A story filed by Associated Press journalist Anita Snow last Tuesday, April 21, included the following sentences: “Obama could suffer serious political fallout if he agreed to swap the so-called Cuban Five — communist agents who were convicted of espionage in Miami in 2001. The ringleader was implicated in the death of four exiles killed when Cuban military fighters shot their planes down off the island’s coast in 1996.”
In a reflection published soon afterwards, Fidel wrote, “Isn’t that…an indirect threat to the president of the United States?”
Indeed it is a curious comment, detached from any person interviewed in the story, and therefore presumably Snow’s original creation. Nevertheless, the fallout Obama might expect to encounter through such a swap would likely rest with the minority of Cuban exiles in Miami who never voted for him in the first place. He won Florida without, or despite, them, and most U.S. citizens outside of Miami have little memory of the February 24, 1996 shootdown and less still of the Miami trial of five Cubans, five years later, where the U.S. Government, the families of the downed pilots and Cuban exiles with a long history of terrorist action against Cuba joined in a simmering fury in search of a victim.
Ultimately they found five victims, but their rage was focused on one in particular: the one Snow pejoratively calls the “ringleader,” Gerardo Hernandez. Continue reading