- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2002

MIAMI (UPI) Outrage continued in Cuba this week over the convictions and sentencings last year of five Cuban spies for espionage activities in South Florida, including setting up Brothers to the Rescue for a MiG attack that killed four Miami men.
Three were sentenced to life in prison.
The Fidel Castro regime has called out millions of Cubans for "Free the Five" rallies, and the issue dominates the media.
A nightly roundtable show, "In the Entrails of the Monster," airs regular updates on the five prisoners, interviews with the families and letters and poems sent from jail.
Cuba agreed that the five were part of a state-sponsored undercover operation, but said they were not spying on the United States. Lazaro Barredo, a leader of Cuba's National Assembly, said in a statement published by the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times on Wednesday that the Cubans in fact infiltrated militant Cuban-American groups in Miami to protect Cuba from terrorism.
"The five never posed a risk to the national security of the United States. In fact, the U.S. should thank us for what those young men did," Mr. Barredo said.
The Cubans claim Miami exiles have staged a series of terrorist attacks on their country starting with the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, and including a string of hotel bombings in 1997 that killed one tourist and injured several others. Cuba claims 3,400 dead from U.S.-based terrorism since the Castro regime began in 1959.
When U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard sentenced the last of the five defendants last week, she said those purported attacks should not be considered.
"Whenever terrorism is committed against innocents, it is evil and it is wrong," she said. But she added, "The terrorist acts of others cannot excuse the actions of these defendants." She then sentenced Antonio Guerrero to life in prison for espionage conspiracy.


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