Who are the Cuban Five? Why did the FBI arrest them? Why are they still in prison in the United States? What makes them national heroes in their homeland? What does their case have to do with the war on terror? And why should their story matter to Americans?
Canadian journalist Stephen Kimber, the author of a new book — What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five — will tackle those and other questions in a number of appearances in book stores and community events in Washington DC, New York and Boston.
The Cuban Five — Gerardo Hernandez, René González, Ramon Labañino, Fernando González and Antonio Guerrero — were members of a Cuban intelligence network dispatched to South Florida in the early 1990s. Their job was to infiltrate and report back on militant exile groups planning terrorist attacks on Cuba.
Cuba even shared information on one of those plots – a plan to blow up an airplane carrying tourists to Cuba from Europe or Latin America – with the American government. Instead of charging the terrorist plotters, the FBI swooped in on September 12, 1998, and arrested Cuba’s intelligence agents.
After a controversial trial in hostile Miami, the Five were sentenced to unconscionably long prison terms. Four of the five are still in jail. One is serving a double-life-plus-15-year sentence.
September 12 marks the 15th anniversary of their arrests and Kimber’s tour is part of a larger campaign organized by the International Committee to Free the 5 to bring attention to the case and win the release of the remaining members of the Five.
Stephen Kimber, an award-winning Canadian journalist, is the Interim Director of the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Canada. He is the author of one novel and seven previous books of nonfiction.
CONTACT: Nancy Kohn, (617) 504-9773
(Spanish or English): Alicia Jrapko, (510) 219-0092
International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5
Copyright 2013 Stephen Kimber, Website