‘US got isolated trying to isolate Cuba’ – Rene Gonzalez of the Cuban Five
Gonzalez was arrested in 1998 with four other members of the Wasp Network, secretly deployed by Cuba in Miami to monitor the expat community. After spending 13 years behind bars on charges of espionage, he was released in 2011, and has now been reunited with three other members of the group, exchanged this week for US intelligence agent Alan Gross, and another unnamed spy.
“I found the returnees in good spirits and happy,” Gonzalez told RT, refusing to be drawn on the particulars of the surprise prisoner exchange, which came alongside news that Washington was to open an embassy in Havana, and “normalize” relations with Cuba
“In terms of its attitude towards Cuba the United States gradually found itself in isolation, while their goal was to isolate Cuba,” Gonzalez said.
But not only the world community was changing its attitude towards Cuba and demanding similar policy change from Washington, but business circles within the US itself did not want to miss opportunities to their competitors, Gonzalez believes.
“They saw their economic competitors increasingly converging with Cuba while they could not do that. In the end, this process has led to a lot of people, those who are in power, coming to a conclusion that the situation in the relations between Cuba and the United States cannot remain the same.”
Lifting an embargo will take time but the first step has already been made and there is no turning back, believes Gonzalez, choosing to focus on events that eventually “will bring happiness to millions” besides the four families already reunited with their loved ones.
“All four of them worked for their government in another country, protecting national interests. I don’t care who got paid what, or what they did [during their intelligence work]. I want to think about the four families that will be happy at New Year’s. I even prefer thinking of Alan Gross being reunited with his, as well as my comrades,” explained Gonzalez.
“The five of us set an aim for ourselves – to come out better people than we went in, and we have achieved it… All the burdens of the trial, and all the mud-slinging from the US has not broken us,” he said. “Now they can share their joy and happiness, and thus help make Cuba a place we all want it to be.”