Contractor Alan Gross Marking Five Years in Cuban Custody 7

Jailed GrossBy Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun

Four times, Alan Gross traveled to Cuba, lugging with him Internet equipment to connect the island’s small Jewish community to the outside world. And four times, he completed his trips to the Caribbean island nation without a problem.

With each trip he made, the Potomac man became more concerned about his work, which defied the Cuban government’s strict controls on the Internet. But at worst, he assumed, if he ran afoul of the Cuban authorities, he’d be held briefly before being kicked out of the country.

But at the end of his fifth trip, in late 2009, police seized Gross. He was charged with crimes against the state, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Wednesday marks his fifth year in custody.

For his family, Gross’ incarceration has been an unending nightmare. For diplomats, it is a significant sticking point in the long-strained relationship between the United States and Cuba, the communist nation 90 miles from Florida.

Gross’ supporters say his health is declining — once 254 pounds, he’s lost 100 pounds since being locked up — and he’s on the brink of losing hope.

“Five years is far too long for an innocent man to be locked away from his family and his country,” said Gross’ attorney, Scott Gilbert. “Alan is about to give up, and we are running out of time.”

The State Department, members of Congress including Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, and former officials including President Jimmy Carter have campaigned for Gross’ release. Sens. Jeff Flake and Tom Udall traveled to Havana recently and met separately with Gross and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, but returned empty-handed.

A spokeswoman for Van Hollen said the Montgomery County Democrat spoke with Gross by telephone in October and told him he was still pressing for his release.

“Every day that he sits in prison in Havana is another day of injustice for Alan Gross and another day that Cuba is missing an important opportunity to begin to reshape its relations with the United States,” Van Hollen said in a statement.

Cuban officials have proposed a swap: the release of Gross for the return of the three members of a group known as the Cuban Five who are still imprisoned in the United States. U.S. officials have opposed the deal, saying Gross was an aid worker, while the Cuban Five were intelligence operatives who were convicted in federal court of conspiracy to commit espionage and other charges.

Articles continues here:  Gross Marks 5 Years in Cuban Prison

 

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7 comments

  1. The alcoholic dictator Raul Castro was looking for an escape goat to trade for the 5 spies and Gross was in Cuba during this time.If Gross was not in the island,Castro would had look for someone else.Whether gross is innocent or not is irrelevant to the mind of a dictator that between him,Che Guevara and Fidel Castro murdered 18000 Cubans by firing squads.

  2. It is sad to see the Cuban government using Alan Gross as a possible swap with the convicted spies of la Red Avispa. This should serve as a lesson to the innocent Americans that Cuba is not a nice to visit, or do business with. Cuba should be taken to the World Court for all the injustice and abuse of Human Rights to not only their people, but to the world.

  3. At all times, Mr. Alan Gross has been compensated by a subcontractor of the U.S. government for “his services” in traveling to Cuba, not one time, but during five trips.

    Here are the cold facts of this ordeal:

    1.) USAID’s $20 millionUSD Cuba program, authorized by a law calling for regime change in Cuba, has been criticized repeatedly in congressional reports as being wasteful and ineffective, and putting people in danger law.

    2.) Gross was working with Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), a contractor working with USAID who had won a US$6 million U.S. government contract for the program in which Gross was involved, a controversial “democracy-promotion program” that ballooned under the Bush administration, to provide communications equipment to break the Cuban government’s ‘information blockade’. Gross received more than US$500,000, despite the fact that he spoke little Spanish and had not worked in Cuba before.

    3.) Gross filed reports for USAID of his four visits to Cuba in 2009. The report of the fifth and final trip was written by a representative of Gross’ company. A review of the reports was revealed on February 12, 2012, by the Associated Press (AP). According to the reports, Gross was aware of the risks he was taking. AP reports that Gross did not identify himself as a representative of the U.S. government, but claimed to be a member of a Jewish humanitarian group. To escape Cuban authorities’ detection, he enlisted the help of American Jews to transport electronic equipment, instructing them to pack items a piece at a time in carry-on luggage, and also travelled with American Jewish humanitarian groups doing missions on the island so he could intercede with Cuban authorities if questions arose.

