Originally published on 30 March 2012
on Cubadebate René González is in Cuba
René González, one of the five anti-terrorist Cuban fighters unfairly given harsh prison sentences in the United States, arrived to Cuba on Friday on a family, private visit in the wake of authorization by a US judge to visit his gravely ill brother. According to information released by the TV news program, René arrived minutes after midday.
On February 24, René had filed through his lawyer an emergency motion before the South Florida District Court, requesting an authorization to visit his brother, seriously ill in Cuba. Nearly a month later, on March 19, Judge Joan Lenard, who have been handling the case of The Cuban Five since the start of their proceedings, authorized the trip for 15 days under certain conditions, including obtaining all US government travel permits needed.
She also set as a prerequisite failing a detailed travel schedule, his location in Cuba and information of contact in the country, as well as a systematic phone contact with his probation officer. The judge also made clear that all conditions of Rene’s supervised release remain unchanged and he has to go back to the United States as soon as the two weeks pass from the date of his trip.
After having suffered 13 years of unfair prison, René is under a supervised release regime for another three years during which he has to remain in the United States, which constitutes an additional sanction. The decision of authorizing his trip is fully in line with conditions established for his supervised release, which allow him to travel to Cuba after an approval by the probation officer or the judge. Even the US Government, which has opposed all motions filed by René to be allowed a permanent return to Cuba and his temporary visit to his brother, admitted that conditions of his supervised release do not prevent him from visiting our country.
In this regard, as of March 7, 2011, the Attorney General’s Office argued that the terms of Rene’s supervised release do not prevent him from traveling to Cuba during that period. “Nothing will prevent him from requesting his probation officer (or the court, if he was denied that by the former) a permit to travel to Cuba to visit his wife, his old parents or other relatives.” In the motion filed by his lawyer, Rene said he would comply with the terms established for the visit and return to the United States. Despite the terms imposed, our people, with deep respect, welcomes home our beloved René, and do not stop fighting for his final, permanent return home along with his four close brothers, says the press release.
René González, along with his comrades Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González, was detained in 1998 in the United States for monitoring Miami-based violent groups operating against Cuba.