Cuban Five Leader Criticizes Agents who Cooperated with US Gov.
- Cuban Five Leader Criticizes Agents who Cooperated with US Gov.May 13, 2013
*By Caf� Fuerte <http://www.cafefuerte.com/>***
[image: Rene Gonzalez shows the paper verifies his renouncing of US
citizenship. Photo: cafefuerte]<http://www.havanatimes.org/?attachment_id=93010>
Rene Gonzalez shows the paper verifies his renouncing of US citizenship.
HAVANA TIMES � Cuban agent Gerardo Hernandez, currently serving two life
sentences on charges of conducting espionage in the United States, has
leveled strong criticisms at members of the Avispa Network (Red Avispa) who
cooperated with US federal authorities in order to reduce their sentences.
In an enthusiastic message of support for agentRene
who renounced US citizenship to be able to remain in Cuba, Hernandez
referred to those members of the spy network who rushed to cooperate with
the US government in exchange for a pardon and �a new life.�
�He [Rene] could well have resorted to the same pretexts used by those who
rushed to declare themselves guilty and cooperate with the authorities,�
Hernandez stated in a message sent out from the Victorville Federal Prison
in California, published by Cuba�s *Granma* newspaper on Friday.
Hernandez commented that Gonzalez would now become a �new standard-bearer�
in the struggle to secure the release of the four agents who continue to
serve long prison sentences in the United States.
This past Friday, Gonzalez announced that the US State Department had
accepted his renouncement of U.S. citizenship, showing journalists the
official rescission during a press conference in Havana. Gonzalez had made
the official request at the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) on Monday.
�Now, I am simply a Cuban citizen, a Cuban patriot,� Gonzalez declared
before journalists, convened at Havana�s International Press Center.
On May 23, Gonzalez must submit a report about his current legal situation
and a certified copy of the document formalizing the loss of his
citizenship before a Miami court. This will officially close the case and
allow him to remain to Cuba definitively.
The leader of the Avispa Network, dismantled on September of 1998, recalled
that, after years away from his family, Rene Gonzalez had finally been
permitted to reunite with his wife and daughter in the United States, only
four months after the birth of their second daughter, when he was arrested
by the FBI.
*Without the Slightest Hesitation*
�What was the right thing to do? Stick to one�s principles, leave the three
to fend for themselves in a foreign country, and face many long years of
separation again, or negotiate, give the authorities what they wanted in
exchange for a pardon and a new life? There was never even a glimmer of
doubt in his mind, and he acted as he should, without the slightest
hesitation,� Hernandez affirmed.
Hernandez, implicated in the conspiracy to down two small planes deployed
by the organization Brothers to the Rescue (Hermanos al Rescate) in 1996,
was of the opini�n that Gonalez �served every day of his sentence with
dignity, and walked out with his head as high as when he arrived in prison.�
Gonzalez was released from prison in October of 2011 after serving a
15-year sentence, but was forced to remain on parole in Miami owing to his
status as a US citizen. A federal judge, who had given Gonzalez
authorization to travel to Cuba in order to attend his father�s funeral,
accepted his petition to be able to remain in Cuba, on the condition that
he renounce his US citizenship.
It is estimated that the Avispa Network which operated in south Florida was
made up of at least 25 agents. Of the 14 captured, 7 decided to cooperate
with U.S. authorities. Salanueva and Juan Emilio Aboy, members of the
network, were deported to Cuba, and least six others managed to evade the
Cuba�s propaganda campaigns repeatedly invoke the Five Heroes (the �Cuban
Five <http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=5450>�) imprisoned in the United
States. A cloak of secrecy, however, has been spread over the identity of
the �seven non-heroes� whose sentences were reduced and are currently in
witness protection programs in the United States.
Hernadez� comments regarding the �group of collaborators� is one of
extremely few references to this issue made by Cuba�s official media. The
case of former agent Edgerton Levy and his wife, double agents who, as of
1995, proved key figures in the identification and monitoring of the
network by the FBI, is also passed over in silence.
Hernandez� message, dated May 3, made no mention of the number or the names
of the network�s �non-heroes�.
Hernandez celebrated Gonzalez� decision to remain in Cuba and stated that
he and the other three imprisoned agents feel slightly freer.
�Today, all of the Cuban Five feel slightly freer. A part of us walks down
the streets of that island, and we can almost breath in its air, feel the
warmth of its sun on our skin,� he stated.
*We�re Still the Cuban Five*
Hernandez also insisted that the media should not begin to speak of four
imprisoned agents, but, rather, continue referring to them as the Five.
�We�re still the Cuban Five and will continue to be the Five. We must carry
on with the struggle, not only for the four who remain in the United
States, but also for Rene, for we know him and we know he will not be fully
free until we have all returned to the homeland,� 48-year-old Hernandez
During Friday�s press conference, Gonzalez read out the message from the
leader of the Avispa Network and seconded his concluding remarks.
�We�re still the Five, I won�t consider myself a free man until my four
brothers, heroes Antonio, Fernando, Ramon and Gerardo, are here with us,�
Gonzalez said. �I�m going to continue the struggle for our cause, wherever
Gonzalez was a guest at Cuba�s Round Table program, where he presented the
documentary *Screams on the Wall *(*Gritos en la pared*), which details the
struggle led by Cuba and the international solidarity movement to secure
the freedom of the five imprisoned agents.
*MEMBERS OF THE AVISPA NETWORK WHO COOPERATED WITH THE US GOVERNMENT*
*Alejandro Alonso, agent Franklin and 0-5, resident of Miami. Mission:
infiltrate military bases and organizations of Cuban exiles, such as the
Democracy Movement (Movimiento Democracia). Sentenced to seven years in
*Linda and Nilo Rodriguez (spouses), also known as �Los Juniors�, agents
Judith and Manolo, respectively. Residents of Miami. Mission: spy on
Homestead Air Base and Base 82 of the Air Infantry Division in Fort Bragg,
North Caroline. Sentenced to seven years in prison.*
*Joseph and Amarylis Santos (spouses), agents Julia and Mario,
respectively. Residents of Miami. Mission: infiltrating South Command
computer networks. Sentenced to four years (Joseph) and three years and six
months (Amarylis) in prison.*
*George and Marisol Gari (spouses), agents Luis and Margot, respectively.
Residents of Florida. Mission: monitoring the MacDill Air Base (Tampa) and
intercepting correspondence between Cuban Americans tagged by Cuban
intelligence services, using Marisol�s position as a post office employee
at Miami Airport. Sentenced to seven years (George) and three years and six
months (Marisol) in prison.*
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