MADRID – Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos met with the wives of two of the five Cuban intelligence agents imprisoned in the United States for the past 11 years, official sources told Efe on Thursday.
Adriana Perez and Olga Salanueva have been in Madrid for several days with the aim of continuing to work to try and secure the release of their husbands and to get visas issued to them to allow them to visit the men in prison.
Moratinos “listened” to the arguments of Perez and Salanueva and expressed to them his willingness to “do everything possible to help” the women, according to the sources.
Perez and Salanueva are married to Gerardo Hernandez and Rene Gonzalez, respectively, who were arrested in 1998 along with Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez and Antonio Guerrero.
The five were found guilty in a Miami court in 2001 and sentenced to terms of up to life in prison for attacking the national security of the United States.
During their stay in Madrid, Perez and Salanueva also met with the new Cuban ambassador to Spain, Alejandro Gonzalez Galiano, and with representatives of leftist parties.
Havana acknowledges that Guerrero, Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez are intelligence agents, but says they were spying not on the U.S. government but on Miami’s Cuban exile community.
Cuba says the men were sent to Florida in the wake of several terror bombings in Havana allegedly masterminded by anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned the spies’ convictions in 2005, citing the “prejudices” of Miami’s anti-Castro Cubans.
But the full court later nixed the spies’ bid for a new trial and reinstated the original convictions, and the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear their appeal. EFE