Thursday, March 01, 2007

Deceit and betrayal

Carlos Alvarez, formerly a psych professor at Florida International University, was sentenced to 5 years for “conspiracy to become an unregistered foreign agent” for Cuba. Not even becoming one, which would have doubled the sentence, just conspiracy to become one. He passed to the Cuban government various pieces of unclassified information and personal information on Cuban exile leaders. I’m not sure how this constitutes a crime (the prosecutor was allowed to say that the damage Alvarez may have done is unclear because we don’t know what else he told Havana, which was an attempt to get the court to convict for uncharged crimes for which there was no evidence).

But of course the trial was held in Miami, so Alvarez, and his wife, who was sentenced to 3 years merely for knowing what her husband was doing and not calling the FBI, were really tried and convicted for political crimes. The judge said their actions “undermined U.S. foreign policy.” So? He said they were “in a sense leading a double life,” and that they had committed a “deceit and betrayal” of the Cuban exile community. Which may not be very nice, but... so? Evidently US courts of law, at least in Florida, are now policing deceit and betrayal of the Cuban exile community.

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