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Cuban 5 Spy Released from US Prison

by VOA News February 27, 2014

A second member of the so-called 'Cuban Five' spy ring was released from a United States prison after being jailed for more than 15 years.

Officials say 50-year-old Fernando Gonzalez completed his sentence Thursday at a prison in Safford, Arizona. Gonzalez was turned over immediately to immigration officials to be deported to Cuba.

Gonzalez, who also goes by the name 'Ruben Campa,' was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998 along with four other Cuban agents. All were convicted in 2001 of 26 counts of spying on behalf of Fidel Castro's government.

Trial testimony showed the five sought to infiltrate military bases, including the U.S. Southern Command's headquarters. They also spied on Cuban exiles opposed to the communist government of then-president Fidel Castro. Havana says the agents did not threaten U.S. sovereignty and were only monitoring militant exiles to prevent terrorist attacks in Cuba.

Another agent, Rene Gonzalez, was released in 2011 and returned to Cuba after serving more than 13 years in a U.S. prison. He renounced his U.S. citizenship to avoid serving the mandatory three-year parole in Florida.

One of the three remaining agents, Gerardo Hernandez, is serving a double life sentence after being convicted of involvement in shooting down two small U.S. planes off the Cuban coast in 1996.

The two other agents are still in jail: Antonio Guerrero is serving 21 years and 10 months and is due for release in September 2017, while Ramon Labanino is serving 30 years and is due for release in October 2024.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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