Cuba and the United States: The Last Cold War Gets Warmer

IMAGE SOURCE: cupe.ca

IMAGE SOURCE: cupe.ca

By Anita Stewart

Right on the heels of the borders being opened between the United States and Cuba and after 61-years of frozen negotiations, the last remaining three members of the Cuban Five were released from prison and returned to Cuba on December 17th, 2014. This story was barely given 30 seconds on corporate media over the past weeks.

What did get a lot of mentions in the corporate media is that the US borders have opened with Cuba after many years of restrictions. This allows family members to visit each other and lifts the embargo to allow for future trade between both countries. Many US citizens throughout Florida that have family members in Cuba are happy that the travel restrictions have been lifted. This took many months of talks between representatives and working with terms that were acceptable to both governments.

The Last Cold War Spies

The Cuban Five had international attention and the members spent a total of 16 years of incarceration with 17 months of that time was in solitary confinement. The Cuban Five are Rene Gonzalez (released in 2011), Fernando Gonzalez (released in February of 2014), Gerardo Hernandez (became a father at the time of this writing), Ramon Labanino and Antonio Guerrero. 

In 1998, the Cuban Five were sent to South Florida as intelligence operatives and started working undercover after several anti-communist bombings had taken place in Havana. They were arrested that same year in Miami and indicted for conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit espionage, acting as agents of a foreign government and other charges.

Later, in 2001 (and with the full knowledge of this fact for 3 years prior) the Cuban government determined that their assets’ targets were Miami’s community of anti-Communist, anti-Castro Cuban exiles, not the United States government. Over the years there was a huge international movement of organizations and supporters, including 8 Nobel Peace Prize winners calling for freedom and immediate release of the Cuban Five.

Exchanges

What is not known by many listeners and readers of corporate media is that these last three members of the Cuban Five that were released on December 17th, 2014 were also negotiated with Cuba’s release of two high-profile spies.

One was Alan Phillip Gross who was working as a contractor and bringing internet access to the Jewish community living in Cuba. He was also working for US Agency for International Development (USAID). 

The other spy, the US asset Rolando Sarraff Trujillo was working as an intelligence operative with his specialty in encryption communications and he had a 25 year sentence to serve. Supposedly his offenses were so grave and caused so much damage to the government of Cuba, he could have been executed. As of this writing, the latest reports say Trujillo has not checked in with family and loved ones in Havana since his release in the US and that he is either being debriefed or has gone into hiding or is missing.

Romance

The latest news about the Cuban Five since the release of the remaining three members in December is that Gerardo Hernandez has become a father with the help of Senator Leahy of Vermont. During Hernandez’s incarceration, one of Leahy’s aides couriered his frozen sperm to his wife in Cuba and she became pregnant through artificial insemination. Their daughter was born in Cuba yesterday and she is named Gema.

Sometimes spy stories can be romantic too, just like a John La Carre novel. Who’s producing the movie?

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