Fidel Castro meets the Cuban Five

Updated: 2015-03-03 09:37


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Fidel Castro meets the Cuban Five

Cuba's former President Fidel Castro (L) shakes hands with Gerardo Hernandez as Antonio Guerrero (L rear), Rene Gonzalez (C partially obscured), three of the "Cuban Five" and Alejandro Castro Espin (R), son of Cuba's President Raul Castro, look on in Havana in this picture provided by Cubadebate. [Photo/Agencies]

HAVANA - Former Cuban President Fidel Castro, 88, finally met with all five of the Cuban spies who returned home as heroes after serving long prison terms in the United States, 73 days after the last of them were freed in a prisoner swap.

It had been highly anticipated as a reunion of Cuba's most vaunted heroes. Cuban officials have not explained why it took so long to arrange.

The meeting took place on Saturday, Castro wrote in an article about the visit that appeared in official media on Monday, accompanied by photos of the get-together.

Castro goes by the title of "historic leader" in retirement and the five intelligence agents were recently honored as Heroes of the Republic for spying on anti-Castro extremist groups in the United States and withstanding prison, unjustly according to Cuba.

"The five antiterrorist heroes, who never did any damage to the United States, were trying to prevent and impede terrorist acts against our people that, it is well known, were organized by US intelligence services," Castro wrote.

Jailed since 1998, the final three of the agents returned home on Dec. 17, when Cuba and the United States completed a prisoner swap as part of the deal in which they agreed to restore diplomatic relations after more than five decades of confrontation. The other two had already returned home after completing their sentences.

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