Bizarre Cuba Spy Drama Continues

By Circles Robinson

RENE GONZALEZ. Photo: Bill Hackwell

HAVANA TIMES, Mar 12 — Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five, was released on probation last October after serving 13 years in prison.

In what would have seemed like an end to his personal drama, Gonzalez asked the court to allow him to return to his wife and family in Cuba, instead of spending three years under supervision in the US.

The Justice Dept. expressed concern about Gonzalez attempting to gather information on the same violence-prone Miami-based exile organizations that were the target of the Cuban Five’s undercover effort before their arrest in 1998.

But that all seemed tongue in cheek…

If you are really afraid that this guy with the blown cover might uncover more potential crimes against his country by these groups that operate with support from Washington, then it makes total sense to send him home to Cuba and save on the supervision costs. Good riddance!

However, no, the same judge that sentenced him and the other four Cubans over a decade ago ruled that he must stay in the USA, where in fact Gonzalez is in danger of retaliation from the hard-line exiles.

That done and said a new element recently entered into the case. Gonzalez’s brother Roberto is gravely ill with lung cancer in Havana.

On February 24th Rene’s attorney Phil Horowitz requested the Federal Court grant Rene two weeks to visit his brother in Havana. Appeals to grant this request have been made all the way up to President Obama.

On Monday the US Justice Department opposed the request fearing he might get new instructions from Cuban intelligence officials on spying on the exiles in Florida, noted the Miami Herald.

And just in case the court was to decide favorably on Gonzalez’ emergency request on humanitarian grounds, Carolyn Heck Miller, the orginal prosecuting attorney in the Cuban Five case, asked that a set of bizarre conditions be abided by.

Have a read for yourself and make your comments.

The following are Rene Gonzalez’ motion (pdf) and the U.S. government response (pdf)


10 thoughts on “Bizarre Cuba Spy Drama Continues

  • Questioning of Human Rights in Cuba? Why not start with the violations of human rights in the US and the atrocities its government creates on people abroad?

  • First and foremost, although he was convicted, he was done so on a very flimsy argument.
    When it comes to ‘terror’ crimes, anything goes in the US.
    Open your eyes and have a look at the way the US gov’t operates on a daily basis at home and abroad.
    The US government’s stance on Cuba is archaic to say the least. This decision proves this once more.

  • Herbert, I agree that the treatment of the Cuban Five in the US Justice system is more or less what one would expect. You could say the same for Alan Gross in Cuba. Very predictable on both parts. If and when the Cuban Five get to go home, yes they will receive a heroes welcome. If Alan Gross gets to go home he will be well received by the US State Deptartment and his family.

    I agree with Amnesty International, the UN Working Committee on Arbitrary Detentions and the US National Lawyers Guild that the injustices in the case of the Cuban Five, the biased trial and harsh sentences, deserve condemnation. Human Rights violations in Cuba are another issue that Amnesty has also criticized. HT writers have also written on those.

  • I also put forward that the 5 comrades should be released and sent home like other recent cases between countries that have differences with the US.

    If I remember correctly it was with at Fidel urging and the intelligent services that turned over the information concerning the terrorist groups in Miami to the US government and the FBI, which we can now see was a mistaken policy.

    As someone who has viewed and studied these terrorist groupings in Miami in person not only against Cuba but also Venezuela, they’re the ones who should be in jail and the US policy makers who let them roam free .

  • Circles,
    i would be more than happy happy for all five to go home today. I think infiltrating organisations who are suspected of carrying out violent acts, ie terorism, is fine. Do I therefore trust the Cuban state security apparatus?. I certainly do not.
    What I am saying is that the Cuban government should have expected that foreign agents operating in the USA without a licence would be treated the way they were (perhaps they did and therefore I suspect the public protestations to be political theatre.)
    To be clear, at no point did I say they should be treated the way they were.
    I also think it will take years if not decades before we find out why those five undertook the mission and never while Fidel and Raul Castro are stilla live. I suspect they hoped for a heroes’ welcome on their return and a reward. Altruism? I need more convincing.
    What annoys me is that defenders of the Five often refer to Amnesty International. How wonderful it would be if calls for their release came from a Cuban national section of Amnesty International. However, to allow such a section to operate freely, would require adherence to human rights in Cuba.

  • Herbert, you said: “I see absolutely no reason to keep Rene Gonzalez in the USA against his will”. That says it all for the issue at hand. Let the poor guy go home!

    Your questions are obviously ones for the highest level of the Cuban government, although a lot of the information is available in the trial and appeals documents.

    What’s clear is they were agents sent by the Cuban state security to infiltrate militant Cuban-exile organizations in Florida. Independent of whether you agree or not with their mission, at this stage, to suggest they did it for material gain is a little ridiculous.

  • While I see absolutely no reason to keep Rene Gonzalez in the USA against his will, I have two questions;
    a) did the Cuban government seriously expect that the USA would not prosecute the five agents after detection. In other words, did the Cuban government fail in its duty of care?
    b) what persuaded the five agents to go to the USA? Were material [romises made by the Cuban government or at least implied.
    I do not think this case is as black and white as some people make out.

  • The man is convicted of espionage. He has been released after 13 years. A 3 year term of observation post-release is called for by the sentence. He is a convicted spy. In so many other parts of the world, especially Cuba, this man would either have disappeared, have been put in jail for life with no chance of parole, or shot. He committed the crime, he serves his sentence. The idea that a government should be sympathetic to the wishes of an agent convicted of espionage is immature and unrealistic at best. He is lucky to have been arrested in the US where the sentence was light and served in a low-security prison where conditions rival a hotel for comfort. I have known personal known people to be arrested in Cuba for none-sense, the conditions they lived in while in prison and the horrific conditions of their health upon release (if they were released!).

  • That is why everybody around the world “loves” the US government.
    No brain, no compassion, no openness.
    Just hate and coldness towards everybody.

  • The U.S. politics concerning Cuba is so paranoid. This case is just one example…

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