What did they do?
To save lives, Cuba sent five men to Miami to infiltrate and monitor the groups. At the request of the US government, this information was passed to the FBI in 1998.
A miscarriage of justice
The trial began in November 2000 in Miami, a hugely hostile environment where the anti-Castro Cuban-American community wields enormous political influence.
Defence attorneys’ motions for a change of venue were denied five times by the judge, although it was obvious that a fair trial was impossible in the city.
During the trial, the judge, prosecution and US government officials suppressed defence evidence and ensured key witnesses would not testify.
Despite intimidation of witnesses by the press and testimonies by prominent US officials that the Five had not accessed any classified documents, the jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict on all charges, without once seeking clarification of any evidence.
The Five were convicted on charges ranging from being foreign agents to conspiracy to commit murder, and sentenced to between fifteen years and double life.
Families torn apart
On top of the severe sentences, the Five are denied regular family visits. The US infrequently grants visas to close family members.
Two of the prisoners wives, Olga Salanueva and Adriana Pérez, have been refused visas ten times and have not seen their husbands for 10 and 12 years.
For blog posts on the Miami 5, please click here.