Tag Archives: victorville

The Habeas Corpus Appeal of Gerardo Hernández, one of the Cuban Five: he had no advance knowledge about Brothers to the Rescue shoot down

No evidence exists that Hernández had any advance knowledge whatsoever regarding Cuban Air Force shoot down of Brothers to the Rescue planes – inferences made at trial were “tragically, utterly false”español

Machetera

“Gerardo Hernández never did receive due process of law either on the part of the prosecutors or his own defense.”
Leonard Weinglass

Gerardo Hernández

Attorneys for Gerardo Hernández, a Cuban citizen serving two consecutive life sentences plus 15 years in the maximum security wing of the US Federal Penitentiary at Victorville, California have filed his final appeal in the US legal system. The evidence supporting his right to a new trial is staggering.

Hernández is one of ten Cubans who, like the Russian agents arrested in the summer of 2010 in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, were arrested by the FBI in Miami in 1998 and charged with failing to register as agents of a foreign government, as well as  conspiracy to commit espionage. Unlike the Russians, who were swiftly deported and never faced a trial, five of the arrested Cubans quickly pled guilty and were rewarded with reduced sentences and green cards, while the remaining five, including Hernández, were thrown into separate solitary confinement cells for nearly a year and a half to await their court date. All the evidence for, against, and irrelevant to their cases was locked away by federal authorities under cover of national security. The government’s manipulation of the evidence is one of the issues raised in the appeal. Continue reading

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Teaching the Miami Herald to read: Gerardo Hernández’s habeas corpus appeal

On Sunday, December 28, Jay Weaver filed a story for the Miami Herald about the habeas corpus appeal for Gerardo Hernández, one of the “Cuban Five” who is currently serving a double life sentence in the maximum security federal prison at Victorville, California.  The article was subsequently translated for publication in the Herald’s Spanish language subsidiary, El Nuevo Herald.  The story and its headline (“In about-face, Cuban spy says planes were shot down over international waters”) made the sensational claim that in his appeal, Hernández had made a 180 degree turn, and is now contradicting the Cuban government’s position regarding the events of February 24, 1996, when two light aircraft belonging to the Miami group “Brothers to the Rescue” were shot down by Cuban fighter jets after being led toward Cuban airspace by their commander, José Basulto.

Sensationalism certainly attracts readers.  But it is not a substitute for a well-researched story, or the truth.  A careful reading of Hernández’s appeal does not lead to the conclusion stated by Weaver or the Herald.  I will write further about this in upcoming posts.  For now, these are my comments at both the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald (Spanish below). Continue reading