    4.) When he was arrested, he was carrying a high-tech chip, intended to keep satellite phone transmissions from being located within 250 miles (400 kilometres). The chip is not available on the open market. It is provided most frequently to the CIA and the Defense Department, but can also be obtained by the State Department, which oversees USAID. Asked how Gross obtained the card, a USAID spokesman said that the agency played no role in helping Gross acquire equipment.

    5.) Additionally, a law suit was filed in November in Washington DC by Mr. Gross and his wife, who were seeking up to $60 million from the United States and DAI, the contractor that sub-contracted Mr. Gross to go to Cuba under the State Department program, delivering satellite Internet equipment to Jewish groups. It accused his employers of sending him on five semicovert trips to Cuba without proper training, protection or even a clear sense of the Cuban laws that led to his detainment. Now, this is what the lawsuit states, signed by Alan Gross and his wife in attestation: “five semi-covert trips to Cuba”…………..”or even without a clear sense of the Cuban laws that led to his detainment”

    6.) The case filed by Alan Gross and his wife led to the disclosure of some potentially embarrassing details for DAI and the State Department, highlighting the frequent haste and lack of attention to the risks of the State Department programs in Cuba. American officials call them democracy-building efforts, but the Cubans consider them illegal attempts to undermine their government, underscoring the dangers involved.

    7.) Mr.Gross, imprisoned in Cuba, settled with DAI for an undisclosed sum this month.

    The U.S. government should proceed to restore diplomatic ties with the government of Cuba for very powerful reasons, which include the fact that in a community of all nations around the globe, not limited to the UK, a country that is the biggest historical ally of the United States, the rest of the world countries do not treat Cuba as the U.S. does. In other words, when it comes to the tiny country of Cuba, the U.S. is totally isolated from the rest of the world nations and for what? To prove what? To do what? Meanwhile, Cuban Americans have displaced almost totally Anglo Saxon Americans in South Florida, making it a powerful Latino enclave of business with a vibrant international financial transaction hub, as no other inmmigrant community in the United Sattes has been able to achieve in one place. It is said, excluding Wall Street, Miami is well on its way to challenge NYC as a financial world hub. I remember arriving here in 1961. Miami, Hialeah, West Miami, Metro Miami Dade the enitre area was far less advanced than the City of Havana where I lived. Even the school I attended in Cuba was far more advanced in the quality of studies and the discipline available. Geography as a subject was something the educational system, for whatever reason, was not interested in teaching. They called it “Social Studies” but had nothing to do with the study of geography. Children I played here knew very litle about the rest of the world. NASA was the big thing then, specially being it so close to Cape Cañaveral, of Spanish name origin.

    When I did some research about NASA I found out officers from the Hitler´s SS where part of “Operation Paperclip” which was from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program in which over 1,500 German scientists, technicians, and engineers from Nazi Germany and other foreign countries were brought to the United States for employment in the aftermath of World War II. It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the burgeoning Cold War. One purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, as well as inhibiting post-war Germany from redeveloping its military research capabilities.

    Although the JIOA’s recruitment of German scientists began after the Allied victory in Europe on May 8, 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Truman’s order expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism”. However, those restrictions would have rendered ineligible most of the leading scientists the JIOA had identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher von Braun, Kurt H. Debus and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold, each earlier classified as a “menace to the security of the Allied Forces”.

    To circumvent President Truman’s anti-Nazi order and the Allied Potsdam and Yalta agreements, the JIOA worked independently to create false employment and political biographies for the scientists. The JIOA also expunged from the public record the scientists’ Nazi Party memberships and regime affiliations. Once “bleached” of their Nazism, the scientists were granted security clearances by the U.S. government to work in the United States. Paperclip, the project’s operational name, derived from the paperclips used to attach the scientists’ new political personae to their “US Government Scientist” JIOA personnel files.

    So, now look at Alan Gross´ predicament and his provenance; 1.) He didn´t do it for free, 2.) He was well compensated for his humanitarian services consisting of taking satellite internet communications equipment to Cuba. 3.) He was well extremely well compensated ($500,000) for doing five trips up to when he was arrested . 4.) He carried a high-tech chip not available anywhere, but through the CIA or the State Department, the latter who denied its high tech chip procurement. Now, in comparison, the average American soldier puts his/her life on the line, including risk of imprisonment for this nation, for the measely compnsation of $18,500 per year and change and Alan Gross gets paid $500,000 for a few tirps to Cuba. I´d say the compensation scale here is unfair for the type of “on the surface” job description of Alan Gross and then the right to file a $60 million lawsuit and settle for an undisclosed amount.

