US Judge Says Cuban Five’s Rene Gonzalez Can Live in Cuba

The other Cuban Five members remain in US prisons.

Rene Gonzalez. Photo: Bill Hackwell

HAVANA TIMES —  A Florida judge announced today that she will allow the paroled Cuban Five member, Rene Gonzalez, convicted of espionage in the United States, to reside permanently on the island in exchange for renouncing U.S. citizenship, reported DPA news.

The decision of Judge Joan Lenard accepts that the first of the five Cubans, considered heroes in their country, may reside on the island. The other four are still imprisoned in the United States.

See the full ruling by Judge Lenard

René González was released from prison in October 2011 after being imprisoned 13 years and was now serving three years probation.

Lenard recently allowed Gonzalez’s to travel to Cuba for two weeks to attend the memorial for his father, who died at age 82 on April 1st. Rene arrived in Havana on April 22.

Reached in Havana, Gonzalez, 56, told The Associated Press he was thrilled but wanted a chance to review the judge’s decision. “First I have to read the order,” he said. “If the order is real, it will be a great relief to me,” reported ABC News

Gonzalez was also able to travel to Cuba last year for two weeks to visit a sick brother and later returned to the United States.

Both his visits to the island have been strictly private, despite the usual campaigns organized in Cuba to demand the release of the five agents.

The other four Cubans are serving long prison terms in the United States, one of them a double life sentence.

The case of the Cuban Five is one of the thorniest issues that hamper an improvement in the difficult relations between Washington and Havana. Another is the case of Alan Gross, the US agent serving a 15-year sentence in Havana.

The two countries severed diplomatic ties in 1961, two years after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution.

8 thoughts on “US Judge Says Cuban Five’s Rene Gonzalez Can Live in Cuba

  • I think the decent–and most beneficial–thing for the Cuban gov’t to do, is to release Alan Gross, without preconditions, on humanitarian grounds.

    This unilateral act of compassion could not hurt the campaign for the Cuban Five; and it might go a long way toward pardons from the Obama Administration.

    Also, Alan Gross and his family might express appreciation publicly for such an act of compassion. This in the long run might prove more valuable than many other considerations;

  • Michael, for someone who comments frequently to HT, on this issue you seem to be terribly misinformed. First, the FBI had the original Wasp network of the 14 Cuban spies under surveillance long before the Castros decided to contact the local FBI office. It has been argued that only after the Cubans realized they were under surveillance, did they decide to come clean. Nine of the 14 either escaped or cut deals with the Prosecutor and served their time. The remaining 5 opted to take their chances with a Miami jury. In hindsight, it was a dumb move since there was never any doubt of their guilt. Second, there is a huge difference between the foreign policy of Israel and that of the US. Israel does not have the international exposure that the US does. Should the US permit Cuba to force the US into negotiations for Alan Gross, every other rogue nation in the world would snatch up an American on trumped up charges to force their agenda on America. Venezuela and North Korea are followng the Castro playbook in this regard. Alan Gross is guilty of giving away equipment used to connect to the internet and to make wireless telephone calls free from government detection. No one dies from these activities! He is being unjustly held by the Castros and should be sent home to his family immediately.

  • If the PDRK is amenable, perhaps, in exchange for the Korean-American they recently sentenced to 15 years, and, to sweaten the deal, Cuba could throw in Alan Gross, then the U.S. would release the remaining Cuban Four. If not, the fellow in Korea is in for 15 years of hard labor, and Alan Gross is in for (not as) a bleak “retirement” in Cuba. It is curious, often Israel will exchange thousands of Palestinian political prisoners for one or two Israeli soldiers, but such is the power of the Miami mafia that the U.S. won’t work a much better deal, four for two.

    I wonder why Alan Gross agreed to perform espionage? Perhaps his retirement account was wiped out by unprincipled speculators and, unable to survive on Social Security alone, he took on a special job. In any event, due to the undue influence of the Miami mafia, he’s in for a pretty grim retirement. At least the Cuban 5 were real patriots, who were defending their homeland from real terrorists, like the ones who planted bombs in Havana hotels, and earlier, blew up a commerical airliner. The one mistake the Cuban government made was informing the U.S. of terrorist activities by these so-called “Brothers to the Resue” (of their “brother” Posada Carilles, no doubt)! Otherwise, the Cuban 5 would most likely not have been uncovered.

  • Eeeeuuuw! Now you are wondering how I spend my evenings?

  • sure to somebody like you solidarity means nothing. All you can do is fill page after page with your cinical comments, I guess you spend your evening admiring yourself.Well somebody has to admire you.

  • They can put some beard and a beret on Rene’s picture and add “Now only 4” thanks CHE!

  • If this is a way to get Alan Gross back and have Raul Castro save a little face, I say lets do it!

  • Darn it! All that money wasted on posters that say the CUBAN FIVE.

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