The Associated Press has reported that one of the convicted spies known as the "Cuban Five", who returned to Cuba last month to attend memorial services for his recently-deceased father, does not have to return to the U.S. to complete probation.
Rene Gonzalez was released from U.S. prison in October 2011, but was still serving three years' probation. Although he was allowed to attend his father’s service, the Justice Department had previously insisted he had to return.
In exchange for the Justice Department’s change in position, and the judge’s ruling, Gonzalez offered to give up his U.S. citizenship.
Some have wondered whether this would have any effect on the case of U.S. citizen, Alan Gross, who is jailed in Cuba. Officials in Cuba previously offered to release him in exchange for the liberation of the Cuban Five. The four other members of the Cuban Five are still imprisoned in the U.S. and also must serve probation terms if they are released.
The U.S. State Department declined comment Friday, saying the Gross case and the Gonzalez case are not related. Cuba's government issued a brief statement, but does not mention whether the decision will affect the Gross case or have any larger impact on U.S.-Cuba ties.
Gonzalez and the others were convicted in 2001 of being part of a ring sent by Cuba's communist government to spy on U.S. military installations, Cuban exile groups and politicians opposed to Fidel Castro.
Cuba proclaims the Cuban Five as heroes.
USA Today’s report is at this link.