Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    No normal Cuba-U.S. ties without release of 5 Cubans: official

    No normal Cuba-U.S. ties without release of 5 Cubans: official 2011-09-25 10:04:05

    , Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Normal relations between and
    Washington are "unthinkable" without the release of five Cubans jailed
    in the for spy allegations, said Cuba's parliament leader
    de Quesada on Saturday.

    Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez and
    Antonio Guerrero, known as the "Cuban Five," were in Florida in
    September 1998 and convicted to long sentences for spying.

    Alarcon said that Cuba considers the five people as "heroes" and that
    "they were only monitoring the anti- groups based in
    Florida, without any intention of harming the U.S. security."

    Alarcon also criticized the decision of a U.S. judge impeding Rene
    Gonzalez to return home after his sentence expires on Oct. 7. The judge
    ordered him to live in the United States under supervision for another
    three years.

    Alarcon called on U.S. President Barack Obama to "end this injustice by
    releasing the five."

    The case of the "Cuban Five" and the imprisonment of U.S. contractor
    Alan by Cuba for supporting anti-Castro groups are two main
    obstacles to the resumption of normal relations between the two nations.

    Cuba and the United States severed diplomatic relations more than 50
    years ago, although they have maintained interests offices in each
    other's capital since 1977.