Message of the Cuban Five to the American People

June 17, 2001

We are five loyal Cubans who for 33 months and five days have endured a severe imprisonment in the jails of a nation where hostility by its authorities against our own is obvious. After a long and infamous trial directed by blatantly political objectives, methods and procedures, and overwhelmed by a deluge of maliciously concocted propaganda, we have decided to address the American people to let you know the truth, that we are the victims of a terrible injustice.

We have been accused of endangering the security of the United States and indicted of numerous charges, including crimes such as conspiracy to commit murder that could not, and cannot, be proven for they are false but for which we could be sentenced to dozens of years of imprisonment and even to life sentences.

A body of Miami jurors - and that explains it all - declared us guilty of all charges. But we are just Cuban patriots and it was never our intent to cause any harm to either the values or the integrity of the American people.

Our tiny nation, which has heroically survived four decades of aggression and threats to its national security, of subversive plans, sabotages and destabilization, has every right to defend itself from its enemies who keep using US territory to plan, organize and finance terrorist actions, breaking your own laws in the process.

Our country is also entitled to peace, respect for its sovereignty and for our most sacred interests. In the four years that we have spent in this country, we have never stopped wondering why it is that our two peoples cannot live in peace. How is it possible for the interests of the extreme right - including terrorist groups made up of Cuban Americans - to strain relations between two peoples who are so close geographically and who could easily maintain relations based on respect and equality.

In our prison stay we have had the time to reflect on our behavior in this country. We can say, without the shadow of a doubt, that neither with our attitude nor our actions have we in any way interfered with, or jeopardized the security of, the American people. What we have certainly done is contribute to exposing terrorist plans and actions against our people, thus preventing the death of innocent Cubans and Americans.

Why is it necessary for Cuban patriots to stay away from their loved ones and postpone an otherwise joyful life with their families and people to carry out the honorable duty of protecting their homeland?

Why are the US authorities tolerant with these terrorists who act against our country? Why don't they investigate or take action against the terrorist plans denounced by Cuba or try to prevent the numerous attempts against the life of our leaders?

Why is it that the professed authors of these and other terrorist actions are still loose in South Florida as was clearly established during the trial?

Who trained them and who is allowing them to carry out their plans?

Who is really endangering the security of the United States of America?

They are the terrorist groups made up of Cuban Americans and their political and economic mentors in the US who erode the credibility of this country, giving this nation an appearance of ruthlessness and misleading its institutions to an inconsistent, prejudiced and erratic behavior. They are the same individuals who are an obstacle to a serious and sensitive approach to Cuba-related issues.

Such groups and their mentors have joined in a coordinated drive to bring about conflict between our two countries. To that end, they keep promoting in the legislative and the executive branches of government increasingly aggressive measures against Cuba.

They want to continue a long-standing history of invasions, sabotages, biological aggressions and other similar actions, while sparing no effort to create situations that might lead to incidents of grave consequences to both our peoples.

The result of such aggression against Cuba is that 3,478 people were killed and 2,099 were maimed between 1959 and 1999, not to mention very costly material losses.

They persist in their propaganda campaigns offering the US people a distorted image of Cuba and trying to prevent with different pretexts, laws and regulations, Americans from traveling freely to Cuba to know firsthand the real situation there. They also set every obstacle in areas of common interest such as illegal migration and drug-trafficking that brings so much pain to the American people.

All this is compounded by their constant requests for ever larger amounts of money from the government, thus affecting the American taxpayers, simply to finance their actions against Cuba. The enormous amount of money that keeps pouring into radio and TV broadcasts, as well as financing their contacts on the island, take away resources that could better be used to solve social problems affecting Americans.

There are recent examples of these groups' clout and pressures on the Miami community, its government agencies and even its judicial system.

It would be in the best interest of the American people to get rid of the bad influence of such extremists and terrorists who cause so much damage to the United States by breaking its own laws.

We have never done anything for money. We have always lived modestly and acted humbly, living up to the sacrifices of our own people.

We have always been moved by a strong sentiment of human solidarity, love for our homeland and contempt for that which goes against the dignity of the human being.

The defendants in this trial are in no way repentant of what we have done to defend our country. We declare ourselves not guilty and simply take comfort in the fact that we have honored our duty to our people and our homeland. Our loved ones understand the depth of the ideas that guide us and they will take pride in our sacrifices for Humanity in this struggle against terrorism and for the independence of Cuba.

Who are they?

René González Fernando González Antonio Guerrero Ramón Labañino Gerardo Hernández

Last video

Last galleries