At their trial, evidence was presented that the Five had infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue (a Miami-based organization which had on numerous occasions entered Cuban airspace and dropped leaflets into Cuba), had obtained employment at the Key West Naval Air Station in order to send the Cuban government reports about the base, and had attempted to penetrate the Miami facility of US Southern Command
On February 24, 1996, two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft were shot down by Cuban military jets in international airspace while flying away from Cuban airspace, killing the four US citizens aboard.
One of the Five, Gerardo Hernández, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, for supplying information to the Cuban government which led to the shootdown.
The Five appealed their convictions and the lack of fairness in their trial has received international criticism
The US Supreme Court declined to review the case.
The Cuban government, whose agents the Five were, points out that since the 1959 Cuban Revolution there has been a long history of acts of terrorism being committed against Cuba by those opposed to the Revolution. It claims that US-based exile groups such as Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU), Alpha 66, and Omega 7 committed such acts during the 1960s and 1970s with impunity. In a 2001 report by Cuba's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the Cuban government cataloged 3,478 deaths as a result of "terrorism", "aggression", "acts of piracy and other actions"
The events cited span the course of four decades and pertain to attacks such as the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 by men trained by the Central Intelligence Agency, and the CIA-supported Bay of Pigs invasion and the War Against the Bandits between the government and anti-communist rebels in the Escambray Mountains (see also Operation Mongoose and United States and state terrorism#Cuba (1956-present)). As a result, the Cuban government had long sought to combat these groups.
A letter signed by hundreds of people was delivered at the US embassy in Santo Domingo, which stresses that René González, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González have been the victims of an unjust policy on the part of the United States.
The letter, addressed to President Barack Obama, requests the US head of state the immediate release of the prisoners.
In Nicaragua, Trinchera newspaper published an article on the conference offered by political scientist Noam Chomsky at Mexico.s Autonomous University (UNAM), in which he defined the legal process against these five Cubans as an example of .the hypocritical policy of the US government against terrorism..
The newspaper points out that Chomsky described the trial against these men in Miami as shameful and absurd.
The imprisonment in the United States of five Cuban men for monitoring Florida-based groups to prevent violent actions against the island is causing increasing rejection in several parts of the world.In Moscow, Serguei Baburin, rector of the Russian State University of Economy and Trade, complained over Washington.s refusal to listen to international personalities, parliaments and governments from all over the world who are demanding the release of the Cuban Five.
The case of Elian González, a six year-old boy forcefully retained by his unknown great-uncles against the will of his father and in clear defiance of US law and decency was widely reported by media around the world. Miami, the place of the kidnapping, became a kind of secessionist city in North America when the Mayor, the chief of police, the politicians, every newspaper and local radio and TV broadcasters, together with religious and business institutions, joined with some of the most notorious terrorist and violent groups in opposing the courts' and government's orders to free the boy.
Several political rallies in solidarity with the Five Cuban antiterrorists incarcerated in the United States will be held this week in Spain and Guatemala, according to announcements made in these two cities.
The meetings will be carried out to protest for the unjust incarceration of Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, Ramón Labañino and René González, who will have been imprisoned 11 years on Saturday, the Prensa Latina news agency reports.
The members of the Free the Five regional committees will assemble in front of the US embassy in Madrid and of the US consulates in Valencia, Seville and Asturias, among other Spanish cities.
By way of a manifesto, the Valencian Community Committee, made up by several solidarity-with-Cuba groups, will join the international campaign in defense of these patriots.
The document recalls that the world crusade in favor of this cause was supported by 10 Nobel Prize winners, hundreds of parliamentarians from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and figures from religious, academic, cultural and human rights institutions from around the world.
For its part, the Free the Five State Committee, in a letter addressed to US President Barack Obama and several top figures of his administration, has demanded the immediate release of these five men.
Meanwhile, in a press conference, the Guatemalan Solidarity-with-Cuba Committee denounced the current situation of The Five and confirmed the celebration of its first national meeting on September 11th and 12th.
"We want to raise our voices to denounce the outrages the imperialism has committed against the dignity and self-determination of Guatemala and the peoples in The Americas, in this case with the Five Cuban antiterrorists", they pointed outStumble It!