NEWLY DISCLOSED DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW
Because of the strong interest in the thousands of pages of contract material for the Miami media that Liberation Newspaper obtained and is the basis for this analysis and series of reports, we are making the underlying documents available for public review and comment at www.ReportersforHire.org. We have scanned the materials and made them text searchable with optical character recognition.
We are inviting you to comment on sections or facts that you find noteworthy and we may use what you observe or uncover in the documents as part of these reports, or as an annotation to the documents. Please include page numbers of the documents and direct excerpts in your comments.
U.S. government contracts reveal Miami journalists on the payroll
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In 1998, five Cuban men were arrested by the U.S. government and tried in Miami on charges of conspiring to commit espionage on the United States.
The five men’s mission was to stop terrorism, keeping watch on Miami’s ultra-right extremists to prevent their violent attacks against Cuba. “The Cuban Five,” as they are now known, were convicted after repeated denials by the judge to move the trial venue out of Miami. The U.S. government insisted that they be tried in Miami.
What the Cuban Five and their attorneys did not know during trial was that the U.S. government—through its official propaganda agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors—was covertly paying prominent Miami journalists who, at the same time as the government conducted its prosecution, saturated the Miami media with reports that were highly inflammatory and prejudicial to the Cuban Five.
The presence of Miami journalists on the U.S. government payroll, who purported to report as “independent” press, goes to the heart of the unjust conviction of the Five. The Five were not only victims of a politically motivated prosecution, but a government-funded propaganda operation as well.
A multi-year effort by the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, the civil rights legal organization the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and, most recently, Liberation newspaper, has uncovered thousands of pages of previously unreleased materials exposing this government operation.
More than 2,200 pages of contracts between Miami journalists and Radio and TV Martí—released thus far to Liberation newspaper through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) petition—expose the fallacy of an independent press in Miami.