Hidden Injustice Surrounding The Five
by István Ojeda Bello
Feb. 12, 2009
Reprinted from Periodico26
The judicial system and the U.S. government reverse their decisions again and again. The sole purpose is to keep "their" terrorists on the streets while persisting in the arbitrary imprisonment of the Cuban Five.
Terms like "change of venue", "fair trial" or "the struggle against terrorism" seem to make sense when they support the political interests of the moment. That is the only possible conclusion after observing what happened in legal proceedings involving Jeffrey K. Skilling, ENRON ex-chairman and ex- CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles; compared with how they have developed the various episodes of the Cuban heroes trial.
The Supreme Court of the United States will review the current standards on the change of venue for a defendant tried in a city where there is a hostile and prejudiced background. The determination is therefore relevant, not for having remembered the existence of the Cuban Heroes, but that the court accepted the appeal presented by Jeffrey K. Skilling.
The ex-head of ENRON felt he did not have a fair trial because it took place in Houston, Texas, the same city where most of the 20 000 employees who lost their jobs following the bankruptcy of the Company lived.
The Supreme Court has a very flexible notion of what it means to assure a fair trial for defendants. They accept the appeal of a "prominent" former executive of a leading company, who held key financial posts under several administrations; but not for five Cubans whose only crime was to ensure the safety of Cuba and the United States.
Meanwhile the executive branch tries to look away and not see the tsunami coming. The White House has received 20,000 cards mailed with a single claim for Obama to assert his constitutional prerogatives and drop the charges against the Five.
Silence is the only resource in Washington before a manifest inability to show a coherent policy for combating terrorism. If prosecutors have been extremely diligent in keeping the Five Cubans imprisoned; it borders on the ridiculous incompetence of the Justice Department to put behind bars one of the worst murderers in recent history of the continent.
Luis Posada Carriles keeps managing to squirm to end his fraud trial. Posada now offers the grounds that he lied to immigration officials because he was "confused, wrong and suffered from a lack of memory." He is saying in other words that he could "expose" the dirty laundry of the CIA in violent actions against Cuba.
Washington quickly noted this and continues to do everything possible to keep under lock and key the secrets of the decades that Posada was the star CIA agent attacking Cuba.
Curiously using the handy argument of the danger to "national security" if those links came to light; they argued to keep the five thousand documents, allegedly evidence of guilt, away from the eyes of the defence team.
As we say in good Cuban: the good guys are prisoners and the bad guys drink martinis in their houses.