By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 29 — A US government agent jailed in Cuba for distributing illegal electronic equipment and the Cuban Five, jailed in the US for conspiracy to commit espionage, may axe any hopes of a significant change in the adversarial relations of a half century between the two neighboring countries.
Working for a US government program seeking regime change in Cuba, Alan Gross was allegedly caught distributing illegal communications equipment on the island. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said Wednesday that Gross is still under investigation; he could face a stiff jail sentence if found guilty.
According to Reuters, “The detention has prompted calls in Washington for Obama to take a hard line with the Cuban government and put an end for now to what has been a slight thaw in relations.”
Meanwhile, Havana maintains that the situation of the Cuban Five must be addressed if a real normalization is to occur. Rodriguez said the issue is a key one on any agenda for better relations.
The Cuban Five have been imprisoned in the US since 1998. Their real “crime” was having infiltrated terrorist organizations based in Miami that have operated for decades against Cuba and its interests under the complacent eye of eleven US administrations.