Cuban Spy Gets Out of Prison Friday

Rene Gonzalez gets out of federal prison in Marianna Friday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rene Gonzalez was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for spying for Cuba with four other Fidel Castro spies, one of whom was responsible for engineering the shoot down of two Brothers to the Rescue Cessnas in international waters. (Published Thursday, Oct 6, 2011)

    Rene Gonzalez was popular and engaging. He infiltrated Cuban exile groups like Brothers to the Rescue and Democracia Movement.

    In 2001 in Miami, he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for spying for Cuba with four other Fidel Castro spies, one of whom was responsible for engineering the shoot down of two Brothers to the Rescue Cessnas in international waters.

    On Friday he will released from federal prison in Marianna after serving 13 years.

    "He was a very good spy I guess, but he betrayed our trust," said Billy Schuss, a founder of Brothers to the Rescue.

    The Cuban government mounted a worldwide campaign to free the convicted spies including Gonzalez. In Cuba the spies are considered heros. For Mario and Miriam de la Pina all that is just Cuban propaganda. They lost their pilot son in one of  the planes shot down by the Cuban Air Force.

    "The truth is the fact is that he is a spy. He is a traitor to his country. He as born in the United States," said Miriam de la Pina.

    After Gonzalez is released, he will serve three years probation in South Florida before he can return to Cuba.

    Jose Basulto, president of  Brothers to the Rescue, said Gonzalez should be sent to Cuba immediately.

    "If this man has any dignity left he better resign his American citizenship. He betrayed the U.S.," Basulto said.

    "If the courts decide he is better off, it is better for our country for him to be sent back to Cuba, that's fine. He can enjoy his day in glory," Miriam de la Pina said.