Alan Gross, Invited to State of the Union

Alan Gross and his wife Judy on the day he was released from prison in Cuba.
Alan Gross and his wife Judy on the day he was released from prison in Cuba.

HAVANA TIMES — Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor freed by Cuba under the thawing of relations between the two countries, will be tomorrow a guest of President Obama at the State of the Union.

Gross and his wife are on the guest list for the first lady, Michelle Obama, released today. It is customary at the annual message to invite persons that the administration believes are important figures in its defense of its policies before Congress.

Gross was released on December 17, 2014, from prison in Cuba after serving five of a 15 year sentence for introducing sophisticated telecommunications devices into the country prohibited by the laws of the island.

His release and that of a Cuban spy working for the CIA had as its counterpart in the release of three Cubans convicted of espionage in the United States. The exchange was part of the agreement under which the two countries decided to resume relations after more than half a century of confrontation.

When he makes his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama is expected once again to defend his new approach to policy towards Cuba, opposed by a portion of the Republicans.

12 thoughts on “Alan Gross, Invited to State of the Union

  • January 20, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    A few weeks ago I did no share the political calculus that has driven the President’s decisions. I continue to think it is a mistake to take the pressure off the regime at this stage and after so much has already been sacrificed but I voted for Obama twice so I accept my part in his decision. Because I have “skin in the game” and you don’t, I can ill afford to be as theoretical as you seem to be. No human being deserves to control an entire country for 50 years. No man is that smart or that infallible or that exceptional. On this issue alone, the Castros are despicable.

  • January 20, 2015 at 11:43 am

    What? And wake you up? No I think you live in a bit of a dream world. But I’ll tell you something…only a few short weeks ago, you never would have been talking the way you are now. Good to see you buy into the flavor of the month…or sign of the times…or whatever you want to call it. But the times they are a changing. Way to go, Sylvester…it seems you’re beginning to accept things for what they are…including those disthhhhhhpicable Castros. If I’m wrong, then dream on.

  • January 20, 2015 at 10:14 am

    House Speaker John Boehner has invited the Cuban dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, who is known as “Antunez” to be his guest at the State of the Union speech.

    Antunez, the 43-year-old leader of Cuba’s civic resistance movement, served more than 17 years in prison, with the Castro regime releasing him in 2007 ahead of expected European sanctions. On Obama’s deal with Castro, Antunez stated,

    “The future of Cuba should not have been agreed to in secret — as these secret negotiations between Cuba and the regime have been carried out,” he said. “No agreement that excludes the Cuban resistance and the Cuban people can be considered legitimate.”

    Meanwhile, Senator Marco Rubio has invited Rosa Paya Acevedo of the Cuban Christian Liberation Movement and daughter of slain Cuban dissident, Oswald Paya.

  • January 19, 2015 at 3:52 pm


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