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Commentary :: International
BTL:Federal Court Overturns"Cuban 5"Espionage Conviction, Calls for New Trial
19 Aug 2005
Interview with attorney Leonard Weinglass, conducted by Between the Lines' Denise Manzari
Federal Court Overturns "Cuban 5" Espionage Conviction, Calls for New Trial

Interview with attorney Leonard Weinglass, conducted by Denise Manzari

On Aug. 9, in a landmark decision, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Ga. overturned the convictions of the Cuban 5 and awarded them a new trial with a change in venue. The three-judge panel based their decision on the premise that the five men could not get a fair trial in Miami, a hotbed of anti-Castro activism.

The five men, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ruben Campa, Antonio Guerrero and Luis Medina are hailed as heroes in Cuba. Charged by the U.S. government with spying on U.S. military bases and exile leaders in Miami for Cuba, the five were arrested in Florida in 1998 and were tried and convicted of espionage, conspiracy and other charges.

However, the Cuban government claims the five were in Miami to monitor the actions of the violent, right-wing Cuban exile community in order to protect Cuba from terrorist attacks. All five remained incarcerated for almost three years before their trial began in Miami in 2001 which critics say was rife with prejudice, media bias and even juror harassment.

Two of the men were sentenced to 20 years and three were given life sentences. Leonard Weinglass is one of the attorneys representing Antonio Guerrero of the Cuban 5. Between The Lines' Denise Manzari spoke with him about the significance of the appeal and what it means for U.S.-Cuba relations.

For more information on the case, call the National Committee to Free the Five at (415) 821-6545 or visit their website at

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2005 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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