Raul Castro
Raul CastroReuters

A Miami judge issued a decision, on Tuesday, temporarily releasing convicted Cuban spy, Rene Gonzalez, allowing him the opportunity to visit his ailing brother who suffers from lung cancer.  

The ruling “offered a rare moment of relaxation in tension between the two countries,” noted the Associated Press.

It also raised hopes that Cuba might reciprocate with a humanitarian gesture in favor of Alan Gross, the American international development worker who has been imprisoned in Cuba for his efforts to help the Cuban Jewish community improve its access to the Internet.

Gonzalez, one of the so-called Cuban Five agents who were convicted of spying on Cuban exiles in South Florida and trying to infiltrate military installations and political campaigns, was freed last year after serving most of a 15-year sentence, but was ordered to remain in the U.S. for three years on supervised release, noted the AP.

The wife of Alan Gross, welcomed the decision saying that she hopes that the Cuban government will grant her husband a similar request. Gross issued a request to be allowed to return to the United States to visit his mother and adult daughter, both of whom are battling cancer. His supporters are anticipating the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba as an opportunity for a gesture of goodwill on Gross’ behalf.

“I empathize with Rene Gonzalez’s need to visit a dying family member and am pleased that he has been granted permission for a temporary visit,” Judy Gross said in a news release Tuesday. “I now hope that President [Raul] Castro will grant Alan’s request to visit his ailing mother Evelyn, who is suffering from inoperable lung cancer. Evelyn’s final wish is to see her son one last time.”

In a letter to Cuban President Raul Castro, Gross’ counsel Peter Kahn said that the condition of Gross’ mother had worsened and that she wished to see her son one last time.

“We are reaching out to you directly, with the knowledge that you have the power to grant such humanitarian requests, as you have done in the past, and with the hope that you will extend a humanitarian gesture not only towards Alan, but to his ailing mother,” Kahn wrote in a letter obtained by Jewish Telegraphic Agency.