On 27 Aug. the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision ordering the U.S. Department of State to submit all documents in its possession relating to illegal payments by federal agencies to 44 journalists from Miami during the years 1998-2002, the years during which the Cuban five were arrested, indicted, tried and convicted in the same city.
The payments to these journalists were made directly by official agencies of the federal government propaganda: United States Information Agency, Broadcasting Board of Governors and Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
The knowledge about this illegal funding by the federal government to the 44 journalists in Miami was learned through research documents mentioned propaganda agencies for years has performed the U.S National Committee for Freedom of the Five.
The documents were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act [Freedom of Information Act , FOIA ] with the essential help of the Association of Fund Civil Rights Please [ Partnership for Civil Justice Fund ] , a progressive law firm based in Washington DC.
The court order follows a lawsuit filed last June by the Fund Association in Favor of Civil Rights against the State Department , to force it to hand over the documents in question , now in their custody , the Liberation newspaper.
These 44 journalists wrote , published or reported in the press organs then working for thousands of items " saturated the Miami media with articles and reports hostile , inflammatory and discriminatory on Cuba and the Five during his arrest and trial in Miami "as maintains the lawsuit filed last June.
In doing so, and to be being paid these 44 journalists during those years by propaganda agencies of the federal government, the U.S. government violated the integrity of the judicial process guaranteed by the federal constitution to ensure a fair trial in this case. In addition, the Smith- Mundt Act of 1948 strictly prohibits the U.S. government fund activities that might influence or manipulate public opinion on U.S. soil as it was in this case, before and during the trial of the Cuban Five, the purpose of the federal government.
This Federal Court decision District of Columbia is of fundamental importance in the appeal process extraordinarily habeas corpus - in, now 3 of the Five: Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio. The information obtained from the documents that the State Department has refused to deliver, and now by this court order is required to do so , shall be part of the ongoing defense appeal in its demand that the courts declare null Five trial and convictions.
The 4th of Five that stays in prison , Fernando Gonzalez, recently retired extraordinary appeal process and that his sentence of 17 years and 9 months in prison , ends next February , 2014 . Fernando continues being part of the special appeal, the laws that have been determined to remain imprisoned until completion of the same.
The order of the District Court last August the State Department is final. He orders that: 1. “To expeditiously complete a sufficient likelihood search all documents produced in this case competition in its possession, custody or control
And on appeal that " the first group produced the documents in his possession subject to be made public under the Freedom of Information Act [ FOIA , for its acronym in English ] to the October 26, 2013 , and publish additional documents every six weeks to complete this process to make public all relevant documents in this case for the March 31, 2014 " .
The court order also contemplates, as happens in the vast majority of cases that federal agencies or departments do not want to make public documents in its possession, as the law requires - the possibility that the State Department considers for various reasons not to disclose some of these documents, and set the date of April 14, 2014 as the deadline to produce an index of all the documents.
The order also establishes other two dates for the applicant's response to the State Department's position, and in turn to the counter response from the State Department to the applicant, the last of which would be the July 5, 2014.
In a clarification of this process, Carl Messineo, Legal Director of the Association of Fund Favor of Civil Rights, the firm involved in the lawsuit, maintains, “One might assume that the resulting court order that the State Department produces and satisfactorily complete all required documents. But failure to do so is a political decision. More than anything we could assume that this injunction is an initial victory in what could be a long legal battle. "
Despite all the legal difficulties that the State Department stand in the federal government's desire to refuse to comply , from the beginning - from the day he decided to arrest the Five in the summer of 1998 - , the precepts constitutional guarantee to the Five status of freemen and fair and transparent judicial process , the decision of Judge Beryl Howell of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia is a landmark decision , an important victory for the special process appeal , now 3 of Five , as well as the extraordinary worldwide political campaign inexorably realizing achieve their freedom .
Translated by: Daysi Olano