President Obama: No Progress to Report on Getting Alan Gross Out of Cuba 6

President Obama said the U.S. has been “in conversations” about freeing Alan Gross, the 65-year-old government contractor who has been imprisoned in Cuba for more than five years.

 

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6 comments

  1. Everybody knows, “on the inside”, Alan Gross will not be released by Cuba, just like the United States will not release the five Cuban prisoners held in U.S. prisons for spying in the U.S. The difference lies, in that the U.S. has not taken a position on whether Alan Gross broke Cuban laws or not, regardless of whether he was a spy or not, he was on a $500,000 compensation package to go to Cuba as a sub-contractor of the State Department on what has been referred to as a “humanitarian missión” while commanding half a million dollars. for a few trips etc. U.S. soldiers on missions to Irak, Afghanistan and other parts of the world should be so lucky to get paid half a million dollars for so called humanitarian missions. Instead, U.S. soldiers are deployed anytime 24/7 at a salary rate of $18,700 annually putting life in the line for country. My respect for those guys. This whole thing has to be looked as a business deal, its a give-and-take. Each side has a value to trade, the difference is, just how much value is placed on what each side holds, by each side. The rest is b.s. and is opportunistic rhetoric to spin it into a political spectrum that does not fit in the art of a deal here. Plain and simple. The record is replete of U.S. and Russian trading ofw prisoners of recent within a spy dimension. So everybody, let´s stop fishing for stories and let our leaders who were voted to be responsable fro government voted into office by Constututionally emitted votes in a government of the people by the people, to decide what to do if anything. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This issue goes beyond that type of tug-of-war. There are a lots of areas where I can, personally opine to see the U.S. and Cuba as being allies in an ever growing dangerous world scenarios. But who is going to take the first step to quiet down the chant brigade of the “keep the trade embargo” who actually live of that busines of chanting to be positioned to secure votes in Miami. However, even that is rapidly melting down, with at present a mayority of Cubans in Miami who want the trade embargo and diplomatic relations restored. Nuff said. Alan Gross has to be looked at either an inocent by stander or someone who knew the risks he tooked as filed in his report and when found with a high tech chip only available in the highly specialized intelligence community. Santa Claus goes on special mission for free every year for one night trip and we know who believes that. So where´s the beef after Alan Gross suing the same government that sent him ther, therafter, settling for an undisclosed amount for a few days work. The jury is out as they say.

    • YOU CAN NOT COMPARE ALAN GROSS WITH THE MEMBERS OF THE WASP NETWORK MEMBERS INCARCERATED IN FEDERAL PRISON,THE THREE REMAINING CUBAN SPIES WERE INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVES.ALAN GROSS WAS NOT!ALAN GROSS BROKE THE CUBAN LAWS?ARE YOU GOING TO TELL ME THAT ALAN GROSS WENT TO CUBA ON THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS AND HE RETURNED TO THE US AND THE FOURTH TIME THAT HE WENT TO CUBA,THE CUBAN AUTHORITIES REALIZED THAT GROSS WAS BRAKING CUBAN LAWS AND ARRESTED HIM?WHAT MAJORITY OF CUBANS WANT THE EMBARGO LIFTED?THE REAL EXILES OR THE HALF EXILES-HALF COMMUNISTS CREATED AND INSTIGATED BY THE CUBAN INTELLIGENCE?ANY CUBAN AMERICAN OR AMERICAN WITH HONOR WILL NEVER SUPPORT THE LIFTING OF THE EMBARGO ONLY THE “ECONOMIC IMMIGRANTS?WILL DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN “ECONOMIC IMMIGRANT” AND A EXILE.CUBA AND THE US WILL BE ALLIES WHEN THE MURDERER FIDEL CASTRO AND HIS ALCOHOLIC BROTHER AS WELL AS THEIR CORRUPT FAMILIES LEAVE THE ISLAND FOR GOOD.

  2. It is you who has wrongly asserted—therefore misrepresented—what I stated in this blog in my prior opinion on this subject matter of Cuba, Alan Gross, the U.S. Foreign policy and the Cubans being held prisoners after convicted in U.S. courts for spying. It is in black and white font for you, or the reading public, to verify and to recognize how actually—instead—you purport to utilize misrepresentation as a means to make your opinion through false manipulation (of what others say here) and your political position with regards to Cuba as only valid.

    A quick persual of my post will reveal clearly–reagardless of your ludicrous misrepresentation–I did not compare Alan Gross with Cuban prisoners held in the U.S., the latter (Cuban) prisoners convicted in the U.S. courts for spying in the U.S., as Alan Gross was imprisoned by the Cuban government courts for spying. I even go on to state for the record, “regardless of whether he (Alan Gross) was a spying or not”.

