Lawyer: Probation in the U.S. would be Additional Punishment for Rene Gonzalez

Phil Horowitz, attorney for René González, one of the five Cuban antiterrorists unjustly incarcerated in the US, said the requirement that René spend the next three years in Miami would be “an additional three years of punishment” for Gonzalez to serve his probation in American soil.

Horowitz, in an article published by The Washington Post, said his defendant wants to return to Cuba immediately after his release from a federal prison in Marianna, Fla, scheduled for next October 7th, but federal prosecutors insist he must serve an additional three years of probation there.

He said he had asked U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard on humanitarian grounds to permit the probation to be served in Cuba, since Gonzalez doesn’t have any close relatives in the United States.

Horowitz noted that Gonzalez’s wife cannot get a visa to visit him in the U.S and that his two children and parents also live in Cuba.

The US government said there was no legal justification for Gonzalez to return before the three years’ probation is completed. In court papers, they contend that Gonzalez was unrepentant regarding the actions that landed him in prison and a return to Cuba would put him beyond any U.S. supervision.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Heck Miller contended Horowitz´s modification claiming that it seeks to eliminate the supervised release even before it starts, and added the Cuban hero could later request for permission to travel to Cuba.

Meanwhile, Irma Sehwerert, mother of Gonzalez, expressed concern that her son might be in danger if forced to serve out probation in the Miami area.

René González, along Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando González were detained on September 12th, 1998, and were  later tried and received harsh sentences for infiltrating Miami-based anti-Cuba terrorist groups.