FBI Chief Admits Irregularities in Case of the Cuban Five

3-18-05, 1:56 pm

Former FBI Chief Confesses to Irregularities in Case of Cuban Five

Havana, Mar 18 (Prensa Latina) Nearly seven years after a farce of a trial, seven years after a long succession of cruel and degrading treatment, seven years after encouraging a campaign of media disinformation, a former Miami FBI bureau chief has admitted that the five Cubans imprisoned in the United States for defending their country against terrorism were not given access to some intelligence information relating to their case.

The confession was made on the airwaves of the right-wing Miami station, Radio Martí, in a dialogue with none other than Cuban-American terrorist leaders Luis Zuñiga Rey and Horacio García.

Confiding in this remarkable way was Héctor Pesquera, head of South Florida FBI bureau and the man primarily responsible for the arrest of the Cuban Five. The comment was made in the third of a series of five interviews filmed by Tele Martí for a program called 'There Had to be Silenced'.

Although the TV station's only viewers are its own producers, the program sound was diffused over Radio Martí last January 15 at 8pm.

The incredible declaration by the man who obsessively pursued the Cubans and viciously attached the 'spy' epithet to them, was made in answer to the following question by Zúñiga:

'Do you believe that at some moment the security of the United States was in danger or that they had access to some intelligence information that could be valuable to the enemies of the United States?' And Pesquera answered: 'No. For example, in the case of (Antonio) Guerrero a retrospective study of the information was made that he had taken, but the investigation was unable to determine if he had such intelligence information.'

It was clear - as the rest of the interview demonstrates - that Pesquera was speaking in an atmosphere of complete confidence. Aside from Zúñiga - an old acquaintance of the FBI - the former bureau chief was also in the presence of Horacio García who he had identified in another Miami television interview as a friend and FBI informer.

In fact, García was among the organizers of a celebration that took place in Miami after the condemning of the Five - a celebration Pesquera attended.

For years García was with Roberto Martin Pérez, Alberto Hernández and Feliciano Foyo, one of the capos of the paramilitary committee of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) begun by Luis Zúñiga Rey and the international terrorist Luis Posada Carilles who was publicly designated as his main source of financial and logistical support. García abandoned the CANF to join the current 'hard core' of Zúñiga Rey, some days before September 11.

Zúñiga, on the other hand, was actually designated by US President Bush as a member of the U.S. delegation to the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission!

This, in spite of the fact that according to a report by UN Special Rapporteur Enrique Bernales Ballesteros that he was an extremist directly involved in a terrorist campaign carried out in Cuba in 1997 by mercenaries hired by Luis Posada Carriles.

The series of interviews contains several other interesting declarations by Pesquera who Zúñiga servilely refers to as 'the FBI bureau chief' although he left that position in December of 2003.

Last January 22 - again in the same series diffused by the badly named Radio Martí along with García and Zúñiga - Pesquera made another confession that allows one to ascertain how he had arrived from Puerto Rico with instructions to proceed at all cost against the group of Cubans who had infiltrated terrorist organizations in Miami:

'I arrived here in May, 1998. They informed me of what was going on. We then began to stress that this investigation into the effects of intelligence should no longer remain as is, but should change direction and become a criminal investigation.'

And then, the creator of the case against the Cuban Five reveals: 'I had many problems convincing the Justice Department of this.'

This statement once again confirms what Pesquera had declared some days before going into retirement in an interview granted to Miami Herald reporter Larry Lebowitz in 2003. He said that he was obliged to 'persuade' U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno to arrest the Cuban patriots.

'Others in the Justice Department didn't want to touch this', he recalled, adding, 'Everything was on the line (of demarcation).'

We should remember that on October27, 1997, the U.S. Coast Guard captured off Puerto Rico an arsenal of weapons along with several suspects aboard a yacht named 'Esperanza'. All were linked, in one way or another, to the CANF in Miami.

In spite of the spontaneous confession of one of the crew that the yacht was bound for the Venezuelan island of Margarita to murder the Cuban president attending an international forum there, Pesquera's investigation made sure that all those inculpated were freed. Again, Pesquera attended the resulting celebration organized by the CANF.

On September 12, 1998, barely four months after their arrival in Miami, Pesquera sent his agents to arrest the Cuban 'spies' as he was to label them in his first contact with the press on the subject.

The operation against people that didn't have the slightest criminal record was worthy of Hollywood. The suspects were thrown to the floor by men armed to the teeth, then taken to the Miami FBI headquarters where they were isolated in punishment cells, intensely interrogated for two days during which they were neither allowed to wash nor to shave, and then photographed.

It was those pictures depicting supposedly hardened criminal faces that were used by a hysterical press that had been bought and paid for by the Miami right-wing.

Violating every prison norm and international agreements against torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, Pesquera and his FBI accomplices kept the Cubans locked up in solitary confinement this way for a full 17 months.

René González, Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and Fernando González continue to be incarcerated today, for purely malicious reasons, in five different prisons spread out over the immense U.S. territory forbidden or severely restricted to have contact with their families.

Finally, it is always worth remembering that while he was persecuting these Cuban patriots who were fighting against terrorism, Pesquera had no knowledge of the fact that 15 of the 19 real terrorists who carried out the September 11 attacks against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, were training only a few kilometers from his office.