After having served an unfair 13-year-prison sentence, Cuban Rene Gonzalez, one of the Cuban Five, was released from the South Florida-based Marianna Federal Correctional Institution at 4:30 a.m. under a three-year probation in US territory, meaning he is not allowed to return to Cuba.
Rene was welcomed out of the prison by his two daughters Irma and Ivette, his brother Roberto and his father Candido, along his lawyer Philip Horowitz. But neither his mother nor his wife were given entry visas to travel to the US to meet him.
“Today, Rene Gonzalez is the first of the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters to be released from US jails, and to put his feet out of prison,” said a reporter with Telesur TV channel that covered Rene´s release.
Rene is now staying with his family and he enjoys good health, said his lawyer Phillip Horowitz, who added that despite having been released Rene will not be able to make it to Cuba following the order by the judge that he must stay in US territory during a three-year probation.
In a recent interview with Telesur TV, Rene´s wife Olga Salanueva warned of the dangers that Rene will face in Miami, where he will stay, following the presence there of violent anti-Cuba groups. She said anybody who declares himself or herself an anti-terrorist fighter in US territory is in danger.
Rene Gonzalez, along Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez were arrested in 1998 and submitted to a trial in the US city of Miami, after they monitored Florida-based ultra-right organizations that have undertaken terrorist acts against Cuba and in US territory over the past five decades.
The imprisonment and long sentences given to the Cuban Five, as they are internationally known, have unleashed huge protests around the world by politicians, intellectuals, and civil society members who demand their release from prison.