April 18, 2024

A new kind of diplomacy

Artificial insemination helped in the thaw in relations between Cuba and the US.

Gerardo Hernandez and Adriana Pérez before the birth of their child.  

 Artificial insemination has become part of international diplomacy. Cubans were scandalised when Gerardo Hernandez, a spy who had been in a US jail for 16 years, greeted his very pregnant wife in Havana after he was released as part of a prisoner swap.

Hernandez was arrested in 1998, found guilty, sentenced in 2001 to two life terms and held in a maximum security prison in California where he was not allowed conjugal visits. However, it turns out that the Obama Administration had agreed for Hernandez’s sperm to be shipped to Cuba as part of the negotiations over restoring ties between the two countries. “One of the first things accomplished by this process was this,” Hernández told the media. “I had to do it by ‘remote control’ but everything turned out well.”

Hernandez’s wife, Adriana Pérez, had pleaded that she would not be able to have a family. The deal was brokered by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy. “The expectation was that this man would die in prison. This was her only chance of having a child,” one of his aides told CNN. Earlier this month Ms Pérez gave birth to a girl. 

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