of me.

  10. 10 Nick in USA
    April 30, 2008 at 17:04

    @ Mark

    That is brilliant! Would these 5 be willing to be the bargaining chips for america to negotiate the release of the political prisoners in Cuba?

  11. 11 Count Iblis
    April 30, 2008 at 19:16


    I’m not really lecturing you about your system. Thing is, we extradite people to your county. So, it should be an issue for us. You can choose to ignore crticisms but ten you shouldn’rt expect that other countries extradite people to you just like we don’t extradite people to Russia or China.

    At least, we don’t close courthouse doors to all those annoying “writ abusers” like you do:

    Like nearly all the exonorees, Woodard has maintained his innocence throughout his time in prison. But after filing six writs with an appeals court, plus two requests for DNA testing, his pleas of innocence became so repetitive and routine that “the courthouse doors were eventually closed to him and he was labeled a writ abuser,” Roetzel said.

  12. 12 steve
    April 30, 2008 at 19:48

    @ Count Iblis

    you say “you” to me referring to some case in Texas? I have no say what happens in Texas no more than you do. They have their own legal system, I’m not a resident of Texas. That’s texas’s system, I live in Virginia. So that has nothing to do with “my” system. We have FIFTY different legal systems (51 if you count DC, 52 if you include the federal level), so please don’t lump us all together.

  13. May 2, 2008 at 14:16

    When I visited Cuba, from Canada, a few years ago, I had a most wonderful time. There I bought a second hand book which turned out to be the speech of Fidel (I believe it was 21 hours long) to the judges who had him in court just after his first failed attempt to ouse the American-led Batista and cohorts. I was terrifically glad to obtain that book – which was reprinted on the 20th Congress or something like that of the Cuban political party. In his speech Fidel Castro sets out his reasons, humane and caring, they were, too, to try and rescue the poor peasants of his country from the wickedness of the Batista-led Cuban rich and elite. The peasantry at the time was in a most wretched condition: I reember a prase about the children being shoeless, getting maggots into the soles of their feet and burrowing up into their legs. And his discussion about Batists – American backed Cuban leader who spent his nights i casinos gambling away the government’s money which should have been spent on the people. No wonder so many of this elite class of Cuba citizenry took off for Miami when finally the rebels won the day with the help of soldier Che Guevera. The American politicians have never stopped denouncing Castro as a ‘cruel dictator’ which he cetainly is not. I remember a newspaper piece in which he (Castro) answered his Cuban elite critics i Miami who are still screamig about their stolen property. He did indeed state that he had offered to buy these properties, and offeed the amounts for same that the owners had entered in their icome tax rerturns as the value of their property. He ha. Hung by their own petard. If you evaluate your property on the low side, don’t expect a government to give you triple that worth when they take it away from you!
    Long live Fidel, a wonderful guy – who was a fried of the amazing Pierre Elliot Trudeau P.M. of Canada for about 14 great years ad a man of monumental intelligence, understanding, articulation and judgment, who was also a friend of Gorbachov (another much maligned and unfairly treated statesman) and Jimmy Carter (for years laughed at as the ‘Peanut famer’ in the U.S. when in fact he is brilliant, empathetic, straightforward and wanting so much to assist in the world.)
    Why are these men so denigrated by the world’s press? Why are newspapers so unkind and knowingly, it seems, cut-throat in their approach to world situations and people who are sincere. Newspapers in their chasing the big bucks by snappy untrue headlines and extremely unhelpful throughout the world as far as I can see.

  14. 14 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 7, 2008 at 07:42

    A spy is a spy…..

  15. 15 Albertathefree
    September 13, 2008 at 07:13

    Doratree, as a Canadian I must say that post was the biggest piece of crap I ever heard. Truely embrassing……………………WOW!

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