01 October 2008

Miami five and the bleeding hearts

This post is triggered by that post by Neil of A Cloud in Trousers. In which Neil joins the crowd of bleeding hearts demanding the release of five Cubans arrested by FBI in 1998 and put on trial for quite a few offenses (notice the source of the following quote, please):

There are a number of minor charges, including acting as agents of a foreign government without being registered with the US authorities (which the Five admit to), but the two main charges which three of them have been condemned to life sentences for are related to spying and murder.
I can agree with much of what Neil says: yes, Cuba is far from being a socialist heaven. Yes, the infamous US embargo on Cuba is stupid and only helps to perpetuate the Cuban regime. Yes, there is a strong possibility that the trial was partly rigged and the sentences dished out by the court were influenced by the venue.

However - the five never denied that they were Cuban intelligence agents, unlawfully operating on the territory of another country:
But the Five pointed out vigorously in their defense that they were involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
(You will have to scroll down a lot in the linked site or search for "Who are the Cuban Five?" on that page to get to that quote). Without resorting to legal terminology (which I cannot do anyway), these people were spying, no matter what legal term is fitting to their occupation while in Miami. No matter what the previous source (a Marxist one, to be sure) tries to prove. The verbal trickery of the "agents of foreign government" and "monitoring the actions of terrorist groups" kind is really pathetic. Imagine a USA spy caught in Cuba "monitoring the activities" of something.

They may have gotten harsher sentences than were due to them. That is, if you rely solely on Granma - sourced propaganda and decide to believe that every other charge but spying is false. That is if you forget what exactly it is DGI, the Cuban foreign intelligence service, does for a living. That is if you look at Desmond Tutu's and Harold Pinter's backsides as a sole source of that redeeming ray of hope.

In short - if you are ready to buy one-sided crap in unlimited doses.

Now ask yourself how many of the celebrities that join hands protesting the bitter fate of the Miami five have ever joined their manicured hands in protesting the fate of the jailed Cuban journalists, dissidents, the whole people? Does the name of Rev Tutu or that of Reb Pinter appear on one of these protests?

Yeah, but it's hardly relevant to the case we discuss here. Or is it?

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.