Baby daughter for Gerardo and Adriana

News from Cuba | Friday, 16 January 2015

Gerardo's very special joy

On 6 January a baby girl was born to Gerardo Hernández and Adriana Pérez. Gema Hernández Pérez was born at 8.30am in Havana weighing 7lb 7oz and was described by Cuban newspaper, Granma as “the product of the love shared by the couple, which has for 16 years survived a great distance and Gerardo’s unjust imprisonment in the United States.”

News of the pregnancy came as a surprise to many when Gerardo revealed details shortly after his return to Cuba in December. His wife’s pregnancy was evident in the pictures and film of their reunion which sparked speculation over how it had happened since the couple had been separated for 16 years following his arrest in September 1998.

As the couple left a celebration concert a few days after his return, Hernández revealed the secret surrounding the pregnancy.

"Everyone's asking, and we have had a lot of fun with the comments and speculations. The reality is it had to be kept quiet," he told Cuban news reporters.

He said his wife's pregnancy was a direct result of the high-level talks.

"One of the first things accomplished by this process was this," Hernandez said, gesturing to Adriana’s stomach. "I had to do it by 'remote control,' but everything turned out well."

Further interviews and reports have revealed the high level negotiations which took place to allow the pregnancy to be facilitated through IVF treatment.

Many months ago, Adriana Pérez had requested a meeting with Senator Patrick Leahy while he was in Cuba seeking to improve conditions for US citizen Alan Gross, who was serving 15 years in Cuba for illegally importing communications equipment into the country. She explained the couple’s desire to have a family, and in the light of Gerardo’s two life sentences and the real possibility that he would die in prison, Senator Leahy took up her request.

Discussions went on while high-level talks about normalising relations were taking place and officials had to communicate via back channels, knowing that any leak about the pregnancy could doom the talks.

Speaking to a journalist after the birth of Gema, Gerardo said he was “very happy, super excited ?

I never imagined such a happiness.”

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