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Cuba: “They never managed to break our morale” - Freed Cuban Five member01:36

Cuba: “They never managed to break our morale” - Freed Cuban Five member

Cuba, Havana
September 9, 2013 at 20:39 GMT +00:00 · Published

Cuba: "They never managed to break our morale" - Freed Cuban Five member

During an interview in Havana on Monday, one of the convicted spies known as the "Cuban Five", René González, said despite enduring rough conditions during imprisonment in the United States "they never managed to break our morale". González is the first of the five to have been freed, after facing imprisonment following being arrested alongside Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, and Antonio Guerrero in Miami in 1998 for conspiring to commit espionage.

The "Cuban Five" were jailed after a 17 month period of pre-trial custody, some of which was spent in solitary confinement. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and other illegal activities in the United States.

González said: "Ever since our arrest, they exposed us to degrading conditions of confinement, hoping we would break down and cave in to the prosecutors. We spent a very trying seventeen months in detention, but they never managed to break our morale, which was key in our situation. Right now we are keeping track of Ramon's condition. I don't know much detail, so I wouldn't like to accuse anyone without proof. We know that he's got bad knees, and his friends are trying to obtain a permission to provide him with the necessary medications. In spite of all the hardships, we endured those rough conditions with the kind of fortitude that we have developed over time, and the stamina that had always been our characteristic feature. I know Ramon is doing the same now. The bottom line is, he shouldn't even be in jail at all. Regardless of whether they are willing or not to provide him with medical treatment, or whether they care about each inmate's physical condition, we need to bear in mind that it's a crime in itself to keep those people behind bars for protecting human lives, combating terrorism and safeguarding the people of Cuba. It is a crime to keep them under arrest after fifteen years of confinement."

Gonzales also commented on the condition of his fellow countrymen still in US detention, such as Ramón Labañino, who reportedly has a degenerative joint disease.

René González was released in October 2011 following the completion of 13 years of his sentence, with a further 3 years of probation in the US. Gonzales returned to Cuba in April 2013, where he was allowed to stay providing he renounces his US citizenship.

Cuba: “They never managed to break our morale” - Freed Cuban Five member01:36
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Cuba: "They never managed to break our morale" - Freed Cuban Five member

During an interview in Havana on Monday, one of the convicted spies known as the "Cuban Five", René González, said despite enduring rough conditions during imprisonment in the United States "they never managed to break our morale". González is the first of the five to have been freed, after facing imprisonment following being arrested alongside Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, and Antonio Guerrero in Miami in 1998 for conspiring to commit espionage.

The "Cuban Five" were jailed after a 17 month period of pre-trial custody, some of which was spent in solitary confinement. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, acting as an agent of a foreign government, and other illegal activities in the United States.

González said: "Ever since our arrest, they exposed us to degrading conditions of confinement, hoping we would break down and cave in to the prosecutors. We spent a very trying seventeen months in detention, but they never managed to break our morale, which was key in our situation. Right now we are keeping track of Ramon's condition. I don't know much detail, so I wouldn't like to accuse anyone without proof. We know that he's got bad knees, and his friends are trying to obtain a permission to provide him with the necessary medications. In spite of all the hardships, we endured those rough conditions with the kind of fortitude that we have developed over time, and the stamina that had always been our characteristic feature. I know Ramon is doing the same now. The bottom line is, he shouldn't even be in jail at all. Regardless of whether they are willing or not to provide him with medical treatment, or whether they care about each inmate's physical condition, we need to bear in mind that it's a crime in itself to keep those people behind bars for protecting human lives, combating terrorism and safeguarding the people of Cuba. It is a crime to keep them under arrest after fifteen years of confinement."

Gonzales also commented on the condition of his fellow countrymen still in US detention, such as Ramón Labañino, who reportedly has a degenerative joint disease.

René González was released in October 2011 following the completion of 13 years of his sentence, with a further 3 years of probation in the US. Gonzales returned to Cuba in April 2013, where he was allowed to stay providing he renounces his US citizenship.

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