From recent reviews of What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five


“With surgeon-like skill, Kimber dissects, bottom up, an injustice perpetrated at the highest levels on Cuban patriots acting for their government with few financial resources in a hostile foreign country… An important and riveting book.”
Chris Benjamin
Atlantic Books Today

“What Lies Across the Water connects the dots between the Cuban American National Foundation — an influential lobby group of Cuban exiles living in the U.S., the Brothers to the Rescue organization and paramilitary operations meant to violently overthrow the Cuban government and assassinate Fidel Castro… Those looking for truthful testimony about the Cuban Five will find that What Lies Across the Water makes a compelling and damning case.”
Yutaka Dirks

“With this important new book Kimber does a masterful job of showcasing his abundant talents as an investigative journalist and popular writer… What is remarkable is how he picked up this story, and began to collect all available information about it and to study it prodigiously. What is surprising is that he ended up putting so much meticulous work into uncovering the details of this exceptional story. What Lies Across the Water is easy to read, written almost like a novel. It is packed with information and entertains as well as informs.”
Charles Spurr
Media Co-op

“Far from being a boring account of deeds and misdeeds, Kimber employs eloquent prose and an enjoyable style to draw the reader into the tangled layers of terrorism and murder, espionage and deception, propaganda and myths, life sentences and impunity, meanness and hatred, love and sacrifice, romance and solitude, patriotism and delusion, good intentions and bad, and lies, lies, and more lies.”
Dawn Gable
Havana Times

“[The book] is fruit of a research carried out by someone who at the start was not a defender or sympathizer with the cause of The Five. Kimber, as many of the thousand Canadians who visit Cuba, probably bumped more than once into a propaganda poster written with naiveté or linguistic clumsiness; or heard someone speak with admiration of The Five Heroes. But he knew almost nothing when he started his research… It is not a lengthy work, difficult to read; quite the opposite. Its light and clear language allows readers to move along the episodes of the conflict, and finish in a few hours a story that captured them from the first page. It is the work of a master journalist, a great writer, and above all an honest intellectual committed only to what he could verify on his own.
Ricardo Alarcón

“Kimber’s account of the Cuban Five comes with a bit of bias. However, it’s ultimately a compelling read, but only after you doggedly surmount its difficult structure.”
Douglas J. Johnston
Winnipeg Free Press

Publication of What Lies Across the Water, Stephen Kimber’s book about Cuban anti-terrorists serving wildly extravagant terms in U.S. jails, is a remarkable event… The author’s clear, flowing, and often seat-gripping, even entertaining, narrative is an added plus. The book is highly recommended.
W.T. Whitney

The book is available from the publisher, Fernwood Publishing, selected bookstores,, and other retailers.


    In last week’s Washington Post, Canadian Professor Stephen Kimber wrote an oped defending five Cuban spies, part of a broader and complex espionage network known as the Red Avispa (“Wasp Network”), who were duly convicted by a federal jury for their illegal activities against the United States.

    We commend The Washington Post for allowing Prof. Kimber to present his defense, which stands in stark contrast to the five Cuban spies’ bosses in Havana, who punish diverging opinions with torture, imprisonment and potentially even death, as famed Castro regime critic Oswaldo Paya may have recently been a victim of.

    Perhaps for his next act, Prof. Kimber will defend the countless innocent Cubans who have been victims of the Castro regime’s arbitrary and subjugated judiciary, with the same zeal as he defends these five convicted Cuban spies who were granted complete due process by our independent judiciary.

    However, while Prof. Kimber is entitled to his own opinion, he’s not entitled to his own facts.

    For example, Prof. Kimber absurdly claims the so-called Cuban Five are venerated on the island as “national heroes.” As he is surely aware, Cuba is a totalitarian dictatorship, where all means of communication are controlled by the Castro brothers. Thus, if the Cuban Five constantly appear on national television and billboards across the country, it’s not because they are venerated by the Cuban people — it’s because the dictatorship compels it.

    Prof. Kimber also seeks to justify the Cuban Five’s penetration of U.S. military bases, including the U.S. Southern and Central Command and Ft. Bragg, by claiming the Castro regime was somehow legitimately concerned about a U.S. invasion. The Castro brothers didn’t need such information from these spies, for it had been fully aware that the U.S. had no intention of invading Cuba, courtesy of its well-placed spies in the most senior levels of the Pentagon and the State Department — namely Ana Belen Montes and Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers, who are all currently serving long prison terms. Based on Prof. Kimber’s rationale, where Montes and the Myers’ convictions unmerited also?

    And what about the eight other members of the Wasp Network, who cooperated with the U.S. authorities, received light sentences and were even permitted to stay here and live in freedom. Were they treated unfairly?

    Prof. Kimber then argues that the Cuban Five could not have been tried by a “reasonable jury” in Miami, home to so many Cuban exiles. Yet, he fails to mention that not a single Cuban exile served on the juries that convicted the Cuban Five.

    Throughout his defense, Prof. Kimber alludes to a host of alleged plots supposedly uncovered by Cuban agents. It’s worth noting that his source is the Castro dictatorship itself, which began lying since before it even took power in 1959, with the promise of free elections, and continues lying to this day, as was documented by this summer’s attempt to smuggle Cuban heavy weaponry to North Korea hidden under 10,000 pounds of sugar. Moreover, the Cuban regime itself remains a U.S.-designated “state-sponsor of terrorism.”

    Finally, to add insult to injury, Prof. Kimber unequivocally states that the ringleader of the Cuban Five, Gerardo Hernandez, was not aware of Castro regime’s 1996 plan to shoot-down two civilian Cessna planes, belonging to the humanitarian group Brothers to the Rescue, which resulted in the murder of three Americans and a U.S. resident (see below). He must be unaware of Operacion Escorpion (“Operation Scorpion”), the code-name used by Hernandez and the spy network for the operation to shoot-down the civilian planes.

    During an interview last month, Edgerton Ivor Levy, one of the members of the Wasp Network who cooperated with U.S. authorities, warned about the intention and determination of the Castro regime to harm U.S. national security.

    Ivor stated that, “the real objective of Cuban espionage in the United States is to penetrate and influence the various spheres of government, the military, academia, the media and social organizations.”

    We hope The Washington Post gives its readers the opportunity to hear the facts that Prof. Kimber selectively omits.


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