Cuba, España y los Estados Unidos | Organización Auténtica | Política Exterior de la O/A | Temas Auténticos | Líderes Auténticos | Figuras del Autenticismo | Símbolos de la Patria | Nuestros Próceres | Martirologio |
Presidio Político de Cuba Comunista | Costumbres Comunistas | Temática Cubana | Brigada 2506 | La Iglesia | Cuba y el Terrorismo | Cuba - Inteligencia y Espionaje | Cuba y Venezuela | Clandestinidad | United States Politics | Honduras vs. Marxismo | Bibliografía | Puentes Electrónicos |
Reporters Testify at Cuba Dissident Trial
By ANITA SNOW
HAVANA (AP) - Two reporters who spent years working alongside Cuba's best-known independent journalist revealed at his trial Friday that they were undercover agents as they testified against him, the dissident's wife said.
In another trial, of a dissident economist, a longtime secretary told a court that she also worked undercover and had been informing on her employer.
With such stunning courtroom revelations, Fidel Castro's government pressed ahead Friday the prosecution of 80 dissidents accused of working with U.S. diplomats to undermine Cuba's leadership.
The well-known independent journalist Raul Rivero was among those being tried Friday in a second day of court proceedings aimed at crushing a small, but growing, opposition movement.
Rivero was being tried alongside Ricardo Gonzalez, the editor of De Cuba, a new general interest magazine publishing the works of Cuban journalists working outside state-controlled media.
Prosecutors were seeking 20 years for Rivero and life for Gonzalez after being charged with working with a foreign power to undermine the government.
Gonzalez is one of at least a dozen defendants who could face a life sentence. The trials are expected to end early next week with sentences issued days later.
On Friday police stepped up their presence around three Havana courthouses where dissidents in were on trial. International media have been excluded from the court actions, which were taking place several Cuban cities.
Rivero's wife, Blanca Reyes, was among family members allowed into the trials and characterized the prosecution of her husband as ``a circus.''
Reyes was particularly enraged when Manuel David Orrio, one of Cuba's better known independent reporters, revealed in court that he was really a state security agent and testified against her husband. Also testifying against Rivero was a man he had known as independent reporter Nestor Baguer, who also admitted being a government agent.
Relatives of dissident economist Marta Beatriz Roque said that during her trial on Thursday, her secretary revealed that she, too, was an agent who had infiltrated opposition ranks. ``She was the witness who did the most damage to my aunt,'' said Roque's nephew, Joel Alfonso Roque.
The crackdown has been widely condemned by international human rights groups such as the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch and press organizations such as Reporters Without Borders. The State Department said the proceedings amounted to a ``kangaroo court.''
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists sent Castro a letter this week asking him to free Rivero and Gonzalez, along with 25 other independent journalists it said were arrested in last month's roundup of government opponents.
The group also requested the return of computers, research material and other equipment seized from reporters' homes, calling on Cuba to ``cease harassing the independent press.''
The dissidents were rounded up over five days beginning March 18. They include leaders of independent labor unions and opposition political parties as well as pro-democracy activists involved in a reform effort known as the Varela Project.
Cuban authorities accuse them of being in the pay of Washington and collaborating with American officials to harm Cuba and its economy.
Although Cuban authorities publicly announced the arrests and labeled many of the defendants traitors, they have not commented on the trials or disclosed specific charges.
But court documents provided by relatives showed that many dissidents are being tried under the same state security law as Gonzalez and Rivero.
The crackdown, which ended several years of relative government tolerance, began when Cuban officials criticized the head of the American mission in Havana, James Cason, for his active support of the island's opposition.
Rising Cuba-U.S. tensions have coincided with a string of hijackings by Cubans trying to leave the communist-run island.
Most recently, gunmen hijacked a Cuban ferry and headed toward Florida but returned on Thursday, where authorities later arrested them and freed nearly 50 passengers.