Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spy's ex-wife reacts to "made-for-TV interview"

Ana Margarita Martinez
Ana Margarita Martinez, ex-wife of Cuban spy Juan Pablo Roque, criticized on Tuesday comments that Roque made in my recent interview with the former agent. See below for press release quoting Martinez.
Oscar Haza, host of "A Mano Limpia," broadcast the first part of the interview on Monday night.
I have written two stories based on the interview. The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald published one of those stories on Tuesday night. (See "Retired spy in Brothers to the Rescue case lives in obscurity in Havana" and "Sin dinero y desesperado ex espía cubano involucrado con Hermanos al Rescate"). The article quotes Martinez, along with others who knew Roque when he was posing as a Cuban defector in Miami.
Roque is a controversial figure and has harsh critics in South Florida. I suspect that supporters of the Cuban government see him in a much different light, a point of view that I will also explore in the coming days.

Here's the press release:
MIAMI -- On Monday, Oct. 1st, America TeVE 41 in Miami aired the first part of an interview on Oscar Haza’s A Mano Limpia with Juan Pablo Roque, a Cuban spy who is partly responsible for the shoot-down of the Brothers to the Rescue planes in international airspace and the murder of four Americans in 1996.
Roque, who absconded from Miami the day before the shoot-down, abandoning his wife and young step children, has not granted an interview in 16 years. In fact, the only news that had been heard from him was a leaked home video in which he thanks his mother, who lived in Spain but is now deceased, for the care package and says that he wants to leave Cuba. The video, in which he appears inebriated and speaks disparagingly of the Cuban government, was leaked to the media as well.

Ana Margarita Martinez, the woman who Roque had married in his undercover operation and used for his cover, only saw part of the interview on Monday but said that nothing the admitted spy said could be taken seriously. She added that the interview was likely granted -- with permission of the Cuban government -- specifically to counter the statements he made last year in the home movie.
"This made-for-TV interview is obviously nothing more than damage-control after that private video was leaked and broadcasted last year. In that video, he criticizes the Cuban regime, and plainly states that he wants to leave the country," Martinez said. "To me, it is apparent that Roque was instructed by the Cuban government to clean up the mess he made."
There is no other apparent reason for the interview, all of a sudden. There is no “news peg.” There is no anniversary. This is just an attempt to counter the last image that the world outside of Cuba saw of Roque, a celebrated hero for his espionage work that ended in the February 1996 murder of four American men: Carlos Costa, Mario de la Peña, Armando Alejandre, Jr., and Pablo Morales. In fact, Roque’s interview serves to further his role as the one to falsely justify such unconscionable acts.
"His claims regarding the Brothers to the Rescue organization are ludicrous, and an insult to the memory of those four men who did nothing but save the lives of rafters escaping the island prison," said Martinez, whose claims against the tyranny’s crime against her – and victory against the injustice awarded by a U.S. judge – has been blocked by the Obama administration.
Oscar Haza plans to continue his series and Martinez and her supporters want to know if he is going to air the video that was recorded last year of him drinking and criticizing the Castro regime.
For more information, go to www.anamargaritamartinez.com or call Elaine de Valle at
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DEVALLE Media Inc.

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