Cuban Five: 13 Years in U.S. Prisons

Havana, Sep 12. -Five Cuban antiterrorist fighters on Monday marked 13 years of unjust imprisonment in the United States, for monitoring anti-Cuban terrorist groups based in Miami.It is Time to Free the Five Cuban Anti-terrorists Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez were detained by U.S. authorities on September 12, 1998 and confined in punishment cells for 17 months before their case went to trial.

Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio were accused of spying against the United States, with the added charge of conspiracy to commit espionage, even they were not found to possess any classified documents.

The case of the Five, as they are universally known, was tried in Miami, which a federal appeal court described it as a "perfect storm" of prejudice.

The trial lasted over six months, the longest ever in the United States as of that date, and included testimony from three retired army generals who agreed that there was no evidence of espionage.

Seven months after the initial charges, Gerardo Hernandez was accused of the additional charge of conspiracy to commit murder, as a result of a public campaign to avenge a 1996 Cuban Air Force shootdown of two airplanes piloted by members of an extremist group. (Prensa Latina)