5 Cubans Convicted of Spying on U.S. While Exile Groups Continue Attacks on Havana
After a trial that lasted six months, five Cubans were convicted on June 8 of conspiring to spy on the United States for the Cuban government.
Gerardo Hernandez, reportedly the leader of the 14 member group, faces a possible life sentence after being found guilty of contributing to the deaths of four members of the Miami-based Cuban exile group Brothers to the Rescue, who planes were shot down by Cuban jet fighters after crossing over into Cuban airspace on Feb. 24, 1996.
Jose Basulto, founder of Brothers to the Rescue and the only survivor of the attack, dropped leaflets over Havana in the past, but maintains he never flew over Cuba. Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guererro, two of those convicted as spies, were allegedly assigned to gather information on U.S. military bases and also face life sentences.
H. Bruce Franklin is a cultural historian, author and professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers University. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the trial and the lack of media coverage in the U.S. (This interview segment is available in downloadable MP3 and RealAudio on radio newsmagazine Between The Lines' website www.btlonline.org for week ending 6/22/01).