Castro Regime Official Visits Washington, D.C.
(Capitol Hill Cubans) The State Department has confirmed that Josefina Vidal, a senior Cuban Foreign Ministry official, was in Washington D.C. this week. During her visit, Vidal met with U.S. State Department officials, reportedly including the Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Roberta Jacobson. Among the issues discussed was the arbitrary detention of American development worker, Alan Gross, whose release the U.S. has officially stated remains a top priority.
We commend the State Department for prioritizing efforts to release Mr. Gross. Mr. Gross has been held hostage by the Castro regime since 2009 for helping the island’s Jewish community connect to the Internet. He should be immediately and unconditionally released. However, we also hope the State Department included in its agenda the fundamental right of the Cuban people to live in freedom and the increased repression against them by the Castro dictatorship. Moreover, that any bilateral talks between the U.S. Government and the Castro dictatorship be publicly disclosed.
We make this last point, as yesterday, State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell seemed a bit coy during the Daily Press Briefing.
When asked about the meeting between Vidal and Jacobson, Ventrell answered: “I’m not sure if it’s happened. We always raise the issue of Alan Gross and we make our case very clearly and consistently to the Cubans on Alan Gross. But I’ll have to check about details of that meeting.”
Editor’s Note: Josefina Vidal left the US in May 2003 in conjunction with the expulsion of 14 Cuban spies serving under diplomatic cover.