    Nuff said.

  4. I know the intention of some supporters of the Castro regime that come to this site is to give the impression that Gross was spying.Gross was not conducting any acts of espionage like the CUBAN WASP NETWORK WHICH members were trained MININT Intelligence Cuban DI Personnel.To the Alcoholic dictator Raul Castro (CHIVAS REGAL) drinker,he was looking for an escape goat to exchange for the three remaining spies who were planning acts of terrorism against the United States of America.It is common to the pathetic personnel of the Cuban department M-9 to be spreading lies to corrupt the reality of events and at the same time to report to their Masters anything and everything free people comment about the SLAVE ISLAND.

    • How pathetic; to accuse, anyone–in the infinitive term–for coming to this site precisely to fullfil the purpose of this site, which is to opine, and express first amendement rights under the Constitution of the United States of America!

      The accuser must not know, all contributed written arguments must follow reasonable formal or informal discussion, which is to be structured in earnest thought, yet, devoid of personal accusations as if the latter were a last result, which then becomes pure useless rhetoric. Even if it is a point of rebuttal to an opinion expressed by another party, such as one prior to the prior here. Unless, the accuser is empty of reasonable argumentation and can only act to stoop down to the last resort of choice; to insult and lay accusation as a demonstrative latent modus operandis.

      Let I–now–refer the accuser to academically–and universally–accepted rules of what defines a proper discussion though absent of arguments in a vacumm without support of evidentiary causation and not filled with chants of typical “popular sound bites” characterized by sterotypical hollow arguments of the “left” or even the “right” of the political spectrum. I do so in defense of reason and do take “the higher road” of sincere pure discussion and is as follows for those who also care to know:

      I can assure you, should the accuser understand the following and internalize its meaning it would result embarrasing and disarming to the hollow rhetoric I have just read and therefore, consider it what is merely hollow arguments in the wind.

      Let´s begin. A fundamental position of parliamentary protocol in expressing ideas, beliefs, notions, thoughts, you name it, is the obligation to form such expressions and to make them, must meet the following criteria to be respected as valid argumentation:

      The Structures of Assertions

      Syllogisms are structures of sentences each of which can meaningfully be called true or false: assertions (apophanseis), in Aristotle’s terminology. According to Aristotle, every such sentence must have the same structure: it must contain a subject (hupokeimenon) and a predicate and must either affirm or deny the predicate of the subject. Thus, every assertion is either the affirmation kataphasis or the denial (apophasis) of a single predicate of a single subject.

      In, on, Interpretation, Aristotle argues that a single assertion must always either affirm or deny a single predicate of a single subject. Thus, he does not recognize sentential compounds, such as conjunctions and disjunctions, as single assertions. This appears to be a deliberate choice on his part: he argues, for instance, that a conjunction is simply a collection of assertions, with no more intrinsic unity than the sequence of sentences in a lengthy account (e.g. the entire Iliad, to take Aristotle’s own example). Since he also treats denials as one of the two basic species of assertion, he does not view negations as sentential compounds. His treatment of conditional sentences and disjunctions is more difficult to appraise, but it is at any rate clear that Aristotle made no efforts to develop a sentential logic. Some of the consequences of this for his theory of demonstration are important. None of what I have read here meets such threshold and obviously can only be categorized as pure nonsensical, por structure of ideas leading to falsehood as read.

      TERMS

      Subjects and predicates of assertions are terms. A term (horos) can be either individual, e.g. Socrates, Plato or universal, e.g. human, horse, animal, white. Subjects may be either individual or universal, but predicates can only be universals: Socrates is human, Plato is not a horse, horses are animals, humans are not horses.

      The word universal (katholou) appears to be an Aristotelian coinage. Literally, it means “of a whole”; its opposite is therefore “of a particular” (kath’ hekaston). Universal terms are those which can properly serve as predicates, while particular terms are those which cannot.

      This distinction is not simply a matter of grammatical function. We can readily enough construct a sentence with “Socrates” as its grammatical predicate: “The person sitting down is Socrates”. Aristotle, however, does not consider this a genuine predication. He calls it instead a merely accidental or incidental (kata sumbebêkos) predication. Such sentences are, for him, dependent for their truth values on other genuine predications (in this case, “Socrates is sitting down”).

