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

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From one of America’s leading legal minds, a riveting look at the U.S.-Cuban relationship seen through the lens of a nearly impossible case During his distinguished career, Martin Garbus has established himself as a well-known trial lawyer representing the likes of Daniel Ellsberg and Leonard Peltier. But there is no story Garbus wants to tell more than that of his most cha From one of America’s leading legal minds, a riveting look at the U.S.-Cuban relationship seen through the lens of a nearly impossible case During his distinguished career, Martin Garbus has established himself as a well-known trial lawyer representing the likes of Daniel Ellsberg and Leonard Peltier. But there is no story Garbus wants to tell more than that of his most challenging case: representing five Cuban spies marooned in the U.S. prison system and his efforts to get them out. North of Havana tells the story of a spy ring sent by Cuba in the early 1990s to infiltrate anti-Communist extremists in Miami. Erroneously charged by the U.S. government in connection with the 1996 shootdown of two planes circulating anti-Castro leaflets over Havana, the spies—in the absence of evidence—were convicted in 2000 of conspiracy to commit espionage and murder. Caught up in the sweep of history, the Cuban Five, as they became known, played a central role over the next decade in the recent thaw in Cuban-American relations. Set in Miami and Havana, North of Havana is a mesmerizing tale of international intrigue, espionage, and political gamesmanship that continues to play a shaping role in American foreign policy and presidential elections. In the process, the books shows how the justice system can be, and is, subverted for political purposes and gives readers insight into one of the most fascinating legal cases of our times.


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From one of America’s leading legal minds, a riveting look at the U.S.-Cuban relationship seen through the lens of a nearly impossible case During his distinguished career, Martin Garbus has established himself as a well-known trial lawyer representing the likes of Daniel Ellsberg and Leonard Peltier. But there is no story Garbus wants to tell more than that of his most cha From one of America’s leading legal minds, a riveting look at the U.S.-Cuban relationship seen through the lens of a nearly impossible case During his distinguished career, Martin Garbus has established himself as a well-known trial lawyer representing the likes of Daniel Ellsberg and Leonard Peltier. But there is no story Garbus wants to tell more than that of his most challenging case: representing five Cuban spies marooned in the U.S. prison system and his efforts to get them out. North of Havana tells the story of a spy ring sent by Cuba in the early 1990s to infiltrate anti-Communist extremists in Miami. Erroneously charged by the U.S. government in connection with the 1996 shootdown of two planes circulating anti-Castro leaflets over Havana, the spies—in the absence of evidence—were convicted in 2000 of conspiracy to commit espionage and murder. Caught up in the sweep of history, the Cuban Five, as they became known, played a central role over the next decade in the recent thaw in Cuban-American relations. Set in Miami and Havana, North of Havana is a mesmerizing tale of international intrigue, espionage, and political gamesmanship that continues to play a shaping role in American foreign policy and presidential elections. In the process, the books shows how the justice system can be, and is, subverted for political purposes and gives readers insight into one of the most fascinating legal cases of our times.

49 review for North of Havana: The Untold Story of Dirty Politics, Secret Diplomacy, and the Trial of the Cuban Five

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jacky

    Dirty politics at its finest.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Disclaimer: I received this book from GoodReads as part of the First Reads program. This is a book about a part of American history that I wasn't familiar with, either through my inattention or under reporting in my part of the country at the time. It begins describing a group of Cuban exiles called "Brothers to the Rescue", who fly private planes between Florida and Cuba, allegedly to spot people who are trying to defect from Cuba and help them. In reality, they were trying to provoke the Cuban Disclaimer: I received this book from GoodReads as part of the First Reads program. This is a book about a part of American history that I wasn't familiar with, either through my inattention or under reporting in my part of the country at the time. It begins describing a group of Cuban exiles called "Brothers to the Rescue", who fly private planes between Florida and Cuba, allegedly to spot people who are trying to defect from Cuba and help them. In reality, they were trying to provoke the Cuban government by flying into Cuban airspace and dropping anti-Castro leaflets. Eventually, the Cuban government gets tired of it, and two of the planes are shot down by military jets. This, of course, provokes an outburst from the Cuban ex-patriot community in Florida. The US government arrests a group of low-rent Cuban spies and, incredibly, charges them with with not only espionage, for which they are absolutely guilty, but the murder of the pilots, which is blatantly ridiculous. After a scam trial, the five are sentenced to long prison sentences. The leader of the group is sentenced to two life sentences. The book is written by the lawyer who took up the case many years later, and describes his attempts to get the prisoners freed. Despite many, many roadblocks, which are described well in the book, he eventually gets the remaining three prisoners released from jail so that they can return to Cuba. This is an interesting story, well written, about a part of American history that occurred during my lifetime, but which I knew nothing about. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in recent American history (they were released during the Obama administration) and anyone interested in Cuban-American relations.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Short but concise and very eye opening I had an idea about Cuban - US relations and the Elián Gonzalez case, however I didn’t know much about the Cuban 5 and I found it very interesting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rick Hammond

  5. 4 out of 5

    Philip

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Farrell

  7. 5 out of 5

    Fabiola Rivera (Amrit Sukhmani Kaur)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Martin Garbus

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terry Dullum

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Mellen

  11. 5 out of 5

    Chantelle Crosby

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alecsandra Velez

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anthony Wensel

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chavala

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karla Leon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alli

  18. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anu

  20. 5 out of 5

    Camilo

  21. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Daigle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Buley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steven

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  26. 4 out of 5

    Madeline Elsinga

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather Balser

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  29. 5 out of 5

    Corina

  30. 4 out of 5

    John Acheson

  31. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  32. 5 out of 5

    Emilia

  33. 4 out of 5

    Chad Phelan

  34. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ann Wilder

  35. 4 out of 5

    Robin

  36. 4 out of 5

    Raymond Biggart

  37. 4 out of 5

    Richard Bourgerie

  38. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Cocomile

  39. 5 out of 5

    Jas (aJasandherbooks)

  40. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

  41. 4 out of 5

    Khiabett Osuna

  42. 4 out of 5

    Oso-panda

  43. 4 out of 5

    Eman Olaimi

  44. 4 out of 5

    Alissa

  45. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

  46. 4 out of 5

    Globe Trotter

  47. 5 out of 5

    Ghengis

  48. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  49. 4 out of 5

    Elexndra

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