In a Democracy Now! exclusive, the only freed member of the Cuban Five, René González, speaks out after a 13-year imprisonment in the United States. The five Cuban intelligence agents were arrested in the United States in 1998 and convicted of espionage. They say they were not spying on the United States, but rather trying to monitor violent right-wing Cuban exile groups responsible for attacks inside Cuba. In Cuba, the five are seen as national heroes. González was released in October 2011 and returned to Cuba in April. Joining us from Havana, González discusses why he came to the United States to spy on Cuban exiles, his arrest, and the four other members of the Cuban Five who remain in jail.
Jailed in the U.S. for espionage, the Cuban intelligence agents known as the Cuban Five say they were in fact monitoring violent right-wing Cuban exile groups, not spying on the United States. Ricardo Alarcón, Cuba’s former foreign minister and, up until earlier this year, president of the Cuban National Assembly, has been one of the Cuban Five’s most vocal supporters. Alarcón joins us from Havana to discuss the meetings between Cuban authorities and the FBI in Cuba and the threat posed by militant exiles. “If President Obama is really interested in [projecting] a more positive image of U.S. policy abroad, if he is interested in improving relations with Latin America, he better listen to what many governments in Latin America have been telling him: Simply, free the five,” Alarcón says.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navenethem Pillay has met with Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva, two of the wives of the Cuban 5, and has stated that she will intercede on their behalf.
Now that Rene Gonzalez has renounced his citizenship and is completing the remainder of his parole in Cuba with his wife Olga Salanueva, this means Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo is the only member of the Cuban 5 who has not seen his wife.
For the past 14 years Gerardo Hernandez’s wife, Adriana Perez, hasn’t been allowed to visit him. The U.S. asserts that she is a risk to national security, despite the fact that the U.S. government has no proof or rationale to justify this belief. This separation is a violation of Gerardo’s civil and
international rights as a prisoner.
Mail or Fax Ms. Pillay the Project’s Letter and hold her accountable to her public statement of support.
Remind her that the U.S. community supports the Cuban 5 and their wives’ visitation rights.