    Your innocuous attempt to misrepresent what others say–and in the case in point what I wrote–only proves and reveals your own obtuse and radical obstination with the subject matter of Cuba. Such is very characteristically typical—and you´re in your right to be and to opine as you wish—but know such position is a fast diminishing segment of the citizens in South Florida of Cuban descendance, regardless of their personal political beliefs, opinions or positions on Cuba.

    Likewise, such does not give you the right, either, to misrepresent–in a self-serving manner–“what” and “how” others may opine as I did clearly, irrevocably.

    For your own edification, read again my post as I wrote it for the record: “Alan Gross will not be released by Cuba, just like the United States will not release the five Cuban prisoners held in U.S. prisons for spying in the U.S.” One can summarily conclude, both sides; the United States and Cuba have inside their individual prison systems what can be referred to as “assets”. Such “assets” are considered by worlwide nations–during many times as history has shown–worthy of value of exchange or trade, regardless, of the provenance of their captivity or imprisonment. This is a truism. therefore, for you to wrongfully assert and wrongfully misrepresent this statement by merely asseting constitutes a comparison, is no more but a self-serving wrongful allegation, which by the way through simple perusal of the words as written, proves you´re wrong.

    So let´s start with that.

    You then ask me if Alan Gross broke Cuban Laws? You express this, as if you´re in disbelief of such a fact as claimed by the Cuban government. Perhaps you had better resort to the cold facts of this case because your personal opinion gets in the way of your rhetoric arrogance. The FACTS are as follows:

    I.) OVERVIEW OF FACTS

    At all times, Mr. Alan Gross was compensated by a subcontractor of the U.S. government for “his services” in traveling to Cuba, not one time, but during five trips, perhaps more. It was not for free. Alan Gross went to Cuba, and his business income compensated trip could be considered as work compensation and therefore making money by going to Cuba and a clear a break with the failed U.S. trade embargo on Cuba you so staunchly defend.

    II.) INCIDENTAL FACTS

    Here are the cold facts of this ordeal:

    1.) FACT: 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.) FACT: 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.) FACT: 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.) FACT: 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. Having such a high-tech chip in Cuba is completely ilegal and in the U.S. would constitute a suspicious activity of posession of a technology asset not avaible in the open market.

    5.) FACT: 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. Alan Gross 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.) FACT: The lawsuit case filed by Alan Gross and his wife led to the disclosure of some potentially embarrassing details for DAI and the State Department–possibe breach of U.S. national security–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.) FACT: Mr.Gross, imprisoned in Cuba, settled with DAI for an undisclosed sum this month.

    8.) FACT: He didn´t do it for free, he was well compensated for his “humanitarian services” consisting of taking satellite internet communications equipment to Cuba. Alan Gross was taking these trips of “humanitarian services” for the compensation amount of $500,000; altogether five trips up to when he was arrested . He carried a high-tech chip not available anywhere, but only through the CIA or the State Department, the latter who denied its high tech chip procurement, yet, nevertheless it is illegal in Cuba and it is considered an act of breaking the law in Cuba and also consisdered as suspicious activity within the U.S., a risk to U.S. national security and where this high tech chip is not available in the open market in the United States.

    9.) FACT: In comparison, the average American soldier puts his/her life on the line, including risk of imprisonment for this nation, for the measely compensation 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 Alan Gross´ right to file a $60 million lawsuit and thereafter settle for an undisclosed amount as he has. “Follow the money”

    As for you, to attempt to position your opinion as the standard of “who is” and “who is not” an American of “honor” or a Cuban American of “honor” (as you state) while residing in this nation is grossly presumptious and it is worse an embarrassment to this nation, for in a “free democracy” “freedom of expression” and the existence of “divergent beliefs” is the most honorable practice to being an American, something, which you by your own actionable words and statements prove you do not honor while ausing other of not n¡being honorable because of their beliefes and ideas. It is you who dishonors the United States of America through your actions and its Constitutional rights.

    I leave you with this thought: “Adversity makes strange bedfellows”. This is a widely and universally accepted early 17th-century, but longstading very wise adage meaning; that difficult circumstances will bring together very different people. Likewise: “Politics makes strange bedfellows” This is also a widely and universally accepted proverbial adage, mid 19th century, meaning that political alliances in a common cause may bring together those of widely differing views.

    Your over-simplistic Cuban engendered and unamerican radicalism toward the complex issue of Cuba—and I know and it is very easy to conclude from your comportment, you´re not by a long shot an expert on the subject matter—may seal rather soon the “bringing together” of those of “widely differing views”, such as Cuba and the United States.

