WASHINGTON - A federal judge Friday sentenced a former State Department worker who is the great-grandson of Alexander Graham Bell to life in prison without possibility of parole for spying for Cuba and sentenced the man's wife to more than 5 years behind bars for helping her husband steal U.S. secrets.
In a 10-minute explanation to the judge of his conduct, Kendall Myers said his goal was to pass along information about U.S. policies toward Cuba, a nation that he said feared the United States because of its opposition to the Cuban government.
Kendall Myers, 73, said he stole secrets with no intent to harm the United States.
The judge said he was "perplexed" at how Myers could have the notion that he was not hurting the United States, given the level of antagonism between the two countries.
"The Cuban people feel threatened" and "they have good reason to feel threatened" because the United States has pursued a policy of regime change in Cuba, Myers replied.
"Part of our motivation," Myers said of himself and his wife, was to report as accurately as possible about what he thought U.S. policy was toward Cuba, to warn Cuba and to try to assess the nature of the threat.
"At the expense of the United States," Walton interjected.
Justice Department prosecutor Michael Harvey said that Myers and his wife were given medals by Cuban intelligence officials and that in 1995, the two were flown to Cuba where they had a private audience with Fidel Castro.
Kendall Myers had daily access to classified information and he pursued his colleagues in government for more, Harvey said.
There was no immediate reaction from Havana to news of the sentences.