Did U.S. government pay journalists to write "incendiary stories"?

Members of the "Cuban Five"

The U.S. National Committee to Free The Cuban Five has called a press conference for June 2, 2010 in Washington to reveal what it says is “new evidence that the U.S. Government has covertly paid tens of thousands of dollars to Miami journalists working for major media outlets” to publish “incendiary stories” about the case. The committee says it will name names and provide details on the amounts of the payments to each journalist.

The information was uncovered through a freedom of information request last year to the American Board of Broadcast Governors, demanding details of U.S. government payments to the journalists. Although the committee received some documents, it plans to go to court to get what it calls “critical underlying documents” the BBG still refuses to release.

During the press conference, the Free the Five Committee also plans to unveil details of a new nationwide campaign “to provide remedy and relief to the Cuban Five based on the U.S. government’s misconduct and covert operations which deprived the Five of their fundamental right to a fair trial.”

In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the Five’s 2001 convictions based on the fact that they couldn’t get a fair trial in the highly-charged anti-Castro atmosphere in Miami.

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