Glad that Cuban "hero" is locked up 16 miles away

Buried in the lede. Dead in the saddle. Asleep at the Wheel. Lions. Tigers. Bears. Cuban spies. Oh my.

Only 16 miles down the road from where I live is an American penal colony of proportions which may be unmatched these days, at least in the U.S. The “federal prison complex” on the swampy marshes bordering on what we call “Mid-County” — literally middle Jefferson County, Texas, between Beaumont and Port Arthur — itself has three separate facilities. This includes the maximum security U.S. Penitentiary as well as low and medium security “correctional facilities.” The state of Texas also has a major share of property down there in the marshes: the Gist State Jail Unit, the LeBlanc Unit, and the Stiles Unit. The controversial Texas Youth Commission also operates a facility in that area along with the Jefferson County jail and the county juvie lock-up. Did I leave anyone out? If so, forgive me.

That is truly, a s**t-load of cons.

What I find intriguing is how many stories that lie behind those walls, even though many of which are undoubtedly bulls**t spewed by inmates who proclaim themselves forever innocent of any crimes. The self-proclaimed “innocent inmate” who found God and now walks the straight and narrow is to be expected. I did not, however, expect to find a small Communist nation doing the hero-worship thing with one of the inmates in the prisons on the swamp.

Despite my conservative friends’ opinions, I am not a regular reader of the official state paper of Cuba known as “Granma.” I guess granpa must be hanging out with Elian. Sorry. If you must know about Granma, click here. Grandma, or grandmother in espanol, is “abeula” which you would know if you ever watched a Whataburger commercial. On Granma Internacional’s Ingles Web site is an exhortation for all good party boys and girls to write to the “Miami Five.”

The Miami Five is known in the U.S. as the “Cuban Five.” To the Communist Cubans they are heroes. To the U.S. government they are what one would call Cuban spies and even murderers. And one of the Miami/Cuban Five (formerly the Jackson Five after Tito and Michael left, no, stop, please!) — Ramon Labaniño — happens to be staying 16 miles down the road from me in the U.S. Penitentiary Beaumont.

The U.S. government convicted Labaniño, a.k.a. Luis Medina, and another of the five of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. Labaniño did not deny working for Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence but his defense was that they were in this country to fight terrorists who threatened their country. One of our local incarcerated spy’s cohorts was also convicted of “conspiracy to commit first-degree murder based on his role concerning the February 24, 1996, shoot-down of two unarmed civilian aircraft in international airspace by Cuban Air Force jet fighters, which resulted in the deaths of four people, three of them U.S. citizens.” Sounds like a solid bunch o’ “heroes” to me.

Normally, I feel rather sad to find prisons being an economic base or cottage industry as it has become in my area. I don’t have anything against those who work in those prisons. I have friends and relatives who either have or are still working for various prisons. I have the utmost respect for those who keep such thugs as Labaniño, a.k.a. Luis Medina, behind bars. I just think the fact that prisons have become a growth industry for my region and state and even nation, doesn’t speak well for our society.

But in the case of those who spy against our country and set up people to be murdered by a foreign government, I am afraid they don’t get off easy with me. If there are any of the hundreds of prisoners living in that mosquito-infested marsh a mere 16 miles away whom I am glad to see behind bars it is this so-called Cuban “hero.” I hope he enjoys the sweltering summers here. Oh, and I am afraid I won’t be writing you anytime soon, Luis, or whatever you are calling yourself these days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *