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Cuban Five Leader Criticizes Agents who Cooperated with US Gov.

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  • Cort Greene
    Cuban Five Leader Criticizes Agents who Cooperated with US Gov.May 13, 2013 ... *By Café Fuerte *** [image: Rene Gonzalez shows
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2013
      Cuban Five Leader Criticizes Agents who Cooperated with US Gov.May 13, 2013
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      *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.
      Photo: cafefuerte

      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
      FBI crackdown.

      *Seven Non-Heroes*

      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
      I am.�

      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.


      *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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