Rene Gonzalez of the Cuban-5 Back in US

Rene Gonzalez. Photo: Bill Hackwell

HAVANA TIMES, April 13 — Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five, returned to the United States on Friday, after spending two weeks in Havana to visit his seriously ill brother.

The trip took place under total discretion after Gonzalez, 55, received special permission for the trip from Judge Joan Lenard in Miami.

Currently on the first of three years on probation, Gonzalez, 55, served 13 years in prison before his release last October.

His request to spend his parole years at home with his family was denied by the same Judge Lenard.

Lenard was also the same judge that sentenced the Cuban Five back in 2001 after the longest trial in US history.  They were originally arrested in 1998.

The Cuban Five’s trial has been criticized as biased by jurist organizations in several countries including the National Lawyers Guild (US), and by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions.

Cuban authorities stress that the Cuban Five’s mission in the US was only to thwart attacks on Cuba planned within Miami’s militant exile community.