‘Wasp Network’ tells the story of a group of Cuban spies who infiltrate the organizations that are against Fidel Castro’s regime. While working towards the same goal, these spies are very different from each other and have different ways of tackling the possibilities that knock on their doors. Unlike his compatriots, Juan Pablo Roque welcomes a lavish lifestyle and is ready to go wherever the money takes him. He turns out to be the most dramatic and unpredictable character in the film, which makes us wonder whether he is real or imaginary. Is Juan Pablo Roque based on a real person? Here’s the answer.
Is Juan Pablo Roque a real person?
Yes, Juan Pablo Roque is a real person. He was an accomplished pilot who also had experience with fighter planes. He was sent by the Cuban government to America as a part of the Wasp Network. His job was to report on several anti-Castro organizations.
After his dramatic entry at Guantanamo Bay, Roque quickly became a famous figure in the Cuban-American community. He was also popular among the ladies due to his “Hollywood good looks”. To establish his standing in the community, he got involved with Ana Margarita Martinez and married her after dating for three years.
Soon enough, he came in contact with Brothers to the Rescue who hired him to fly planes and help Cuban refugees to enter America. While supplying information about them to the Cuban authorities, Roque was also on the payroll of the FBI, who paid him to entertain his penchant for expensive things. After some time, the double agent act didn’t suit him well enough and he fled back to Cuba, leaving his wife in shock about the true nature of their relationship.
Where is Juan Pablo Roque Today?
While his colleagues from the Wasp Network are revered in the country as the Cuban Five, Roque does not enjoy the similar treatment. He never got back to being a pilot and survived on the pension. His situation worsened with time and he fell upon financial troubles. He had to sell his Rolex, which he loved so much, as well as the home that had belonged to his parents.
He looks back at his time in Florida with affection and calls it the best professional years of his life, and admits that his life in Cuba has proved to be a difficult adjustment. Forced to retire at the age of 40, Roque wishes he had the chance to return to flying again, but that didn’t happen. He spends most of his days reading about all sorts of things and working out, a habit that he has entertained throughout his life.
In an interview with Miami Herald, Roque expressed sorrow for the four men who were shot down by the Cuban MiGs the day after he left Miami. However, he also believes that Cuba was right to defend their air space which had been repeatedly trespassed by Brothers to the Rescue. In 1989, he was charged with failing to register as a foreign agent and conspiring to defraud the US. He doesn’t find himself at fault there. “I am not to blame. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t order anyone killed,” he claims.
He also feels that ‘Wasp Network’, and the book that it is based on, do not represent him fairly. He says that he wasn’t consulted by the filmmakers, who have exaggerated some parts of his story while downplaying the others.
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