Netflix is bringing together two powerhouse Spanish-speaking actresses to help bring to life their latest political thriller Wasp Network (La Red de Avispas). Cuban actress Ana de Armas and Spanish actress Penélope Cruz take centerstage in the story about the Cuban Five—Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González—a group of men who seemingly defected from their native Cuba to the US with nefarious ulterior motives. Penélope plays the wife of pilot René González, while Ana brings to life the role of Ana Margarita Martinez the wife of Juan Pablo Roque: two women who had unknowingly married spies for the Cuban government.
In the film, Olga Salanueva, played by Penelope, finds out that her husband René (played by Edgar Ramirez) has been classified a traitor and stolen a plane to fly to Miami, FL, in order to defect to the US. Upon arriving to Miami, he eventually joins forces with undercover operative Manuel Viramontez a.k.a. Gerardo Hernandez ( played by Gaël García Bernal) and becomes part of the Wasp Network, a spy ring of South Florida Cuban exiles who are observing and infiltrating Cuban-American groups who they believe are looking to attack the socialist republic. Ana’s character sees her married off Juan Pablo Roque played by Wagner Moura (of Netflix’s Narcos fame), another Cuban spy that worked for the Castro government.
The real-life Ana Margarita Martinez was with Juan Pablo for about four years and recalled the last time she saw him in an interview with the Florida Center For Investigative Reporting. She says that she received a goodbye kiss around 3 a.m. as he was leaving to go help a friend, and next time she saw him was on CNN denouncing the US.
Ana’s story bears striking similarities to how the film portray’s how Penélope’s Olga found out about her husband René leaving (she was informed by local officials of his traitor status as he disappeared leaving her and their daughter behind in Cuba). The film is inspired by The Last Soldiers of the Cold War, which was written by Fernando Morais. The film adaptation is written and directed by Olivier Assayas. It releases in the US on June 19, 2020.