The topic of the five Interior Ministry fighters imprisoned in the United States, may be the issue that has occupied the greatest amount of space in the Cuban media in the last ten years. If two teams of film makers, one Cuban and one American, each proposed to make a film about them and each used only the information published in its respective countries, without a doubt we could see two completely different movies.
In Cuba they are The Five Heroes, young intellectuals who, without doing any harm to American interests, infiltrated at the risk of their lives the counterrevolutionary groups in Florida to prevent terrorist actions against their own people.
In the United States, they are five of the ten spies of the Wasp Network sentenced to long prison terms for dedicating themselves professionally to collecting sensitive information that affected national security and for conspiring to assassinate four pilots from the group Brothers to the Rescue, who were shot down in international waters by Cuban airplanes thanks to information they provided.
But there is no paragraph that could summarize the farrago of information from one side or the other shedding light or throwing shadows on the topic. As a Cuban living on the island, I should feel grateful for the work of Gerardo, René, Ramón, Antonio and Fernando. The figure of 3,478 Cubans dead by terrorist acts is invoked as a devastating argument to justify an information network in the country where most of those violent acts have been organized. I could have been one of these victims and if someone is doing something to protect me, what option do I have but to recognize it.
What confuses me a little is the figure used in a document published in June 1999, a year after the five were imprisoned, titled: Demand from the Cuban people for redress from the United States government for human damages. If the United States government is responsible for these terrorist activities, as stated in the fifth chapter of this Demand, how did the Wasp Network operate to find out what “the Miami mafia” was doing without the knowledge of the United States government, which the Demand accuses of the greatest guilt? The only way to reduce the guilt of the five would be to reduce the supposed guilt of the USA with regards to terrorism against Cuba.
The eight medical students shot in November 1871 by the Spaniards are known as The Innocents. Che Guevara has the epithet The Heroic Guerrilla. No one considers the eight students heroes, nor has Che ever been said to have been innocent. They cannot be both at the same time.
Personally, I would have preferred that the Cuban government had recognized its sacrosanct right to infiltrate spies into the territory of the United States. Did it not recognize a right more difficult to accept—the right of revolutionaries to foment a revolution—when it organized an armed commando group in Bolivia to establish the socialist system across Latin America?
I have nothing against the five, as I have never practiced terrorism I know that they have never informed against me. I have always wondered who they reported to. I assume it was not to the philately specialists in the Communications and Technology Ministry, nor to the technicians of choice fruits in the Agriculture Ministry. I imagine they reported to some Intelligence address at the Interior Ministry, where they would have had not only a pseudonym, but also a degree and probably a salary.
Unless they infiltrated for free and the Wasp Network was an NGO for humanitarian purposes.