Ex-spy Gerardo Hernandez Gets Academic Post

Named Vice Rector at Cuba’s Advanced Institute of International Relations

By Café Fuerte

Gerardo HernandezHAVANA TIMES — The man who once led the spy ring Red Avispa (Wasp Network) in the south of Florida and is today a national hero, has received an important academic role from Raul Castro’s government. Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo will now be the vice rector at the “Raúl Roa García” Advanced Institute of International Relations (ISRI) in Havana.

Last Thursday, 50 year old Hernandez was welcomed as the ISRI’s new vice rector at a ceremony held in the academic institution and chaired by Chancellor Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, reported on the official website Cubadebate.

Hernandez returns to the ISRI, where he graduated in 1988, “to share his knowledge and experiences with a young and enthusiastic group of students as well as with an experienced academic group headed by Rector Isabel Allende Karam.”

Returning home

Along with two other spies [part of the Cuban Five] who were sentenced to long prison sentences in the US, Hernandez was part of the trade-off between Havana and Washington which loosened the deadlock in their bilateral relations and initated the time of warming relations on December 17, 2014. His release from prison and return to Cuba sparked harsh criticism from Cuban exiles in Miami, believing this concession to the regime to be over the top.

During the last year of his time in prison, US authorities made an unprecedented decision and allowed a semen sample to be taken from Hernandez whilst in a federal prison in order to artificially inseminate his wife Adriana Perez, who was living in Cuba.  The result of this operation coordinated by both governments led to the birth of Gema in January 2015.

Hernandez, the head of the Wasp Network, was detained on December 12, 1998 and was sentenced to two life sentences and 15 years in prison, charged with conspiracy to commit murder, espionage and acting as a foreign agent with a false identity.

In Moscow’s Red Square

After having graduated from ISRI, where he was scouted by Cuba’s intelligence authorities, he fought as a soldier in the Angolan war during 1989 and 1990.

He is the second of the spies to return to Cuba who has now been appointed to a role as a government official. In 2015, official Fernando Gonzalez was named the vice-president of the Cuban Institute for the Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an organization with strong ties to the Ministry of the Interior (MININT).

Hernandez and his four comrades have traveled widely across the world since their release. Recently this month, they were given a royal welcome by the Russian government’s highest officials, after having taken part as guests in the military procession for the 71st anniversary of the victory over fascism, in Moscow’s Red Square.  Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov joined them and called them “heroes of the resistance”.

Cubadebate’s website has been regularly covering news about the couple’s family life, from Gema’s birth to her 1st birthday. Last Thursday, it was also reported that Gerardo and Adriana are now also expecting twins.

17 thoughts on “Ex-spy Gerardo Hernandez Gets Academic Post

  • They got caught, tried, found guilty and jailed – and you in your ignorance describe that as success! Having been caught, everybody knows that they are Cuban spies and so their further use as such has ended. The appointment of Mr. Hernadez to a post teaching future spies is indicative of him being of no further use for field work.
    Your comment questioning whether today’s spies are fortunate in that the days of executing spies is quite bizarre. Do you think they would prefer execution?
    I have never and would never be guilty of “hatred for Cuba”, it is beautiful country that I love and I have a deep admiration for its people. I detest the oppressive communist Castro family regime which exerts power and control over it. I detest any dictatorship, but you obviously admire it – without seeking it for yourself!
    I have known some spies and some of them died, executed by the USSR (Russia) without trial. On the other hand, George Blake (not his Russian name) who as a professional spy successfully operated within the UK for some fifteen years prior to being caught, was tried and sentenced to twenty years. He later escaped from Wormwood Scrubs jail and found his way back to Russia. Now that was success!
    You will also note that in my description of the successful activities of Nikolai Leonov of the KGB I did not make personal criticism of him! He very successfully managed to wag the tail of the Cuban revolutionary dog upon behalf of the USSR. That’s why I found the comment about the dog having fleas entertaining!

