Convicted Cuban spy wants transfer to Florida prison
by Juan O. Tamayo
Jan. 18, 2012
Reprinted from Miami Herald
One of the five Cuban spies convicted as part of the “Wasp Network” requested a transfer to a medium-security prison in northwestern Florida to make it easier for his mother to visit him, according to supporters.
Antonio Guerrero, serving a 22-year sentence on an espionage conspiracy charge, wrote in an email to supporters that he arrived Jan. 11 at the Marianna federal prison after his transfer from the Florence facility near Puebla in Colorado.
He gave no reason for the transfer, but Gloria La Riva, coordinator of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five, said Guerrero asked for the change so that his mother could visit him more easily.
Mirta Rodríguez, a Havana resident and about 70 years old, had to take three different flights to Colorado during each of her previous trips to visit her son, La Riva added.
The five Cuban spies have been kept in prisons far from South Florida, like those in Colorado and California, in an apparent effort to avert possible prison confrontations with anti-Castro inmates.
Marianna, about 65 miles west of Tallahassee, was the last prison stop for another Wasp Network member, René González, who was freed October 8 after he completed his 13-year prison sentence. He remains on parole somewhere in the United States.
Guerrero, whose sentence runs until 2017, stays in contact with supporters in Cuba and elsewhere through e-mail. He has written scores of poems and essays in prison, and some of his paintings are on exhibit this week at a gallery in Seattle.
Cuba says the Wasp Network spies were in South Florida to monitor anti-Castro terrorists and report on their plans. Evidence at their trial showed they also tried to infiltrate U.S. military installations in South Florida.
Guerrero, a maintenance worker at the Boca Chica Naval Air Station in Key West, reported to Havana on the types and number of military aircraft that landed there, but had no access to classified materials.
Other Wasp members tried to infiltrate the Pentagon’s Miami-based U.S. Southern Command and reported on flights in and out of the U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, which runs the war in Afghanistan.
Also serving long prison sentences as part of the Wasp Network are Gerardo Hernández, Fernando González and Ramón Labañino.
Hernández is serving two life sentences for murder conspiracy, a charge stemming from his role in providing Havana with information that helped Cuban warplanes shoot down two U.S. civilian airplanes in 1996, killing all four South Florida men aboard.