      Consequently, predication for Aristotle is as much a matter of metaphysics as a matter of grammar. The reason that the term Socrates is an individual term and not a universal is that the entity which it designates is an individual, not a universal. What makes white and human universal terms is that they designate universals.

      Further discussion of these issues can be found in the entry on Aristotle’s metaphysics.

      AFFIRMATIONS DENIALS, CONTRADICTIONS

      Aristotle takes some pains in On Interpretation to argue that to every affirmation there corresponds exactly one denial such that that denial denies exactly what that affirmation affirms. The pair consisting of an affirmation and its corresponding denial is a contradiction (antiphasis). In general, Aristotle holds, exactly one member of any contradiction is true and one false: they cannot both be true, and they cannot both be false. However, he appears to make an exception for propositions about future events, though interpreters have debated extensively what this exception might be (see further discussion below). The principle that contradictories cannot both be true has fundamental importance in Aristotle’s metaphysics (see further discussion below).

      ALL, SOME AND NONE

      One major difference between Aristotle’s understanding of predication and modern (i.e., post-Fregean) logic is that Aristotle treats individual predications and general predications as similar in logical form: he gives the same analysis to “Socrates is an animal” and “Humans are animals”. However, he notes that when the subject is a universal, predication takes on two forms: it can be either universal or particular. These expressions are parallel to those with which Aristotle distinguishes universal and particular terms, and Aristotle is aware of that, explicitly distinguishing between a term being a universal and a term being universally predicated of another.

      Whatever is affirmed or denied of a universal subject may be affirmed or denied of it it universally (katholou or “of all”, kata pantos), in part (kata meros, en merei), or indefinitely (adihoristos).

      THE SYLLOGISTIC

      Aristotle’s most famous achievement as logician is his theory of inference, traditionally called the syllogistic (though not by Aristotle). That theory is in fact the theory of inferences of a very specific sort: inferences with two premises, each of which is a categorical sentence, having exactly one term in common, and having as conclusion a categorical sentence the terms of which are just those two terms not shared by the premises. Aristotle calls the term shared by the premises the middle term (meson) and each of the other two terms in the premises an extreme (akron). The middle term must be either subject or predicate of each premise, and this can occur in three ways: the middle term can be the subject of one premise and the predicate of the other, the predicate of both premises, or the subject of both premises. Aristotle refers to these term arrangements as figures (schêmata):

      METHODS OF PROOF: “PEFECT” DEDUCTIONS; CONVERSION; REDUCTION

      Aristotle’s proofs can be divided into two categories, based on a distinction he makes between “perfect” or “complete” (teleios) deductions and “imperfect” or “incomplete” (atelês) deductions. A deduction is perfect if it “needs no external term in order to show the necessary result” (24b23-24), and it is imperfect if it “needs one or several in addition that are necessary because of the terms supposed but were not assumed through premises” (24b24-25). The precise interpretation of this distinction is debatable, but it is at any rate clear that Aristotle regards the perfect deductions as not in need of proof in some sense. For imperfect deductions, Aristotle does give proofs, which invariably depend on the perfect deductions. Thus, with some reservations, we might compare the perfect deductions to the axioms or primitive rules of a deductive system.

      In the proofs for imperfect deductions, Aristotle says that he “reduces” (anagein) each case to one of the perfect forms and that they are thereby “completed” or “perfected”. These completions are either probative (deiktikos: a modern translation might be “direct”) or through the impossible (dia to adunaton).

      DISPROOF: COUNTERCLAIMS AND TERMS

      Aristotle proves invalidity by constructing counterexamples. This is very much in the spirit of modern logical theory: all that it takes to show that a certain form is invalid is a single instance of that form with true premises and a false conclusion. However, Aristotle states his results not by saying that certain premise-conclusion combinations are invalid but by saying that certain premise pairs do not “syllogize”: that is, that, given the pair in question, examples can be constructed in which premises of that form are true and a conclusion of any of the four possible forms is false.

