As for Alan Gross, the U.S. citizen who is seriously ill and has been rotting in prison for three years for providing cell phones and internet capability to Jewish citizens of Cuba in a legal program — the reason he remains imprisoned is well-put by an anonymous Cuban-American activist, as well as by Michael Allen of NED. The activist writes:
1) They seek to hold him as a hostage in order to try and obtain the release of the five Castro spies imprisoned in the U.S. for espionage activities conducted by the Castro Regime against the United States. The leader of the spy ring, Gerardo Hernandez “Giro” is serving a life sentence for directly participating in the orchestration and murder of four volunteer humanitarian Cuban American pilots over international waters in 1996. The continued imprisonment of these thugs has punctured the layer of invincibility with which the Regime has traditionally sought to clothe its repressive forces and is a living reminder to these forces that there will be no impunity for their crimes. The continued imprisonment of these individuals is a constant advisory to the Castro Regime.
(2) Raul Castro has kidnapped Americans before, in the Sierra Maestra, and has had successful results from it. He believes he will also be successful in this kidnapping because the State Department response has been so weak. No Castro diplomats have been expelled, no initiative has been undertaken by the U.S. in any international human rights body to press for Gross’ release and protest his ill treatment. On the contrary, with Gross still under arrest the U.S. government did not object to opening the door to Castro’s return to the OAS.
(3) They see negotiations for trading the imprisoned thugs for Gross as a way to short circuit the pro-democracy lobby in the U.S. Congress and open the door to normalization on THEIR terms.
(4) For the Castro Regime both Allan Gross and Carromero are proof positive of how the Regime can severely punish those foreigners involved in peacefully empowering Cuban civil society for democratic change. With continued support from abroad the movement inside Cuba has grown exponentially and is increasingly challenging the Regime on the streets. The Castors want to eliminate the human lifeline from abroad to the movement without hurting their own tourism in the process.
Allen gets it right on each point. The Castro regime wants to equate Cuban spies caught in the U.S. with Gross, who was on a humanitarian mission sponsored by Jewish groups to give Jewish Cubans access to communication with the outside world. Weekly, Gross’s family, fed up with the apparent unwillingness of the U.S. government to make his release a priority, is picketing the Cuban mission to demand action to free him, after waiting until now to abide by the State Department’s request that quiet diplomacy was the best way to achieve Gross’ release.
So many years ago, the New Left had a romance with the Cuban Revolution, believing that unlike the Soviet Union that was revered by the Old Left, Cuba would turn out to be the true paradise all the Left was continually seeking, and would build a New World socialism of a humane nature. As Rodiles says in his interview, the truth was that the Revolution was created by totalitarians of a Leninist bent, who always knew what they had in mind once the old authoritarian Batista regime was ousted.
When will our government and media make known to our own citizens the truth about Cuba? The brave people of Cuba are waiting.