HAVANA, Cuba, Jun 3 (acn) Washington paid nearly $74,400 to journalists in Miami as part of a smear campaign against five Cuban antiterrorists that remain unjustly imprisoned in the United States since 1998.
Cuban News Agency
The National Committee to Free the Cuban Five —as Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez are internationally known— announced in a press conference on Wednesday that the new evidence was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made 18 months ago.
“Fourteen names came back of journalists who it turns out were receiving covertly monies from the US government,” said Gloria La Riva, the coordinator of the committee.
Prensa Latina news agency reports that among those accepting bribes is reporter Pablo Alfonso, who received $58,600 for 16 articles published by El Nuevo Herald newspaper.
“This shows that the US Government was an accomplice to manipulating the jury by bribing journalists that violated the principles of impartiality and accuracy,” said Heidi Boghosian, from the US National Lawyers Guild.
She affirmed that constitutional rights were also violated in the process against the Cuban Five including the Sixth Amendment, which protects the defendant’s right to a fair trial.
La Riva stated that they began a campaign calling on US Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately move to remedy the situation and added that the only remedy can be the freeing of the Cuban Five and allowing them to go home.
She noted that the mission of the Cuban Five —who were monitoring anti-Cuba extremist groups that were planning and carrying out terrorist attacks against the island— was to save lives. “Yet they sit in prison while known terrorists and terror groups walk free in Miami,” she pointed out.
For video and audio of press conference, names of journalists paid, and general background, go to the Free the Cuban Five site.