Some might say a tit for tat game is being played out between the U.S. and Cuba. In September 1998, five Cuban men were arrested in Miami by FBI agents. Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonzalez were accused of the crime of conspiracy to commit espionage. The US government never accused them of actual espionage, nor did it affirm that real acts of espionage had been carried out, as no classified document had been confiscated from the Five. Their actual mission in the United States was monitoring the activities of the groups and organizations responsible for terrorist activities against Cuba.
Alan Gross, a contractor with a company working for the US State Department (AID), was convicted of participating in a covert program designed for regime change. He instructed supposedly “dissident” Cubans — some were moles for Cuban state security — in a sophisticated satellite technology aimed at setting up clandestine communication networks. He entered Cuba 5 times under a tourist visa. He received a 15 year sentence in 2010.
Join a dialogue with internationally known scholar, author, commentator, and filmmaker on foreign and domestic policy issues, Saul Landau, and Phillip Brenner, has published widely on U.S./Cuba relations, on U.S. policy towards Central America, and on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Landau is also an expert on Cuba issues and has traveled to the Island on countless occasions. He will discuss the cases of the Cuban 5, Alan Gross, and how each case as implications for the other.