  • They got caught, tried, found guilty and jailed – and you in your ignorance describe that as success! Having been caught, everybody knows that they are Cuban spies and so their further use as such has ended.
    The appointment of Mr. Hernandez to an academic post teaching future spies is indicative of being of no further use for field work. He now has the advantage of knowing by experience of his own mistakes and will be able to teach others to avoid making similar ones.
    As regards spies being fortunate that the days of executing spies are long past, your implication that those who now survive are unfortunate is quite bizarre.
    I have as I indicated, known some professional spies and some lost their lives, as the USSR (Russians) executed them without trial – a similar form of “justice” to that which was practiced by the Castro regime following the revolution.
    Do not insult my intellect or that of others by suggesting that “You generate so much hatred for Cuba”,
    I have a great love for Cuba and a deep admiration for the people of Cuba, but I detest the dictatorship which you so admire. That is the difference between us, you are busy pursuing promotion of communist belief and all the nastiness associated with it, and I am interested in the freedom of the individual, which is contrary to communist belief and teaching.

  • Here endeth the Kennedy Earle Clarke lesson.

    The whole world knows that “The Five” were spies working in the US for the Government of Cuba and under the command of Alejandro Castro Espin, Head of Security. All the preaching and pratling of Earle Kennedy Clarke, doesn’t change the basic facts.
    Secondly as the whole world knows, they were a failure, being caught, tried, convicted and jailed.
    “The Five” were and are, paid agents of the State. To deny them that is to deny them their due. As I have previously written (see below), as appointed qualified spies they owed their unquestioning allegiance to the Castro regime.
    If “The Five” had been successful, the whole world would have been unaware of their existence.
    it is obvious that Earle Kennedy Clarke has no real knowledge of professional spies, but is in his enthusiasm for further oppression of the people of Cuba trying to belatedly amend the role and function of a group of professional spies who no doubt did their best. Their loyalty was to the Castro regime, for as anyone with knowledge of Cuba knows, the PCC takes precedence over the country.

  • Hernandez was convicted in an authentic court of law in contrast to the sham legal system in Cuba. Anything you have to say is not credible. It is obvious by your comments that you are a Castro apologist and very deluded and uninformed about the facts. You may fool others, but you certainly do not fool me.

    Yes, Hernandez belongs in jail answering for his crimes.

  • Come on brother Carlyle,The Cuban Five were very successful. They were able to expose the hypocrisy of the American Government which was lending support to the various terrorist organization which were orchestrating all these terrorist acts. They were successful in alerting the atrocities planned to their Government which in turn, communcated the information to the American Governmennt. You generate so much hatred for Cuba that you forget that American spies were caught in Cuba and Cubans were caught spying for America. Are these spies fortunate that the days of executing spies are long passed?

  • Dear Brother Doug, Respect and Admiration cannot be bought! These qualities must be earned.They are earned when we stand up for a Worthy Cause even at the threat of our Lives or our Freedom! This is why these Cubans are Hailed Internationally as HEROES The man loves his homeland. The man believes in the Principles of the 1959 REVOLUTION. Any person who was prepared to sacrifice his freedom for the protection of the land of his birth from terrorist attacks,is a man of high moral fortitude. He is no spy, He is a HERO OF CUBA and the WHOLE WORLD. That is why he commands so much respect world wide. He should be highly praised by all who love the land of their birth and those of us who love the land of our birth, should condemn America, the world’s fighter of terrorism for harbouring, facilitating and financing terrorist activities on its soil. These brave FIVE CUBAN HEROES are no spies? They protected their country from its Northern Neighbour who was hell bent a ReVOLUTION they believed in: A revolution which has brought dignity to the ordinary in dividual, a Revolution which has rid its citizens of illiteracy, disease, hopelessness. We should therefore APPLAUD them!. These MEN possess an IMPREGNABLE FORTRESS OF INNER STRENGTH, COURAGE and BELIEF. Whether or not you believe in the system they defended you are forced to admire the Principled Stand they took. They were prepared to stand for the RIGHT though the heavens fall. THESE ARE REAL MEN!! They were not Pai Agents. It was not money which lured them to the task: It was their LOYALTY to the country!!!

  • Dear Sister Plana, Gerardo is no accomplice to murder and you know it. He and the other four have shown up the hypocrisy of America in fighting Terrorism when they were supporting terrorist attacks on Cuba from their soil. But one should not br surprised about this support from America,for the same country has a terrorist who bombed the Cubana Airline in 1976 in mid air, walking the streets of Miam a free man.. Could you provide evidence to show that Gerardo was involved as an accomplice to any murder? PLease provide this iinformation to the world! When I write, I provide historical facts which can be researched and, if the researcher/s are honest, can verify the authenticity of such information. I am not a propagandist by any means and I do not hate Americans nor American citizens. I detest the hypocrisy of the American Government and the arrogance it displays to the world as if it was divinely ordained to be the policeman of the world. I believe that the American Government should clean out its own house before pointing even its smallest finger nail at others, because it has so much house cleaning to do!

