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Alleged Spy’s Wife Awarded $7.1M

March 10, 2001

MIAMI (AP) _ A woman who sued Cuba after she unwittingly married an alleged Cuban spy has been awarded $7.1 million in compensatory damages.

Ana Margarita Martinez said she married Juan Pablo Roque in 1995 without realizing the relationship was a cover for his work.

Circuit Judge Alan Postman ruled Friday that the award will come from frozen Cuban assets held by the U.S. government, but he denied her request for punitive damages saying they couldn’t be sought from the Cuban government.

``I wish the award could have been higher, not so much for my sake, but that the Cuban government would feel more pain.″ said a tearful Martinez.

The couple’s 11-month marriage has been annulled.

In 1992, Roque swam to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay and requested political asylum, saying he was a disenchanted Cuban officer. He volunteered to work with Brothers to the Rescue, which patrols the waters off Cuba in search of people trying to flee the island.

On Feb. 23, 1996, Roque vanished from the home he shared with Martinez and her two children. The next day, Cuban jets shot down two planes flown by the exile group, killing four.

Roque was indicted in absentia as part of an alleged 14-member Cuban spy ring.

The families of three of the passengers of the downed planes have been awarded $96.7 million in frozen Cuban assets.

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