Editor’s Note: The author was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva. He was later awarded the Presidential Citizen’s Medal.
Alan P. Gross
That is how I am compelled to address you, because even though we have never met, we share a common bond: I too lived behind the iron bars now surrounding you in Cuba — in my case for 22 years.
Like you, I was convicted by the Cuban authorities without a single shred of evidence against me.
I know the anguish of interminable days and endless nights, the feeling of helplessness when you know yourself to be innocent. I also know the painful sense of the lack of solidarity from outside the prison walls.
I have no doubt that your greatest pain right now must be the realization that the U.S.
government has turned its back on you. There was a time when the words “I am an American citizen” meant something. They meant all the more when the individual declaring that was the target of abuse outside of the United States. It meant: “I have rights and they are recognized by the government of my country and they will ensure that you, too, respect my rights.”
It gives me great sadness to say that inside the Communist boot that now tramples upon your dignity is the foot of the American president, Barack Obama.
The more Castro’s thugs oppress you and make your family suffer, the more your jailers torture you, the harder things get for you — the more this administration seeks to reward them with new concessions. How is it that in 53 years of Cuba’s brutal dictatorship it was only months after Obama came to the presidency that the Castro brothers first decided to take an American citizen hostage?
Read the entire letter here: A letter to Cuba’s American prisoner