  • Firstly, I am not your brother for which I am duly grateful. Secondly why not read what I said?
    “So appointed qualified spies owe their unquestioning allegiance to the Castro regime.”
    I did not say that there was something wrong in Mr, Hernandez and his colleagues having allegiance to the Castro regime and I clearly stated that I believe that he is an honourable man.
    Your problem is that something, maybe the froth from your mouth blocked your vision and you did not read clearly.
    Secondly Mr. Clarke, I am married to a Cuban and am related to almost 70 Cubans. As a husband, stepfather, son-in-law, Godfather, uncle and cousin through marriage I am fully aware of the effects of the Castro family regime upon them.
    Now maybe you will be good enough to declare your reasons for supporting a totalitarian oppressive regime, the CDR, the PCC and its Propaganda Department and why you oppose freedom for my relatives and the other people of Cuba, whilst taking full advantage of your own?

  • Doug, A very good unbiaed piece unlike so many others I have read. Thr reason for the Cuban Feve’s infiltration in the terririst cells in Miami was to protect their homeland from the launching of attacks from American soil.The infitrators send back information to the Cuban Government which in turn notified the US government. Ibstead of punishing the terrorists, the US government jailed the infiltrators. Perhaps the US Government was too ashamed that their terrorist acts against Cuba were discovered and, you know how bullies behave. The corporate media as they always do, slandered them. They could never have received a fair trial in Miami. Too many wrong things took place. How could you sentence a man for a crime you claimed was committed by his country? And, how could you blame a country for protecting its own airspace? Many warnings were sent to the Brothers to the Rescue including warnings over the BBC that, if the Brothers to the rescue did not desist from flying over Cuban Airspace, they would be shot down.They continued and they were shot down. One of the Cuban FIVE was charged for the offence and sentenced to (2) life sentences plus `15 years. This was a travesty!!

  • Dear brother Mc. Duff, I find it so amazing that a spy in the USA can pay allegiance to the President. A spy in the UK pays allegiance to the Queen who is head of State; but in Cuba, it is wrong for a spy to pay allegiance to President Castro because of your nuclear hatred for either of them. What has the Castro’s done to you brother?

  • Touche Doug, I was reflecting on Pastor Bonhoeffer in Nazi Germany who led an underground movement against Hitler and was eventually hung by piano wire for his endeavors although not a professional spy. So maybe I should have differenciated between democratic states and totalitarian ones when speaking of loyalties.
    Most of the major countries of the world employ spies and some are better at it than others. I don’t imagine for a moment that Cuba and the US will cease spying on each other for as I said, successful spies remain unknown, “The Five” were unsuccessful as they were caught. Fortunately the days of execution of spies have passed in most countries.

  • I can understand your position, which I suppose is the position of the overwhelming majority of mankind: you owe allegiance to your state (which is what ‘your country’ means in this context), regardless of how awful it is.

    I just don’t agree with that. I think any German who spied against the German government 1933-45, and who did so in the belief that he was helping democracy and human decency against fascism, was/is deserving of our approval.

    Of course, we cannot jump over our own heads, and this sort of supra-national outlook is not going to catch on so long as the nation-state remains our first line of defense and support against the bad things in the world. Material reality means the default position of most people is: my state first.

    Where it gets complicated, with respect to those people who don’t/didn’t hold that view, is where the spy is, by our judgement, deluded in his belief. Where, for example, he thought Josef Stalin was the bearer of democracy and human decency. I have mixed — but only mixed — feelings about such people, who included otherwise very good human beings. Yes, they SHOULD have known better, but circumstances militated against this.

    Anyway, the United States leadership should just get over its obsession with Cuba and stop giving Cubans any reason to want to spy against it, and should pension off any spies they still have in Cuba … or tell them to report only if they learn Cuba is going to sell itself to the Chinese as an unsinkable aircraft carrier or something of that import. We bought a permanent lease on the Cuban aircraft carrier over a century ago and we won’t share.