      DIALECTIC and RHETORIC

      Aristotle says that rhetoric, i.e., the study of persuasive speech, is a “counterpart” (antistrophos) of dialectic and that the rhetorical art is a kind of “outgrowth” (paraphues ti) of dialectic and the study of character types. The correspondence with dialectical method is straightforward: rhetorical speeches, like dialectical arguments, seek to persuade others to accept certain conclusions on the basis of premises they already accept. Therefore, the same measures useful in dialectical contexts will, mutatis mutandis, be useful here: knowing what premises an audience of a given type is likely to believe, and knowing how to find premises from which the desired conclusion follows.

      SOPHISTICAL ARGUMENTS

      Demonstrations and dialectical arguments are both forms of valid argument, for Aristotle. However, he also studies what he calls contentious (eristikos) or sophistical arguments: these he defines as arguments which only apparently establish their conclusions. In fact, Aristotle defines these as apparent (but not genuine) dialectical sullogismoi. They may have this appearance in either of two ways:

      1.) Arguments in which the conclusion only appears to follow of necessity from the premises (apparent, but not genuine, sullogismoi).

      2.) Genuine sullogismois the premises of which are merely apparently, but not genuinely, acceptable.

      Arguments of the first type in modern terms, appear to be valid but are really invalid. Arguments of the second type are at first more perplexing: given that acceptability is a matter of what people believe, it might seem that whatever appears to be endoxos must actually be endoxos. However, Aristotle probably has in mind arguments with premises that may at first glance seem to be acceptable but which, upon a moment’s reflection, we immediately realize we don not actually accept. Consider this example from Aristotle’s time:
      Whatever you have not lost, you still have.
      You have not lost horns.
      Therefore, you still have horns

      This is transparently bad, but the problem is not that it is invalid: the problem is rather that the first premise, though superficially plausible, is false. In fact, anyone with a little ability to follow an argument will realize that at once upon seeing this very argument.

  5. The tyrannical regime of the Alcoholic dictator Raul Castro reverts to this acts the same way the former Soviet Union used to do against the internal and external dissidence.Raul and his semi-lethargic brother Fidel Castro are trying to play the victim to show the world the wrong notions of events.The bloody brothers are the ones that over decades have sent their spies to the US and other countries to monitor the activities of the growing Cuban exile and also to collect information and intelligence to sell it and obtain profit.The bloody Brothers trained and brain washed guerrilla members in training camps in Cuba.Camps PET1 and PET2 where guerrilla form all over the world were trained in acts of Insurgence for three months,those acts included explosives,communications,espionage,etc.then those guerrillas were introduced with false identities to their countries of Origin.The Communist Regime of the Alcoholic dictator Raul Castro has created universities like the UCI with the mean of Corrupt the truth of the information posted on different web sites and to hack information beneficial to the Regime of the alcoholic dictator Raul Castro.The Cuban Merchant Marine are centers of floating espionage where the “Sailors” are affiliated to the Cuban DI.How can anyone mention espionage without mentioning the Cuban Regime?How can anyone defend the posture of a murderous regime that has caused the death of million of people around the world?

  6. I always question, particularly, when someone gets off-topic.

    But—what the heck—for discussions sake, I only have one question with two follow-up sub-points:

    QUESTION:

    Is this an attack on the Cuba intelligence apparatus? or;

    a.) Is this an attack on the world of nations who ALL HAVE intelligence apparatuses, as a normal course of their operations.

    b.) Is the presumption you make that Cuba won the “monolopy on Intelligence”?

    For your edification, intelligence is ALL nations business as part of ALL nations operations.

    Now, here´s an interesting figure on the American Civil war casualty tally, which by the way represented 2.0% (two-percent) of the United States population, at that time, when the casualties occurred due to the American Civil War and for what superficial reason? The South didn´t want black citizens to be free from slavery?

    The American Civil War (1861–1865) produced 625,000 war casualties (death toll) with the United States population being at that point in U.S. history 31,443,000 (thirty one million four hundred and forty three thousand), accounting for almost two percent (2%) of total U.S. population or 1.988% to be exact. Now, the total deaths of U.S. citizens in all wars is close to 1,300,000 (one million three hundred thousand).

    In contrast, your use of zeros to express “the death of one million people around the world” to be caused by the island is totally, unfounded, undocumented and falsely premeditated. As the saying goes: Don´t even dial that number, it doesn´t exist.

    If not, as they say: “step-up to the plate”……..and prove it or provide correct figures and data. Embelishing is not conducive to understading.

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