The son of the an alleged spy told reporters that his mother and stepfather were innocent, in spite of their guilty pleas. Waldo Mariscal, whose mother Vicky Peleaz and stepfather Juan Lazaro left the country yesterday for Russia, said of Peleaz, "The only Russian thing she likes is vodka with passion fruit." And of Lazaro, who said in court that his name was actually Mikhail Vasenkov, Mariscal insisted, "I still believe Juan Lazaro is from Uruguay."
Peleaz's other son, whose father is Lazaro/Vasenkov is 17-year-old Juan Lazaro Jr., who is a classically trained pianist studying music at Mannes College in Manhattan. Mariscal isn't sure if his half-brother can stay in New York (the family's house in Yonkers is being seized by the government), "It's up to him. It's up to our parents. I don't know what's going to happen." Lazaro Jr. spoke to NY1, "I'm doing perfectly fine. We have each other, we have a lot of people and we're going to do fine."
Mariscal also said he wasn't sure if Peleaz and Lazaro/Vasenkov would stay in Russia, saying they might head to Peru. The NY Times reports that Peleaz was not initially inclined to plead guilty, as the U.S. and Russian government were discussing a spy swap:
Not all of them were eager to make a deal, particularly those with children. Vicky Peláez, a journalist in New York, was promised that she could go to her native Peru or anywhere else in the world and would be given free housing and a monthly $2,000 stipend for life. She signed on, the last to do so, just hours before the court hearing on Thursday that completed the deal.
“Her biggest concerns were: ‘What’s going to happen to me? What are my children’s lives going to be like? Are they going to be able to come see me?’ ” said her lawyer, John M. Rodriguez. He said the Russian promises helped to “cushion the circumstances,” but were not what induced her to accept the deal.
Peleaz allegedly took letters written by Lazaro/Vasenkov in invisible ink to Peru and returned with cash.
Vice President Joe Biden was able to joke about the spy situation with Jay Leno last night: When Leno asked why Russia got 10 spies back while the U.S. only got four, Biden said, "We got back four really good ones. And the ten, they've been here a long time, but they hadn't done much." Leno then asked, while showing a picture of Anna Chapman, "Do we have any spies that hot?" to which Biden joked, "Let me be clear. It was not my idea to send her back... I thought they'd take Rush Limbaugh."