The Untold Story of Dirty Politics, Secret Diplomacy, and the Trial of the Cuban Five

Martin Garbus. The New Press, $26.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-62097-446-9
In this dramatic history and memoir, trial lawyer Garbus expertly lays out the context surrounding his clients, the Cuban Five. They were part of the Wasp Network, a group of 14 Cuban intelligence officers who set out to penetrate the cohort of anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Florida shortly after the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, an event which, Garbus recounts, fueled activity by the right-wing Cuban element in Miami. Working ordinary jobs in Miami by day, the Wasp Network’s members exchanged intel during rendezvous in fast food joints. In 1998 their cover was blown; three months later, the FBI took action to break up the network. In 2001, five of them were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, among other crimes, and sentenced to varying lengths of time in prison; in 2014, three were released as part of a prisoner exchange with Cuba. Garbus contextualizes the arrests and trial of the five, introducing powerful Cubans in exile, such as millionaire Jorge Mas Canosa, who had direct access to President Clinton; exploring American politicians’ “obsession” with Fidel Castro; and explaining his belief that the five’s “prosecution was politically motivated.” This fearless and essential contribution to understanding relations between Cuba and the U.S. will enlighten readers. (June)
Reviewed on : 06/27/2019
Release date: 06/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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