Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Cuban spy's ex-wife asks for proceeds from sale of plane

The ex-wife of a Cuban double agent wants the crop duster plane that carried eight defectors to Key West last week awarded to her as partial payment of a punitive settlement she was awarded last year.

The proceeds from selling the rickety plane would be a tiny amount of the $27.1-million a judge determined Ana Margarita Martinez was entitled to under antiterrorism law.

But Martinez said she wants the plane on principle.

"I just want to be a thorn in their side," Martinez said. "I want to aggravate the Cuban government so they won't forget what they did."

Martinez was awarded the damages after a judge agreed with her claim that she was used as a political pawn by Cuban spy Juan Pablo Roque and the Cuban government. Roque married Martinez as part of his official cover.

Martinez's attorneys filed papers asking that authorities in Key West place a lien on the plane so it may become the first payment to their client. The plane has been under 24-hour guard at Key West International Airport since it landed there last week.

Officials in Monroe County planned to consult with federal authorities on the issue. Mark Willis, general counsel for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said it's unclear who legally owns the plane.