The "Five Cuban Heroes" proclaimed by the Cuban regime were actually part of a network of 12 spies that infiltrated the U.S. In addition to the five spies who maintained their innocence but were convicted in a jury trial (with no Cuban-American jurors), five pleaded guilty to charges of spying in exchange for reduced sentences, one was deported, and one fled to Cuba to escape arrest. The trials cost U.S. taxpayers
one million dollars to provide the defendants with a free legal representation. An appeals court is reviewing the five spies' conviction.
Confirmed by the Cuban embassy in Syria:
September 12: The FBI arrests a group of "Cuban spies at 5.30 A.M. they are members of the Wasp Net; they are named:René González, Antonio Guerrero, Luis Medina, Rubén Campa and Manuel Viramontes. Other names are given until reaching 10, among them two women, but according to the statements, the main ones, are the first mentioned."
a text that conveniently disappeared on thye new version of the site where the Wasp network was no longer mentioned when the site was unified with others:
Cuba originally denied they were Cuban agents.
The Cuban regime initially denied the five men were Cuban agents; it took almost three years, after the spies' conviction, for the regime to acknowledge that the five spies were in fact acting under its orders and that they were "heroes."
Complicit in extra-judicial killing.
The regime is silent on the fact that the ringleader of the spies, intelligence agent Gerardo Hernandez, was found guilty of being closely involved in the Cuban air force's shoot-down of two civilian planes, over international waters, that resulted in the deaths of four persons.
"The US government's espionage case also became enmeshed with an incident that happened in February 1996, in which Cuban air force jets shot down two of three Cessna aircraft flying toward Havana. Four pilots, members of the anti-Castro exile group, Brothers to the Rescue, were killed. Several of the Wasp network agents had infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue, including Rene Gonzalez, the pilot. In addition to charges related to information-gathering and the sending of "nonpublic" information to a foreign power, Gerardo Hernandez was charged with contributing to the deaths of the four pilots for passing along to Cuban intelligence information about the group's planned fly-over. Several other Cubans who were eventually indicted in the incident fled to Cuba before they could be arrested."
Spying on military installations.
The object of the five's spying was not solely the anti-Castro community in Miami, as the Cuban regime maintains. Among the U.S. military installations of particular interest to the five spies was the Central Command located in Tampa, which focuses on the Middle East and has no operational responsibilities for Latin America.
Confirmed by one of the spies in the Avispa ring at her trial:
"In Miami, the indictment states, Marisol Gari helped keep tabs on security at the CANF headquarters and helped manage another agent in his bid to get a job at Southcom, which oversees American military operations in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Gari also is accused of preparing a report for her Cuban bosses comparing the costs of U.S. mail service, Federal Express and other mail handlers."
The Miami Herald September 14, 2001
Lawyer: Accused spy to plead guilty
"Alleged Cuban spies George and Marisol Gari, known in their intelligence-gathering cell as Luis and Margot, reported to at least two of the five spies convicted in June, U.S. Attorney Guy Lewis said Saturday.
The FBI, meanwhile, said the low-profile couple arrested in Orlando on Friday also reported at times to alleged fugitive spy Ricardo Villareal, also known as Hector. "He is probably in Cuba,'' said Judy Orihuela, spokeswoman for the FBI in Miami.
A federal indictment -- born out of the ongoing crackdown against La Red Avispa, or The Wasp Network, Cuban spy organization -- accuses the couple of trying to gain access to mail going to the Cuban American National Foundation and attempting to infiltrate Miami-Dade County's Southern Command."
Couple accused of reporting to two Cuban spies
An indictment says George and Marisol Gari tried to gain access to CANF mail and Southern Command.
Herald Staff Report. Published Sunday, September 2, 2001"
"A husband and wife who lived in Miami for about eight years were arrested in Orlando on Friday and charged with being part of a now-dismantled Cuban spy ring -- the latest salvo against Fidel Castro's foreign espionage apparatus on U.S. soil.
A federal indictment accuses George Gari, 41, and Marisol Gari, 42, of being agents for the Cuban Directorate of Intelligence who assisted in two primary goals: trying to infiltrate West Miami-Dade's Southern Command headquarters and to penetrate the inner circles of the Cuban American National Foundation, a prominent Cuban exile group.
The couple allegedly belonged to Cuba's La Red Avispa, or Wasp Network, which the FBI busted in September 1998. Five high-ranking intelligence agents from the group were convicted on federal spying-related charges in June. Those men are awaiting sentencing."
Couple belonged to Cuba spy ring, FBI says
Husband, wife are arrested in Orlando
By Gail Epstein Nieves, Lesley Clark and Sara Olkon. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published Saturday, September 1, 2001
But evidence showed that Labañino supervised other spies in their efforts to infiltrate U.S. military installations -- an offense that U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard found worthy of the maximum punishment as recommended under federal sentencing guidelines.
The proceedings continue today with the sentencing of spy René González.
Labañino, in a politically charged 47-minute speech, said he and his fellow spies were defending Cuba's interests by monitoring for a possible U.S. invasion and by countering exile-sponsored "terrorism'' against the island."
The Miami Herald
December 14, 2001
2nd Cuban agent given life term for espionage
"On 12 September 1998 the FBI arrested 10 people associated with the "La Red Avispa," or the Red Wasp Network ring, including eight men and two women in their various south Florida residences. They were accused of spying on US military installations and anti-Castro exile groups in south Florida and transmitting this information to Cuba. Among the military installations the group attempted to infiltrate were the US Southern Command Headquarters in Miami, MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, and Boca Chica Naval Air Station in Key West. The group's goals included documenting activities, exercises, and trends at the installations; monitoring anti-Castro groups and disrupting their plans; and developing positions of vantage from which to warn Cuban intelligence of impending military strikes against Cuba."
"HERNANDEZ, LINDA and her husband NILO HERNANDEZ, 46, were members of the Wasp Network, a Cuban spy ring in south Florida. Linda, 43, was born in New York but returned to Cuba where she grew up and married Nilo. In 1983 the couple returned to the United States where he later became an American citizen. In 1992 they were "activated" as spies and ordered to move from New York to Miami. They were arrested on 12 September 1998 along with eight other members of the ring. [See also Gerardo Hernandez and Alejandro Alonso.] Linda was charged with attempting to collect information for the Cuban Intelligence Service by infiltrating a right-wing Cuban exile group called Alpha 66. Nilo counted aircraft at nearby Homestead Air Force Base and reported using a shortwave radio. Although the information they passed to Cuba was in the public domain, in a plea bargain, the pair pled guilty to acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government. Each was sentenced to seven years in prison in US District court in Miami on 23 February 2000."
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