Cuba Not Budging So Far on Alan Gross

Alan Gross

HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 9 — Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson continues his efforts Friday in Havana to get the government of Raul Castro to allow an early release of US citizen Alan Gross, 62, sentenced to 15-years for what are considered serious crimes against the Cuban state.

The climate of relations between the Obama Administration and Cuba is clearly not at a high point.  Recent revelations from Wikileaks reconfirm Havana’s repeated denouncements of Washington’s efforts to develop and finance an internal opposition to help bring about a regime change in Cuba.

Likewise, the US Congress continues funding for programs like the one Gross worked for when he was caught distributing illegal communications equipment.  The Maryland resident was on the payroll of Development Alternatives Inc., a favorite contractor used by US AID in hot spots such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

As of Thursday, Richardson has even been unable to even visit with Gross, reported AP, which said the Democratic Party politician on a private visit would stay in Havana until he gets to see Alan Gross.

For more on the visit of former gov. Richardson to Havana click here.




One thought on “Cuba Not Budging So Far on Alan Gross

  • Mr. Gross had a receipt to bring this equipment into Cuba and the Cuban Government knew this very well (see article below). There is also testimony that the Jewish Community knew of his work (see article below) and that he had been there many times. I also want to point out that the International Press was not allowed inside the courtroom (see article below) on any of his proceedings!

    SAN DIEGO CHANNEL 10 : With American In Cuban Prison, Wife Hopes For Clemency- Alan Gross Convicted Of Trying To Subvert Cuban Gov’t – From Jill Dougherty,CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

    The equipment is illegal in Cuba without government permission, but a source close to the case told CNN that “at trial, the defense presented a receipt from Cuban Customs to demonstrate the Cubans were both aware of and approved what Alan brought in.”

    “The Cuban government did not charge Alan with bringing illegal equipment,” says the source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “The charge and conviction were on crimes against the state, in other words, activity to undermine the sovereignty of Cuba, which is simply preposterous.”

    CBS NEWS: Cuban Jewish leader knew imprisoned American-First member of Cuba’s small Jewish community admits knowing and talking to American Alan Gross, imprisoned for allegedly smuggling illegal satellite communication devices-By Portia Siegelbaum

    Miller is the first member of Cuba’s small Jewish community to admit knowing and talking to Gross.”I know the person. I know exactly the person you’re referring to,” he said in a phone conversation with CBS.”I met him at the Jewish community [the building housing Beth Shalom Temple, known as the Patronato, the largest Jewish community center in the country]. He came there more than once,” Miller said responding to questions.Adela Dworin, who took over as president of the Temple following the death of Miller’s grandfather Jose Miller in 2006, had denied knowing Gross when asked shortly after the American’s arrest in December 2009. More recently she told reporters that so many Americans come to the Temple, she simply didn’t know if he had been one of them.Miller said he won’t speak on camera until after the trial, adding, “Let me tell you, the solution to the problem is coming very soon. It’s complicated. It’s hard even for me.”

    NPR : In Cuba, Jailed American Alan Gross Faces Trial

    BLOCK: Now, foreign journalists, I understand, are not allowed into the courtroom to cover the trial. You were outside the courthouse today. What were you able to learn there?

    MIROFF: That’s right. He’s being tried in a small municipal courthouse far away from the city center. Gross is there with his wife, his U.S. attorney, his Cuban attorney and U.S. consular officials. And the Cuban media, the state-run media is being allowed in and that may be a sign that the proceedings are going to show up on television soon. I think in some ways it’s not just Gross that’s on trial, it’s also the entire USAID program here in Cuba that the government wants to prosecute.

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