President Obama announced last week that the White House would reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, while demanding of the communist nation no concessions. Opponents have objected that this negotiation would benefit the Castro regime at the expense of the Cuban people, and that, in freeing the three remaining members of the murderous ‘Cuban Five’ spy ring, President Obama was dishonoring the lives of U.S. citizens.
News has surfaced this week that President Obama did not only agree to free the men, but helped Gerardo Hernandez, a man imprisoned for conspiracy to murder four U.S. citizens, conceive a child while imprisoned using artificial insemination. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and his wife, a registered nurse, participated in aiding Hernandez and his wife in the endeavor. The couple were prominently featured in Raúl Castro’s triumphant return to the Cuban parliament—an ornamental legislative body—this weekend, where the dictator declared, “now we have really won the war.”
Since this angle of the story involves sexual functions, it has begun hijacking every headline about the Cuba deal. It is bizarre, certainly, but a tragedy that it has begun to generate more headlines than Hernandez’s actions themselves, which led to the deaths of four U.S. citizens.
Hernandez is the only person to go to jail for the killing of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Peña, and Pablo Morales—volunteers for a group known as Brothers to the Rescue, whose work consisted of flying over international waters in search of Cuban rafters, or balseros, and bringing them to safety. On February 24, 1996, the Cuban government shot down their planes over international waters, killing the group. No evidence was ever found that the planes were a threat to the Cuban government, and they were performing their volunteer work without endangering anyone. On the contrary, their work consisted of trying to save individuals adrift at sea with little hope.
Hernandez had been spying on the Cuban-American community for years and was the leader of the “Cuban Five.” It is through his intelligence gathering on the civilian volunteer group that the Cuban government is believed to have known where the planes were shot down. He was convicted of conspiracy to murder.
Armando Alejandre will never have the chance that Hernandez was given to have another child, having died at the hands of the communist government President Obama has chosen to embrace. He had a daughter before his untimely death, however, who has expressed outrage at the idea of a criminal like Hernandez going free. “The only person that we had responsible for what happened, to be let go, it’s a slap in the face to my dad,” Marelene Alejandre Triana told Miami’s WSVN News. She lost her father when she was 18.
Naturally, Americans should be outraged that the White House and members of the Democratic Party participated not only in freeing a man whose actions led to the deaths of four U.S. citizens participating in a humanitarian mission, but in providing for him an outrageous privilege, presumably at the expense of the taxpayer. The circus sideshow that is Hernandez’s impending fatherhood should not serve to tint his story with a rose-colored lens and portray him as a national hero and father-to-be rather than the accessory to murder that he is.