(Published Reporters For Hire)
In 1998, five Cuban men were arrested by the U.S. government and tried in Miami on charges of conspiring to commit espionage on the United States.
The five men’s mission was to stop terrorism, keeping watch on Miami’s ultra-right extremists to prevent their violent attacks against Cuba. “The Cuban Five,” as they are now known, were convicted after repeated denials by the judge to move the trial venue out of Miami. The U.S. government insisted that they be tried in Miami.
What the Cuban Five and their attorneys did not know during trial was that the U.S. government—through its official propaganda agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors—was covertly paying prominent Miami journalists who, at the same time as the government conducted its prosecution, saturated the Miami media with reports that were highly inflammatory and prejudicial to the Cuban Five.
The presence of Miami journalists on the U.S. government payroll, who purported to report as “independent” press, goes to the heart of the unjust conviction of the Five. The Five were not only victims of a politically-motivated prosecution, but a government-funded propaganda operation as well.
A multi-year effort by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, the civil rights legal organization the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and, most recently, Liberationnewspaper, has uncovered thousands of pages of previously unreleased materials exposing this government operation.
More than 2,200 pages of contracts between Miami journalists and Radio and TV Martí—released thus far to Liberation newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petition—expose the fallacy of an independent press in Miami.
Click here to see the first set of a series of documents obtained from the BBG exposing this government operation, as well as partial collection of articles written by the reporters on the government payroll. Cubadebate