Friday, August 11, 2006 (Havana):
Cuban officials have lambasted a US appellate court decision denying a new trial to five men convicted in Miami of being unregistered Cuban agents.
The officials implied that the decision was tied to Fidel Castro's current illness and absence from power.
On Wednesday, the full 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, with two judges dissenting, rejected the men's argument that pervasive community prejudice against the Cuban government and pretrial publicity prevented them from receiving a fair trial.
In Havana, the Communist Party daily Granma yesterday noted the ruling coincides with recent events in Cuba, where Fidel Castro temporarily ceded power to his brother Raul on July 31 after announcing he had undergone intestinal surgery.
"All of this occurs in an unusual way and at a time when Miami is calling for an end to a sovereign nation, calling for terrorism with the greatest insolence, urging bloodbaths, proclaiming to the news media in a loud voice its calls for political assassination and genocide," said the official newspaper.
"This has been a political case from the beginning," said Granma, adding it demonstrates "hate and vengeance against the Cuban nation."
Havana has repeatedly accused Washington of trying to take advantage of Castro's absence to destabilize Cuba.
Granma on Wednesday said that illegal TV satellite dishes are capturing US broadcasts containing "subversive" propaganda that erode Cuban morals and patriotic values. (AP)