The RFC staff was in a meeting on December 17th, 2014 when our phone rang. One of my co-workers stepped into an office to answer the call. The remaining staff continued talking until we heard her surprised, excited response to the caller, our Board chair, Rafael Rodríguez Cruz. He was on his way to Cuba for an educational trip and was calling from Miami to let us know that President Obama had announced plans to normalize relations with Cuba and release the remaining incarcerated members of the Cuban 5.
After more than a decade there is finally some hope for the Cuban 5 - Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González who have been imprisoned since 1998. They were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. Four were sentenced to life and one to 75 years. The 5 were agents of the Cuban government, but were not committing espionage against the United States. Instead, they were monitoring Cuban exiles in South Florida who were plotting terrorism against Cuba.