San Fran Chronicle: Ex-Cuban spy offers to renounce US citizenship
MIAMI (AP) — A convicted Cuban spy offered Monday to renounce his U.S. citizenship if a judge will allow him to finish serving a probation sentence in Cuba. Rene Gonzalez was recently permitted to visit Cuba for two weeks following his father’s death and is due back May 6. His lawyer said in court papers that Gonzalez, 56, is willing to renounce his citizenship while in Havana at the U.S. Interests Section, but only if he can serve his remaining months of probation there.
Gonzalez, who has dual Cuban and U.S. citizenship, “does not wish to run afoul of any of this court’s orders and rulings,” attorney Philip Horowitz wrote. “He will not seek to renounce his citizenship without this court’s permission.” U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard issued no immediate ruling. The Miami U.S. attorney’s office has previously opposed allowing Gonzalez to complete his three-year probation term in Cuba because he would be beyond the reach of a U.S. court’s ability to enforce it.
Gonzalez is one of the so-called Cuban Five convicted of spying on exiles in Florida and attempting to infiltrate military installations and political campaigns. They are hailed as heroes in Cuba, which claims they are victims of political persecution. One Cuban was convicted of murder conspiracy for the 1996 downing of a “Brothers to the Rescue” plane by Cuban fighter jets. The group dropped pro-democracy leaflets in Cuba and helped Cuban migrants trying to reach the U.S.
Gonzalez was released from prison in 2011 after serving about 13 years. He has been living at an undisclosed location in the United States. His wife and daughters live in Cuba.