Photographer's Note

Some information on the politics behind the billboard courtesy of an article in the NY Times written by James C. McKinley Jr. and published on August 5, 2007:

"In Cuba, they call them “the five.” Their faces are plastered on walls and billboards everywhere. Merely being a relative of the five grants celebrity status. Even children know them by their first names — Gerardo, René, Ramón, Fernando and Antonio.

Cuba’s government has put signs and posters [...] all over the island as a reminder of the imprisonment of the five men.

They are not a boy band.

They are middle-aged men who have been sentenced to long prison terms for spying, Cuban officials maintain, not on the United States government, but on right-wing Cuban exiles in Miami who are considered terrorists by the government here.


All five — Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, René González and Fernando González — were convicted of acting as unregistered foreign agents and conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States. Three were also convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, on the strength of evidence that they had gathered information on military activity at a naval air station in Key West. In addition, Mr. Hernández was convicted of conspiracy to murder in connection with the deaths of four Cuban exiles whose two light aircraft were shot down by the Cuban Air Force over the Straits of Florida in 1996.


Meanwhile, the “five heroes” have become the biggest propaganda tool that the one-party, Communist government of Cuba has come up with since Che Guevara. Their names and faces appear on walls and signs all over Cuba, with the word “volverán,” meaning “they will return.” Cuban officials never fail to mention them as heroes in official speeches and ceremonies."

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Additional Photos by Caleb Ficner (kwekwekan) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 134 W: 10 N: 173] (1078)
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