Bill Clinton Says Future of U.S.-Cuban Relations Hinge on Fate of Alan Gross 2

Bill Clinton Says Future of U.S.-Cuban Relations Hinge on Fate of Alan Gross

Bill Clinton Says Future of U.S.-Cuban Relations Hinge on Fate of Alan Gross

Fox News Latino

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton hinted Thursday that any future relations between Washington and Havana hinge on the Cuban government releasing USAID subcontractor Alan Gross from prison.

Speaking with the Miami Herald, Clinton said that his wife and prospective Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, was in favor of ending the 50-plus years long embargo with Cuba.

“I think we would be well on our way to doing it [ending the blockade] if they released Alan Gross,” he said of the contractor who has served five years of a 15-year sentence. “It is really foolish to allow what is clearly a questionable incarceration to imperil the whole future of U.S.-Cuban relations, but that’s not my call to make.”

The White House last week also urged Cuba to release U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross, who is serving a 15-year sentence on the Communist-ruled island after being convicted for subversion.

“Five years ago today Alan Gross was arrested for his efforts to help ordinary Cuban citizens have greater access to information through the Internet,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement.

President Barack Obama’s administration “remains focused on securing Alan’s freedom from a Cuban prison” and officials in Washington are “deeply concerned” about the health of the 65-year-old Gross, Earnest said.

“The Cuban Government’s release of Alan on humanitarian grounds would remove an impediment to more constructive relations between the United States and Cuba,” the statement concluded.

Gross was arrested in Havana in December 2009 with satellite communications equipment he was planning to distribute among Cuba’s Jewish community.

He traveled to the island for Development Alternatives Inc., a Maryland company acting under a contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development to expand Internet access and the flow of information in Cuba.

In his interview with the Miami Herald, Clinton also took on a more open approach to Cuba than he or most other U.S. presidents have taken while in office. He praised the country’s role in responding to the devastation in the wake of Haiti’s massive earthquake and in responding to the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Feature continues here: Bill Clinton



  1. The Cuban dictatorship is not going to release Gross on humanitarian basis because they don’t believe on been humanitarian.The Cuban dictatorship is going to adhere to one thing which is the release of the three remaining spies.The alcoholic dictator Raul Castro is an arrogant individual and for him to bow under pressure is a sign of weakness.

  2. Some United States politicians and members of the U.S. government, present and past—and for far too long—have acted to make expressions that may be interpreted by the hearing public as an attempt to formulate U.S. foreign policy through personal speculation in a public forum.

    Such is an unprofessional and counter-productive political practice–in matters of foreign policy–and is not condusive to good, adroit diligencies required to achieve the type of satisfactory foreign policy formation the greatest nation on earth deserves.

    I could care less if it is a former President of the United States who conducts such a practice by formulating speculations about U.S. foreign policy voicing his personal opinion,recently such as Bill Clinton did, in a public forum, during a Summit of the Americas, at my Alma Matter; the University of Miami.

    I ask; for what purpose does it serve? It is all political rhetoric posturing and extra-oficial speculation and we all know all to well, speculation in foreign policy matters, specially when the country involved is the neighboring nation, only 90 miles away from U.S. shores. Such type of speculation is the “grandmother of latter confusión” and the “intellectual wedge”, many times, between undeserving political fantasy, political self-interest and political reality.

    By contrast, if public Fortune 500 multinational companies acted in such a professional manner, company mergers, competitive acquisitions negotiations, research and development, secret product “think-tank” labs, all of these professional actions, which have many times served to be responsible for the formulation and successfully performance of some of the most advanced technology and innovation, which has postively impacted our world markets—on behalf of U.S. based companies—during the last fifty years, such could not have been possible. No doubt, perhaps, some of these politicians could earnestly learn something from the corridors of corporate america, where CEOS and high level negotiations of business—all business, no play—secretly and quietly take place there, within the executive quarters of american industry, not out in the public forum of a University. What heavy bullshit.

    Which reminds me, the type of comment, which Bill Clinton just made recently—by taking the side of what may be seemed or perceived to be the more conservative posture of the immediate physical population proximity from the place where he was speaking to essentially the South Florida vote–should such a conservative position have been taken with respect to the case of Elian in South Florida back in the day, it would have probably saved the election for the Democratic party, therafter, making Al Gore President and winning that election, instead of Al Gore loosing by 300 or so votes, which was the margin of difference of votes casted, right here, in South Florida on that Presidential election year. Florida was the swing state that won that year´s Presidential election.

    It seems Bill Clinton learned his lesson well. Should Bill Clinton have kept Elian here in the U.S., just a little while longer until after the election, instead of allowing Janet Reno (a WACO Texas fiasco Master graduate) to take Little Elian at machine gun point, Al Gore would have been President, not George W. Bush.

