Judicial Watch • U.S. Lets Jailed Spy’s Intel Agent Wife Visit From Cuba

U.S. Lets Jailed Spy’s Intel Agent Wife Visit From Cuba

U.S. Lets Jailed Spy’s Intel Agent Wife Visit From Cuba

NOVEMBER 01, 2010

The U.S. government has quietly let a convicted foreign spy receive a jailhouse visit from his wife even though she too was an intelligence agent in the same terror-sponsoring country.

After 12 years of denying a visa, the State Department—under Hillary Clinton’s leadership—has lifted a ban to allow a Cuban intelligence officer to visit her partner in crime (Gerardo Hernandez) in a California federal prison where he’s serving a life sentence for leading an espionage cell in the U.S.

Ignored by the mainstream media, the story was revealed by a Spanish-language blog that covers Cuban affairs. A veteran Florida congresswoman (Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) who is a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee subsequently confirmed the visit, which the Obama Administration strived to keep secret.

Hernandez, a Cuban military intelligence agent, was the spymaster of a network (La Red Avispa) that surveilled vulnerable entry ports to import arms and explosives into the U.S., penetrated anti-communist groups in Florida and infiltrated the U.S. Southern Command, the Defense Department’s operation responsible for military activities in central and South America.

In 2001 Hernandez and four colleagues were convicted on a range of charges involving spying activities perpetrated against the U.S. The Cuban spies appealed, but a federal appellate court upheld the convictions in 2006. Hernandez, the ringleader, was sentenced to life for his role in the murder of four civilians shot down by Cuban military jets over the Florida Straits in 1996. The men—three of them U.S. citizens—were members of the humanitarian Cuban exile group Brothers to the Rescue.

During his federal trial, evidence was presented that revealed Hernandez’s wife (Adriana Pérez) was undergoing special intelligence training in Havana at the time of his arrest so she could join him as a spy in Miami. Because Cuba has for years appeared on the State Department’s list of terrorist-sponsoring nations, it only made sense that she was repeatedly denied a visa to visit her husband in the U.S.

Some worry that the Obama Administration may be negotiating a swap for a U.S. government subcontractor (Alan Gross) jailed in Havana for nearly a year without being charged. Top ranking administration officials, including Clinton, have demanded that Cuba release Gross while the island’s communist dictator has repeatedly flipped the finger at their requests.

 

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