    The world does not revolve about your radicalistic views of Cuba, nor your ignorance about the U.S. government and far reaching depth of well consented and well conserted action of “coming to the table” when it deems appropriate, not when your wrongful inmature platitudes dictate.

  3. 10.) FACT: Every single Cuban Jew who Alan Gross assisted, betrayed him and testified against him in court.
    11). FACT: Alan Gross denounced the U.S. in a Cuban court prior to being sentenced in the hope of getting a lighter sentence.
    12). FACT: Alan Gross is a dual Israeli citizen and Israel has not done anything for him.
    13). FACT: Alan Gross has be whining since his arrest. In contrast, American CIA contractor Lawrence Lunt served 14 years in Castro’s prisons with dignity and fortitude.
    14). FACT: Alan Gross needs to apologize to the American people for denouncing our country.
    15). FACT: Pro-Castro Cuban Jews in Miami, like Marx Lesnik and Bernardo Benes, have not protested about Gross’ fate.

  4. 16.) FACT: The yardstick to measure this nation´s posture with regards to Cuba has been greatly influenced by the offices of Congress being served by people of Cuban descendance. Seven Cuban Americans currently serve in the United States Congress, making them the 2nd most over-represented group in U.S Federal Government, ironically, second only to Jewish-Americans as Alan Gross is Jewish American, yet, this is another reason why Cubans are often described as the “Jews of the Caribbean” (no pun intended), Cuban Americans have had incredible success regardless of their small population size and low concentration outside of Florida. There have been seven Cuban-American U.S congressmen (inclusive of one woman) elected from Florida, two from New Jersey, and one from Texas. A testament to sheer determination, in a state like Texas, where Mexican-Americans form the near entirety of the Hispanic community, their first Hispanic-American Senator is Republican Ted Cruz, the Canadian-born son of a Cuban exile and an American mother.

    17.) FACT: Additionally, Cuban-Americans have had much success at the State-level, in Florida, where Cuban-American legislators hold more seats than anywhere else in the nation, Pro-Democracy, Anti-Castro, and Anti-Chavez legislation is often promoted and passed even though States cannot dictate U.S Foreign Policy, however it is done as they are representing their own individual moral obligation as they express; to the oppressed people that suffer under the Communist regime their parents, grandparents, or they themselves had to flee from. Even in states where Cuban-Americans are not concentrated in large numbers they have had successes especially in New Jersey, where albeit a tiny minority concentrated in Union City, Elizabeth, and Newark, Cuban Americans have enjoyed enormous political successes.

    18.) FACT: U.S. public opinion, thus far, has not been strategically polled or has not even been considered as a factor of opinion regarding the issue of Cuba, for exception, to the businessmen and businesswomen who know what a flourishing opportutiny Cuba has the potential of being once the U.S. and Cuba establish diplpomatic relations, which will bring about commercial relations as well.

    It is in the United States´ best interest to cure diplomatic relations with Cuba as it did with China in 1971 under a tolerance factor asumed at that time by the United States vis-a-vis China´s internal disonance on a domestic front, when compared to the American way of life, yet, a very necessary step for the U.S. to be tolerant to jump-start the steps toward intial engagement which with time will evolve into a more harmonious balance between each nation´s political system which serve to bring about the necessary changes that over time cure the difficulties and make both nations work together as neighbors.

    Cuba is not a “spouse” of the United States, nor does Cuba desire to “marry” the United States, Cuba is not a child begotten by the United States nor is Cuba a “child” for adoption by the United States. Cuba wants to maintain intact as a sovereign nation without giving up its particular culture, history, way of life and territory. Cuba is ready to be a good neighbor of the United States and is willing to sit at the table with the United States, yet, with mutual respect and without impositions of any kind and expects the United States to be tolerant to the differences in its operational government system on a domestic front and within Cuba´s social operational make-up. These factors are BOTH mutually exclusive for Cuba and the United States to get along.

  5. The cornerstone of U.S.-Cuba relations is that Fidel Castro expropriated $1.4 billion is U.S. property by 1962, which prompted the economic embargo. Castro has adamantly refused to recognize the debt, in contrast to his debt payments to Spain and Canada for expropriated property. The U.S. has diplomatic and economic relations with China and Viet Nam because those nations made a payment arrangement with the U.S. for expropriated American property. The U.S. is waiting for both the Castro brothers to disappear, within five to ten years, and the new Cuban government will then see the benefits of recognizing their foreign debt with the U.S. so that they can reap the benefits of diplomatic and economic relations with “Yankee Imperialism.”

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