  • In my contribution I was responding to comment about Gerardo Hernandez as a professional agent of the State and paid by the State. You are mainly discussing people who have been recruited by professional agents, or have approached representatives of countries other than their own, to become treasonous. They have so to speak, ‘gone over’.
    The main purpose of the professional spy is to obtain information for analysis which can be utilized subsequently for political manoeuvring. They are used for intelligence gathering and frequently do so at personal risk. I say that having known several and having known the risks they take.
    Those who are recruited to act against the interests of their own country, for another, are by definition traitors. Such people whether acting for money or for political belief deserve no sympathy if caught betraying their own country and fellow citizens.
    Note that I have not differed in my view whether the spy concerned was employed by a socialist/communist regime or by a democratic free world one and have refrained from emotional/political expression.

  • I’ve thought a lot about this, and my take is the following: the only spies that I ‘respect’ in the full sense are those who believe that by what they do, they will be helping to advance a better world.

    This would rule out people who do it for money, obviously.

    And it would rule out spies who are solely motivated by allegiance to their own state, however they conceive that allegiance to be focussed: the head of state, the ruling single party, or more generally, to ‘the nation’. Such people may be courageous, but courage is a neutral virtue: SS soldiers were courageous, and so were the 9-11 hijackers.

    But it would rule in people who, although (necessarily) reporting to a single state, whether their own or a foreign one, conceive of that state’s interests as — perhaps as a historically-temporary thing — being also more generally the interests of humanity as a whole.

    Examples would be the Rosenbergs and others in the US, Germans who spied for the Allies in WWII, the Russians ( Oleg Penkovsky, Dmitri Polyakov, Pyotr Semyonovich Popov, Adolf Tolkachev, Gennady Varenik, all of whom were executed) who spied for the West against the Soviet Union.

    Of course these people can be misguided, as I believe the Rosenbergs were. And of course human motivations are always mixed, always complex … but I believe in most of the cases cited above, the spies believed that what they were doing was in the interests of humanity as a whole. This no doubt shades over into patriotism in the case of people spying for their ‘own’ country, but where the disparity of forces is very great — such as between the US and Cuba — then spying assumes a ‘help-the-underdog’ aspect, which is was not always present in the previous cases.

    Which brings us to the logical question: what about Cubans spying for the US? Here the case becomes complex: the big powerful wealthy bully nation, screaming about human rights abuses in Cuba while just going through the motions where ‘friendly’ human-rights-abusing powers are concerned vs little Cuba, the historic victim of said bully, What makes it complex is that the bully is a genuine democracy (flawed, as all human institutions are), and the bullied-one has an authoritarian one-party state (but one which also in some ways manages, within the limits of its resources,to make better provision for its ordinary citizens than the rich democratic one).

    Which means you have to look at each spy on a case-by-case basis (in theory … in practice, you probably won’t have access to the sort of information you need).

    In conclusion: time for another swap: poor Ana Montes and the remaining member of that American couple, Kendall Myers, for some of the people locked up in Cuban prisons (ideally some equally-idealistic ones, but anyone would do).

  • The late George K. Young Deputy Head of SIS (MI6) and unlike Mr. Hernandez, a very successful spy, wrote a most interesting book with a thought provoking title. It was: “Who is my Liege.” The question he was addressing was to whom does a spy owe allegiance? In the UK as a democracy, the Government can be formed by different political parties, so clearly allegiance cannot be to one or the other of them. Is it the State (ie: ones country)? Or is it in the UK to the Crown as the Monarch (currently Elizabeth II) is the Head of State?
    Young maintained that the professional spy has to have full integrity, much more so than the politicians with their ready flashing smiles and hand-shakes.
    In Cuba for Hernandez and his colleagues, the question of allegiance is simplified. In Cuba, the Head of State is the Head of the Communist Party of Cuba which allows no other Parties.,In Cuba he PCC ranks above the country. So appointed qualified spies owe their unquestioning allegiance to the Castro regime..
    I have every respect for the professional spy. If successful they remain unknown, if a failure they get jailed as was the case with the five. But their allegiance is undoubted.
    To return to the UK, All military officers (Navy, Army and Air Force hold the Queen’s Commission. She is the person to whom they owe allegiance – as do the spies!
    As one who is opposed to the Castro regime, I cannot wish Mr. Hernadez success in training his successors, but I too believe that he is an honourable man.

  • I saw an interview with Mr Hernandez, and he struck me as a very decent, honorable man, whatever his politics. Let us wish him all success in his new role.

Comments are closed.