Mexico Orders Release of Spies Convicted in U.S. Court
SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
The Obama administration has given Mexico enough input and authority over U.S. matters that its lawmakers felt emboldened enough to order the release of four communist spies serving lengthy sentences in federal prison.
The Mexican Cámara de Diputados, which is similar to the U.S. House of Representatives, actually passed a measure this week commanding American officials to free the foreign intelligence officers, agents of Cuba’s communist government convicted in 2001 for espionage, conspiracy to commit murder and acting as an agent of a foreign government. One of the spies is already out on probation after serving a 13-year sentence but four remain in federal jails.
The men ran 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. A Cuban military intelligence agent named Gerardo Hernandez was the ringleader and he’s serving a life sentence in a California federal prison.
A few years ago the Obama administration quietly granted Hernandez’s wife, also a Cuban intelligence agent, a visa to visit him in jail. After 12 years of denying a visa, the State Department—under Hillary Clinton’s leadership—lifted a ban to allow the communist agent to visit her partner in crime at the California facility where he’s serving his life sentence for leading an espionage cell in the U.S.
The operation constituted a huge national security threat considering Cuba has for years appeared on the State Department’s list of states that sponsor terrorism. According to the United States government, Cuba remains on the list for supporting designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations and for harboring fugitives from U.S. justice, including domestic terrorists.
For some reason Mexican lawmakers feel they have authority over this matter even though it doesn’t even involve any of their nationals. The Cuban spies had an army of topnotch attorneys and were convicted by a jury in a U.S. federal court. The conviction was upheld by an appellate court so they definitely got due process and the verdicts must be respected.
But Mexico’s legislature insists the Cuban spies have been “unjustly detained in the United States” for 15 years and that it’s time to free them. In their measure, Mexican lawmakers actually refer to the convicted foreign agents as “heroes” who must be released. To back up the demand, Mexico’s government cites resolutions passed by the United Nation’s laughable human rights organization and the famously leftist Amnesty International.
Since Obama became president, Mexico has been allowed to exercise unprecedented power over U.S. matters especially when it comes to labor and immigration. For instance, the U.S. signed an agreement with Mexico’s government this year vowing to prevent workplace discrimination against illegal immigrants while educating them about their civil rights and minimum wage. The pact also creates special “Labor Rights Week” events to help Mexican nationals in this country.
The Obama administration also allows Mexico to operate a program (Ventanillas de Salud—Health Windows) that refers its nationals–living in the U.S. illegally–to publicly funded health centers where they can get free medical care without being turned over to immigration authorities. The U.S. also lets Mexico to operate a satellite consular office to give illegal immigrants identification cards that facilitate life in the United States.
Last year Mexico issued the U.S. government what amounts to a diplomatic threat for exonerating a Border Patrol agent who shot an illegal immigrant near the Texas border after being assaulted with rocks. The federal agent had spotted a group of Mexicans crossing the Rio Grande near El Paso and used his gun in self-defense after the group attacked him with rocks. The Department of Justice (DOJ) tried hard to file criminal charges against the agent, but gave up after a multi-year investigation that showed “insufficient evidence” to pursue criminal charges.
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