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Cuba Government Criticizes US Conviction of Cuban Spies

10 August 2006

The Cuban government has criticized a decision by a U.S. appeals court to uphold the convictions of five Cuban men found spying on the United States.

Cuba's Communist Party newspaper Granma Thursday said the case has been a political one since it began. The paper claims the trial has reflected hate and vengeance against Cuba.

In Wednesday's ruling, 10 out of 12 judges rejected the men's arguments that they were unable to get a fair trial because of widespread prejudice in Miami against Cuban President Fidel Castro's government.

The ruling comes at a time when Mr. Castro has been ill and has remained out of sight.

Last August, a U.S. court ordered a retrial for the five men. But in November, a U.S. federal court said it would rehear their appeal, canceling the option for a new trial.

In 2001, the five received sentences ranging from 15 years to life in prison. All of them admitted to being Cuban agents, but they claimed they were gathering information about Cuban exiles, not about the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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