Netflix’s ‘Wasp Network’ is an espionage drama that is rooted in reality. The film tells the story of the Cuban spies who infiltrated several Cuban-American organizations to stop the terrorist attacks back home. Apart from the challenges of the mission, it also focuses on the personal lives of these secret agents, and by the end, we discover the price they have to pay for a job that risks their lives as well as that of their families. If you haven’t seen the film yet, head over to Netflix. SPOILERS AHEAD
‘Wasp Network’ begins with Rene Gonzalez leaving for work in the morning, promising his wife to return in time for dinner. Instead of keeping his word, he steals a plane from the Cuban airbase and flees to Miami. He comes out as a defector who is tired of Castro’s Cuba. He is approached by anti-Castro organizations who recruit him in helping other people reach America.
Back home, Rene’s wife has to bear the brunt of her husband’s treachery. The tag of being the wife of a traitor makes life more difficult for her and she wonders how her husband could do such a thing. Later, everything comes into focus when she discovers that he is actually a spy for Cuba, along with a number of other people.
Why did Juan Pablo Roque return to Cuba?
One of the main players in the spying game of ‘Wasp Network’ is Juan Pablo Roque. From his first scene in the film to the last, the audience gets the impression that he is not like his counterparts. Rene and Gerardo are also in the same line of work, but the stark differences between them and Juan Pablo tell us that he is different from the others.
Unlike his companions, Juan Pablo doesn’t just want to serve his country, he also wants to serve himself. If he has to be a spy, he would rather do it in style and luxury. In fact, separate his story from the rest, and it looks more like a version of an Ian Fleming or John Le Carre novel. While Rene, Gerardo, and the others are focused on the mission while also providing for their families, Juan is living a different kind of life.
As his mission dictates, Roque infiltrates Brothers to the Rescue and sends valuable information back home. He is a spy for Cuba, but that’s not the only job he has. He also gets himself recruited in the FBI where he has to do the same thing, feed them information about the anti-Castro groups. They also pay him better, which means he is getting paid twice for the same job. Why shouldn’t he take it?
Roque enjoys a lavish lifestyle, marries a beautiful woman in a grand ceremony, and owns a Rolex. He could have continued doing this, but one day, he simply leaves everything in Miami and goes back to Cuba. His wife, Ana, doesn’t have a clue about why he left and comes to know about all that he had been doing in the first place when she watches his interview on the television.
What happened here is something like this. Roque’s job was to fly missions for Brothers to the Rescue, who would often cross over into Cuban territory. He was to go on another mission, but this time, he decided to fake an injury, due to which neither the Brothers nor the FBI or the Cubans could ask him to get on a plane. Why did he do that? He probably anticipated what was about to happen next. The day after he flees Miami, two planes of the Brothers are shot down and four people die because of it. Had Roque not left in time, he would have died too.
This was the time when he realized that spying was too dangerous a job, and he was not being paid enough from either of his employers. He knew that one of those days, he too would be shot down by Cuban MiGs if he continued to fly these missions. So, he decided to go back home, and to make up for deserting his job, he gives an interview where he declares the Brothers as a violent and anti-Cuban organization that wants nothing but to harm the country.
After the shooting down of the planes, the American government decides to go more offensive on Cuba, the effect of which is seen on the Wasp Network. They had already been monitoring Rene, and through him, they had come to know enough about his operation and the team. Using that intel, the FBI arrests him, Gerardo, and several other people involved with the network.
All the members of the Wasp Network are given a chance to come to an agreement. In the plea deal offered to them, they can turn informants for the agency and get reduced or no sentences. Some accept it, but Rene doesn’t. This spells more trouble for his family who now face deportation. Olga sends Irma back to Cuba where she lives with her relatives. When Rene refuses the deal and has to face the sentence of about two decades, she is forced to leave Ivett, who was born in America and is its citizen, with her grandmother. She hopes to return someday, to get back her daughter and husband but has to wait a long time before that happens.
After everything, the Wasp Network is completely dismantled. Rene, Gerardo, and three others, who don’t accept the plea deal have to face severe sentences but are hailed as heroes back home due to their loyalty and service to Cuba.
Read More: Is Wasp Network a True Story?