Advocates Urge Two Concessions in Exchange for Alan Gross Reply

A stunning extract from today’s issue of the Heritage (Florida Jewish News):

“On background, a source apprised of the dealings among Gross’ advocates, the U.S. government and the Cubans says that Gross’ advocates are willing to press for visits by the wives of two of the Cuban Five, Rene Gonzalez and Gerardo Hernandez. The U.S. has refused visas multiple times for the women, and Amnesty International has taken up their cause.

Another possible “give,” according to the source:  a permanent return to Cuba for Gonzalez, who is out of jail and serving probation in the Miami area.”

Read the full article here:  Consideration of Cuban demands

Omitted from the story is Washington’s rationale for banning visits by the wives of René González and Gerardo Hernandez.   Following the arrests of Wasp Network spies in September 1998, Hernández’s wife, Adriana Pérez O’Connor, was identified as “Agent Bonsai.”  Her mission was to courier messages and material between Havana and Miami.  Still in training as an intelligence asset at the time of the arrests, she and her children were deported and permanently banned re-entry visas.

In an act of unappreciated generosity, the U.S. also decided not to charge Olga Salanueva (wife of René González) with espionage and deported her and the children to Cuba.  However, her espionage career renders her ineligible to ever return to the United States, even to visit her incarcerated husband.

The U.S. allows family members of the three other members of the Cuban 5 almost limitless visas.  In addition to the long and frequent family visits, Cuban government officials also often enjoy visits with all five convicts.

See also:  US Department of State.   “The “Cuban Five: Cuban intelligence operatives often misrepresented as political prisoners,” June 9, 2008,


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