The year 2001 was a very bad year for the people of the world. It started with the inauguration of an illegitimate president, George W. Bush.
With the assistance of five U.S. Supreme Court justices and his brother, Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida, the Bush campaign stole the election. Thousands of African Americans were disenfranchised in the process, as well as many seniors, Haitian and Latino voters. This crime was never prosecuted by law enforcement officials.
In many countries of the world, heads of state have been forced from office for such corruption, but not so here. As a result of this great theft, much has been done against the American people in favor of the Bush administration’s corporate interests.
Bush claimed that his agenda would make things better for the American people, yet he rewarded his masters with tax cuts, built the war budget to astronomical heights, pulled out of the ABM treaty and restarted Star Wars, which had already been shelved under the Reagan administration. With these actions the Bush administration has stated that what is good for the bloated billionaire class is good for America.
Yet the horrific events of Sept. 11 have turned the country’s and world’s attention to fighting terrorism. Bush insists on fighting terrorism on his own terms, with very narrow interests. The worst case of injustice in that regard is what took place at the end of 2001 in South Florida.
Five Cubans, Gerardo Hérnandez, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René Gonzalez and Fernando Gonzalez were sentenced in Miami to prison for spying on United States military installations. This charge is a monstrous lie. But what is the truth in this matter?
Five Cubans had infiltrated the circle of Cuban emigrés who have been attempting to destroy Cuba with the assistance and backing of the CIA and the FBI. These five Cubans had been relaying information to the Cuban government on the activities of these criminals who have been violating U.S. laws and international law.
Joseph Basulto is one of the main criminals who heads Brothers to the Rescue, a group that is considered terrorist by many, including the Cuban government. Two of the convicted Cubans, who had been alerting the Cuban government about the activities of Basulto, were given life sentences.
The prosecution stated that giving information to the Cuban government about these pilots who flew over Cuban territory and were shot down was tantamount to being responsible for their murders. Yet Basulto had said that he was planning to drop bombs on Havana in his next trip.
After Sept. 11 many talked about the need for better intelligence to prevent terrorist attacks and loss of life. Here is the most blatant injustice against these Cubans who were really preventing a conflict between the United States and Cuba. The hypocrisy is maddening.
When the U.S. sends the CIA into other countries to get information about terrorists, it’s accepted. However when terrorism is perpetrated from U.S. shores, even with government backing against Cuba, then that terrorism is perfectly OK. Terrorism has been perpetrated by the CIA against Cuba for 42 years.
President Bush, stop the terrorism in the U.S., too. Arrest the criminals who live in Miami who have placed bombs in Cuban hotels, dropped poisons on their crops and have killed innocent Cubans. As a good faith measure, since the U.S. is using Guantanamo Bay, located on Cuba, as a prison for Taliban and al Qaeda fighters, the government should free the Cuban 5 and congratulate them for preventing terrorist attacks.
John Gilman is a long-time peace and justice activist in Wisconsin. He has been recognized by the Cuban government for his efforts in building friendship between the people of the U.S. and Cuba.