Wife of Cuban spy visits husband in U.S. prison
The wife of accused Cuban spy Gerardo Hernández visited her husband in a
U.S. prison, upsetting Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
The wife of convicted Cuban spy Gerardo Hernández was allowed to visit
him in his U.S. prison last month for the first time in 12 years, Rep.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's office confirmed Friday.
Ros-Lehtinen spokesman Alex Cruz said the Republican congress member
``raised hell'' when State Department officials briefed her on the
visit, after it had taken place.
``We again raised the fact that they are treating Alan Gross and this
convicted spy as equals,'' said Cruz, referring to the U.S. government
subcontractor jailed in Havana. ``We were assured that there was no such
Cruz said the wife's visit took place in early or mid-September --
shortly after Gross's wife Judy was first allowed to visit him in
Havana, where he has been jailed without charges since Dec. 3.
Adriana Pérez visited her husband at the federal prison in Victorville,
Calif., according to the blog Cafe Fuerte, which first reported the
Hernandez, leader of the Wasp spy network rolled up by the FBI in 1999,
was sentenced to life in prison for his role in Cuba's 1996 shootdown of
two Brothers to the Rescue planes that killed four South Florida residents.
Perez had been denied U.S. visas to visit her husband for the past 12
years, and became a central part of the Cuban government's campaign to
push for the release of Hernandez and the four other jailed members of
the Wasp network.
Cuba's government has not acknowledged Perez' visit. Evidence presented
at Hernandez's trial showed she was undergoing intelligence training in
Havana at the time of his arrest so she could join him in Miami.
The timing of the Perez and Judy Gross visits to their husbands fueled
concerns by Ros-Lehtinen and relatives of the Brothers to the Rescue
victims over a possible swap -- Alan Gross for Hernández.
Alan Gross was arrested after he delivered satellite equipment to Cuba's
Jewish community. He has not been formally charged, though Cuban
officials have alleged he was involved in intelligence gathering
activities. U.S. officials deny the allegation.