Court Upholds Convictions Of ‘Cuban 5’ Former Spies

     ATLANTA (CN) – The 11th Circuit again upheld the politically polarizing convictions of five Cuban intelligence agents accused of spying on the U.S. military and Cuban exiles in Florida, but the court vacated and remanded the sentences of three defendants.

     In the 1990s, the “Cuban Five” were active in an intelligence network in South Florida called La Red Avispa. Cuban military jets shot down two private aircraft over international waters, killing four men, during a mission called “Operacion Escorpion.” After a six-month trial in Miami, the Cuban Five were convicted of espionage, and one agent was convicted of conspiracy to murder.
     The 11th Circuit denied their motion for a change of venue and new trial, and remanded the case for reconsideration of the remaining issues.
     The agents aggressively appealed, challenging everything from jury selection to alleged prosecutorial misconduct to disclosure of classified information.
     “We conclude that the arguments about the suppression of evidence, sovereign immunity, discovery, jury selection, and the trial are meritless, and sufficient evidence supports conviction,” Judge Pryor wrote.
     However, the court remanded to reconsider the sentencing of three defendants, after Ruben Campa, Luis Medina and Antonio Guerrero successfully challenged their sentence enhancements.
     The court affirmed the sentences of Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez.

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