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FreeThe5-Fernando

The Truth Is Ours

Fernando Gonzalez Llort, one of the Cuban Five anti-terrorists held in US prisons shares his views with Granma.

By DEISY FRANCIS MEXIDOR - Francis_mexidor@granma.cip.cu -

Five years ago, in June 2001, five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters were the victims of a rigged trial in a US Court in Miami which sentenced them to long prison terms.

Five years have gone by since the message sent by “The Five” to the people of the United States was heard in Miami. As a reprisal they were put back into solitary confinement without any of their personal belongings, neither letters, photos, poems, nor even the smallest piece of a pencil with which to write.

Five years have elapsed since former US Attorney General John Ashcroft visited the ultra right wing conservatives in Miami to celebrate our five brothers having been found guilty.

Coincidentally, it was in June 1998, on the 16th and 17th of that month, when Cuban state Security authorities hand delivered —during an exchange with FBI representatives— 230 pages of documents containing a detailed record of terrorist activities against Cuba organized from the US.

The mass of material included five videocassettes of TV programs broadcast by US-based television networks containing talks between participants, and news reports dealing with criminal actions against Cuba. The Cuban authorities also handed over to the FBI eight audio cassettes with two hours and forty minutes of recordings of telephone calls by Central American terrorists detained in Cuba who were speaking with their mentors in Miami.

The FBI admitted being impressed by the quality of the evidence and told their Cuban counterparts that they would provide an answer about everything in two weeks.

Nevertheless, as it is well known, the only response given by the US was the arrest on the 12th of September 12, 2001 of the possible messengers.

These are the reasons why today Granma offers this analysis of the issues raised by Fernando Gonzalez Llort. In doing so, we had the invaluable cooperation of his wife, Rosa Aurora Freijanes Coca, who passed on our questions, and was a faithful interpreter during this exchange of information.

Five years have elapsed since the message you addressed to the people of the United States was made public. What mention does this deserve and has what you stated in that text changed in any respect?

It is true that five years have gone by since we addressed to the American people. In that message we told them that we are five innocent men. We said that due to our love for our homeland and humankind we undertook the mission of confronting the enemy on the front line by infiltrating terrorist organizations. These groups had been protected and granted impunity by successive US administrations to execute their murderous plans against our nation from South Florida.

The saddest thing is that the situation which we told the American people about five years ago is exactly the same as today. In the first place, today Americans still know nothing of the nature of our struggle. As a matter of fact, they know nothing about who we are, because a mantle of silence has been woven around our case. This is something done with great effectiveness by the mass media, which by doing so responds to the US government’s interests. In second place, it clearly demonstrates that what we said at that time about terrorism against Cuba was not history, as a matter of fact continues in the present.

Over the past several months we have seen events which confirm what we have just mentioned. Many people will be astonished, but we —who have been deep inside the terrorist rings and knew about their plans and their sick aspiration to defeat the Cuban Revolution— know very well what they are capable of doing.

In California, Robert Ferro was arrested and later stated that he was a member of Alpha 66. US authorities captured him with the largest ever weapons cache ever found in the possession of an individual. He affirmed those arms were to be used to launch actions against Cuba, something that apparently relieves terrorists from having to face justice.

But also, at the end of 2005, Santiago Alvarez, the same person who helped Luis Posada Carriles enter the United States illegally from Mexico, was captured with a load of weapons. Another of his partners, Osvaldo Mitat, was also arrested for the same reason and both are awaiting trial for those crimes.

At this very moment information is being published saying that terrorist activities are being carried out in Miami, possibly to distract the public’s attention from other matters. But they rarely discuss Cuban-American or Cuban-born terrorists from the Cuban American National Foundation, Alpha 66, F4 Commandos, Brothers to the Rescue and so many other organizations. These individuals are simply referred to as "anti-Castro militants."

In my statement to the court, when I was unjustly sentenced to 19 years in prison in December of 2001, I stated that there is no “good terrorism” or “bad terrorism;” there is just terrorism, and it has to be fought. However, when it comes to Cuba things are different, and that is why individuals like Orlando Bosch, Rodolfo Frometa, Jose A. Llama enjoy total impunity.

Related to this topic, Llama, known in the Miami Mafia's small world as Tonin, has created a scandal because he was swindled by the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF). Just for the record, CANF denies being a terrorist organization, though Llama’s accusation demonstrates that in Miami there are people devoted to the planning of criminal actions against our nation. All this reinforces the need for our people to defend themselves from those macabre schemes.

As we have seen, they are trying to receive a pardon from President George W. Bush for Luis Posada Carriles. Former president George H. Bush granted a pardon to terrorist Orlando Bosch, even though US authorities had described him as extremely dangerous. Posada Carriles is just as dangerous. Posada’s case is shameful. And they are doing everything in complicity with this country’s authorities.

US intelligence agencies are well aware of most of the Cuban-American terrorists who are currently undertaking terrorist acts against Cuba; in fact, they were part of those agencies. From them they learned methods of operation and how to use equipment. This is what I said in my statement to the court, and I maintain it.

For a long time Cuba has been denouncing what is going on today in Miami.

If that were not enough, all the questions The Five posed in our message to the American people have been answered through the scandal in which Tonin was involved.

Why do Cubans have to fulfill the honorable duty of defending their country far from their families and beloved ones? Why do they have to put off enjoying life with their people in order to do their duty?

Why are US authorities so tolerant in allowing terrorist acts against our country? Why don’t they investigate terrorist plans protested against by Cuba and take actions to stop them? I wonder why they don’t try to prevent the numerous plots to assassinate our leaders.

Why are the self-confessed masterminds of these and others terrorist acts walking around South Florida, as it was proved in our trial?

Who trained them? Who granted them immunity?

Who are the ones who really put US security at risk?

The best service anyone could render to the American people would be to save them from the influence of the extremists and terrorists who do so much damage to that country by plotting to violate its laws.

What special message on behalf of The Five would you send to those who read this interview?

A person who acts according to their principles comes to their own when faced with any difficulty. We are going through difficult moments, but we know that justice will win sooner than later. Truth is on our side. We say that we are innocent. We are just men who out of love for life, the human race and our nation, were able stop criminal plans.

My brothers Gerardo, Antonio, Rene and Ramon, and I were always aware of the danger of our mission. The American people —who have a great history— must know that by carrying out this mission, we were also protecting them.

My brothers and I are men educated by a revolution whose light reaches millions of people around this planet and gives them hope. We are the children of a revolution of which we are proud, as we are proud of our endless loyalty to our country and to our leader Fidel Castro, who five years ago said he was confident that we shall return. And we, The Five, are confident we shall return.

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