    So, now, Bill Clinton´s expression regarding Alan Gross allows him to preventatively cure himself—before 2016—while in good political health with the South Florida community that had voted for him during his second term in office. It is a smart move for Bill Clinton the, not so quiet, point man of Hillary 2016. But then, the South Florida Cuba American vote is happy with his recent expression regarding Alan Gross and the ensuing damage control 2016, Elian forgotten.

    That´s it as far as Bill Clinton´s comments and the collateral damage to the Alan Gross case in its more in depth reality and not its on-the surface fantasy of a “humanitarian misión” while compensated for half a million dollars.

    Let´s analyze: laws in Cuba do not allow anyone—not even Alan Gross—to carry in anyone´s pocket a high-tech computer chip designed to block-out technological radar monitoring where the source of such communication origination. So, if Alan Gross was caught carrying such an outlawed device in Cuba, a device not even available in the open market in the United States due to U.S. national security concerns, why would Cuba allow it if the United States doesn´t? This makes no sense whatsoever, it is irrevocably obsurred. What is a politican—as Bill Clinton—saying extra-officially to Cuba´s foreign policy team. Our U.S. national security standard, which we in the United States practice, cannot be practiced in Cuba, because a company that we recently subcontracted and who in turn contracted Alan Gross, at the tune of a half million dollars compensation, is going to break the law in Cuba, which a standard we also uphold and disallow here, and to be violated by none other by someone whom we have contractually engaged as a subcontractor of a company we directly contracted witn for 6 million dollars. That man subcontracted was Alan Gross in Cuba. Now come-on! This is f_ _ _ _ ing kids play, not serious material to jump-start diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

    Tell that to Bill Clinton, whom by the way I like, I support and I donate to his foundation and will vote for his wife if she runs in 2016. But such a vote, for me, has nothing to do with foreign policy or 2016 elections. This has to do with Cuba, my country of birth I dearly love and which I believe should not be politically prosituted in a foreign policy scenario.

    On a side note, as prevention to the idiots who may accuse me of being a Cuba supported blogger, I was once a Republican, but not anymore. The Republican party has evolved in a torridly chaotic divided evolution by the weight of the demography of its local constituencies. The offshoot of the Republican Party, which elected Marco Rubio–for instance–is white blue collar males and so goes for the rest of this nation. Bring-on the “Tea Party”. At age eighteen, I was driver for Maurice Stans Secretary of Commerce of the United States and Chairman to re-elect President Richard Milhouse Nixon. There were no Cuban Americans–at such high level of government involvement or even on the fringes, at that time, at the Republican Convention, except President Nixon´s Butler and wife team who were a Cuban matrimony. I got to see up-close the U.S. government on a daily basis. No Diaz-Balarts there, no Ros-Lethinen there, no one like that even around until many years later. I never—even—thought once of running for public office, although I could have, as a very successful businessman that I was by age 30 and after ten years in the Fortune 50 of the Fortune 500 sector of multinational companies industry. I say this in all candor, because my love for homeland Cuba has never waivered and is stronger than ever. Yet, I know all to-well diplomatic relations in a foreign policy scenario cannot be formulated between two nations by the exercise of one nation dictating how the other country—with whom diplomatic relations are desired—has to operate domestically. It may be a hard pill to swallow, for many, but change is taking place in Cuba nevertheless, at present. People in Cuba may still experience certain first ammendment rights restrictions, but people in Cuba today are way-far, more openly expressive, than they were ten years and twenty years ago. People are expressing themselves about their believes and are more critical of the government just like all critical populations are to thier own governments, even here in the United States, albeit under different living conitions. That´s a fact. The free enterprise system in Cuba is not restored, but initial signs of individual commercial entreprenurial enterprise initiatives have begun to take place. Cuba will not change overnight, nor will Cuban Miamians staunch conservatives and anti-Castro, such Cuban Miamians who as Castro will more than likely die-off in the coming near future as life´s normal evolution. Meanwhile, Miami is being re-populated by more moderate Cubans arriving from all parts of the island. The end result of this process will be a more homogenous Cuban population, which will occur between those who reside in Miami and those who reside in Havana. Now as far as the balance of the U.S. population, it could care less about human rights in Cuba, nor do they know in detail, nor do they care for that matter. So, in reality, one of the biggest obstacles for immediate restoration of diplomatic relations between United States and Cuba is the unwillingness of a consistenly shrinking population group of Cuban Americans who still have an ax to grind with Fidel Castro and are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces with regards to Cuba. I´m not in that group. That is not the american way of life to which–ironically–many such Miamians Cuban Americans pledged alligeance-to becoming so-called (in this sense of the word) American citizens.

    Restored diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba are cornerstone to making things better for Cuba and making things better whtin this hemisphere and the balance of the world for the United States. There´s no doubt about it.

    The line has to be drawn to be able to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba the same way the United States drew the line as it restored diplomatic realtions with China by 1972.

    To “nitpick” what issues are or what issues are not, non-negotiable with regards to proceeding to establsih diplomatic relations with Cuba, and simultaneously be willing to extra-officially express this in a public forum, is quite the inmaturity of political character, particularly, when not in office.

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