The pregnancy of Adriana Perez was possible due to artificial insemination allowed by the US when Hernandez was still in prison.
HAVANA TIMES — One of three Cuban agents recently released in a prisoner swap with the US became the father of a child on Tuesday, thanks to artificial insemination, one of the gestures that led in December to the historic agreement between Washington and Havana to restore diplomatic relations.
Gema, the daughter of former Cuban intelligence agent Gerardo Hernández, was born in Havana, informed the official “Granma” newspaper. The mother, Adriana Pérez, was able to have the girl after the US government allowed her husband to donate sperm from a prison in California.
The announcement of the US facilitating the artificial insemination involving one of the Cuban Five was another major surprise that caused a sensation a few weeks ago as part of the historic agreement between Washington and Havana.
Hernández had been serving a double life sentence after being arrested as part of an underground network of Cuban intelligence agents in Florida. He was detained in a high security prison in California, where he could not receive visits from his wife.
The Obama administration, however, allowed the spy donate sperm to his wife in Cuba, a gesture framed in the year and a half of secret negotiations between the two countries to resume broken diplomatic relations in 1961.
“We can confirm that the United States facilitated the request of Mrs. Hernández of having a child with her husband,” the US Department of Justice confirmed in December to dpa news, after the first reports from Washington.
Adriana Pérez showing her advanced pregnancy after the arrival of her husband to Havana in mid December had surprised many on the island.
The Cuban state television broadcast from that day numerous pictures of the couple. Hernandez and two others of the “Five” were released as part of the agreement between Washington and Havana. The other two had returned to the island after serving their sentences.
The case of the Cuban Five was a major international cause of the Castro regime in the last decade in its ideological confrontation with the United States.
“The excitement is great and everyone is asking,” Hernandez said shortly after his arrival in Havana. “We had to do it by remote control”, he joked, referring to the sperm donation that occurred over eight months earlier.
In 2012, Adriana Pérez was lamenting the long separation from her husband and the impossibility of forming a family.
“The biological clock is marking its final stage to be a mother,” Perez, then 42 years said in an interview with a Mexican media as part of a Cuban campaign for the release of the Cuban Five.
In the past, US officials repeatedly rejected requests for prisoners to donate sperm to their partners. Several inmates often tried in vain to appeal to the courts.
In the framework of the reconciliation policy with Cuba, it was especially Sen. Patrick Joseph Leahy who pleaded with the Obama administration to allow the artificial insemination. According to one of his aides, the United States also got better conditions for its agent Alan Gross.
Gross, arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison in Cuba for “crimes against state security”, was part of a prisoner exchange agreement between the governments of Obama and Raul Castro. Gross also returned home on December 17th.