people of terrorist actions by the Cuban American mob.

Last June 8, five fellow countrymen who in the very entrails of the monster risked their lives daily to discover and inform on the terrorist plans hatched against our people by the Cuban American Mafiosi under the tolerant eye, and with the complicity, of the U.S. authorities, were declared guilty of infamous and false charges in a Miami court of law.

A rigged, prejudiced and misinformed jury, working under tremendous pressure brought on them by the authorities, the media and the poisoned and stinking atmosphere of Miami, have declared them guilty of grossly manipulated and deceitful charges which were never proved but for which they could be sentenced to remain for the rest of their lives in hostile, ruthless and subhuman jails in the United States of America.

All sorts of outrages and humiliations have been practiced against them, including punishment in solitary confinement cells for long periods of time; three of them have spent up to 17 months there deprived of all contact with their immediate families.

Given the nature of their heroic mission, it was necessary to wait for the development of the long and sinister process from their detention until the unfair decision passed by the jury, before we could begin to expose and denounce the shameful conduct of the Miami law enforcement and judicial authorities. After almost three years of anonymous and exemplary heroism, the time has come to display the whole truth.

Based on a moving message addressed to the American people and signed by our five fellow countrymen, today the true history will begin to come up in successive televised round tables. Our people will be given every possible detail on the subject that do not affect the indispensable need to preserve methods, tactics and information sources that should be protected.

Our countrymen, who have become the victims of such an atrocious injustice while discharging a sacred duty with their nation, are not ignorant or unprincipled people but rather well-educated men with deep moral and patriotic convictions. They are: René González Sehwerert, a flight instructor and a specialist in aviation technology; Ramón Labañino Salazar, a Major in Economy, graduated suma cum laude at the Havana University; Fernando Gonzalez Llort, a Major in International Relations from the "Raúl Roa García" Higher Education Institute; Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, a civil engineer specialized in the construction of airways and Gerrardo Hernández Nordelo, also a Major in International Relations graduated from the "Raúl Roa García" Higher Education Institute.

Following is the full text of the message addressed to the American people by the five Cuban patriots from the rigorous jail in Miami where they are unfairly and cruelly being kept prisoners:


"We are five loyal Cubans, who for 33 months and five days have endured a severe imprisonment in the jails of a nation where hostility against our own is obvious with its authorities. Then, after a long and infamous trial directed by manifestly political objectives, methods and procedures and overwhelmed by a real deluge of maliciously concocted propaganda, we have decided to address the American people to let them know the truth, that we are the victims of a terrible injustice.

"We have been accused of endangering the security of the United States and indicted on numerous charges, including crimes such as conspiracy to commit murder that could not, and cannot, be proven for they are false but for which we could be sentenced to dozens of years of imprisonment and even to life sentences.

"A body of Miami jurors, and this explains it all, declared us guilty of all charges. But we are just Cuban patriots and it was never our intent to cause any harm to neither the values nor the integrity of the American people.

"Our tiny nation, that has heroically survived four decades of aggressions and threats to its national security, of subversive plans, sabotages and destabilization, has every right to defend itself from its enemies who keep using the U.S. territory to plan, organize and finance terrorist actions breaking your own laws in the process.

"Our country is also entitled to peace, respect for its sovereignty and for our most sacred interests.

"In the four years that we have spent in this country, we have never stopped wondering why is it that our two peoples cannot live in peace and how is it possible that the mean interests of the extreme right, including terrorist groups and organizations made up by Cuban Americans, can strain relations between two peoples that are so close geographically and that could easily maintain relations based on respect and equality.

"In our prison stay we have had the time to reflect on our behavior in this country and we can say, without the shadow of a doubt, that neither with our attitude nor our actions have we in any way interfered with, or jeopardized the security of, the American people. What we have certainly done is contribute to exposing terrorist plans and actions against our people, thus preventing the death of innocent Cubans and Americans.

"Why is it necessary for Cuban patriots to stay away from their loved ones and postpone an otherwise joyful life with their families and people to discharge the honorable duty of protecting their homeland?

"Why are the U.S. authorities tolerant with these terrorists who act against our country? Why don’t they investigate or take action against the terrorist plans denounced by Cuba or try to prevent the numerous attempts against the life of our leaders?

"Why is it that the professed authors of these and other terrorist actions are still loose in South Florida as was clearly established during the trial?

"Who trained them and who are allowing them to carry out their plans?

"Who are those really endangering the security of the United States of America?

"They are the terrorist groups made up by Cuban Americans and their political and economic mentors in America who are gnawing away at the credibility of this country, giving this nation an appearance of ruthlessness and misleading its institutions to an inconsistent, prejudiced and erratic behavior. They are the same individuals who forestall a serious and sensitive approach to Cuba related issues.

"Such groups and their mentors have joined in a coordinated drive to bring about conflict between our two countries. To that end, they keep promoting with both the legislative and the executive branches of government increasingly aggressive measures against Cuba.

"They want to continue to update a long-standing history of invasions, sabotages, biological aggressions and other similar actions, while sparing no effort to create situations that might lead to incidents of grave consequences to both our peoples.

"The result of such aggressions against Cuba is that 3478 people were killed and 2099 were maimed between 1959 and 1999, notwithstanding very costly material losses.

"Yet, they persist in their propaganda campaigns offering the American people a distorted image of Cuba and trying to prevent with different pretexts, laws and regulations that Americans travel freely to Cuba to know first hand the real situation there. Likewise, they set every obstacle to cooperation in areas of common interest such as illegal migration and drug-trafficking that brings so much pain to the American people.

"All this is compounded by constant requests for ever higher and fresh amounts of money from the government, thus affecting the American taxpayers, simply to finance their actions against Cuba. The enormous amounts of money that keep pouring into radio and TV broadcastings, as well as to financing their subjects on the island, take away resources that could better be used to cope with social problems afflicting Americans.

"There are recent examples of these groups’ clout and pressures on the Miami community, its government agencies and even its judicial system.

"It would be in the best interest of the American people to get rid of the bad influence of such extremists and terrorists that cause so much damage to the United States by breaking its own laws.

"We have never done anything for money. We have always lived modestly and acted humbly, living up to the sacrifices of our own people.

"We have always been moved by a strong sentiment of human solidarity, love for our homeland and contempt for that which goes against the dignity of the human person.

"The defendants in this trial are in no way repentant of what we have done to defend our country. We declare ourselves non guilty and simply take comfort in the fact that we have honored our duty to our people and our homeland. Our loved ones understand the depth of the ideas that guide us and they will take pride in our sacrifices for Humanity in this struggle against terrorism and for the independence of Cuba.

René Gonzalez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez Llort, Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernández. (signatures)

June 17, 2001