Michael Isikoff, NBC- It seems straight out of a Cold War spy movie. A group of Cuban undercover agents sneak into the U.S. and set up a secret pro-Castro network in south Florida — receiving instructions in code through late night radio transmissions from handlers in Havana. But the FBI gets wind, tails the agents, intercepts their messages and busts them, sending the agents off to federal prison, their ringleader for life.
Today, the story of those spies — called La Red Avispa, or the Wasp Network — rolled up by the feds 14 years ago is barely known in the United States. But its members, now known as the Cuban Five, are national heroes in Cuba — the subjects of mass demonstrations, their pictures on billboards and posters – and their petitions for freedom are championed around the world by Nobel Prize winners, celebrities like Danny Glover, even former President Jimmy Carter.