Cuba: Alan Gross Plays Hunger Strike Card

By Circles Robinson

Alan Gross with the logos of his direct and indirect employers.  Collage:
Alan Gross with the logos of his direct and indirect employers, Devolopment Alternatives Inc. and USAID.  Collage:

HAVANA TIMES — Left behind in Cuba after being caught in the act violating Cuban laws, US agent Alan Gross, has gone on a hunger strike in Havana.

There is no indication thus far whether he will be subject to force feeding to avoid his health from deteriorating, like the prisoners the US holds on the other end of the island at its Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

Gross, 64, is in the fifth year of a fifteen year prison sentence for being part of a larger US government effort to violate Cuban telecommunications laws to “promote democracy.” He spoke by way of his lawyer, indicating that the hunger strike actually began last Thursday.

“I began a fast on April 3 in protest of the treatment to which I am subjected by the governments of Cuba and the United States,” Gross said in the statement. “I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal.”

Gross, his contract employer Development Alternatives Inc, and the US State Deptartment, had originally tried to portray his highly paid work as a strictly humanitarian effort to help Cuban Jews use the Internet. However recent revelations indicate that the funding for his attempt to smuggle in and install illegal telecommunications equipment in Cuba was actually part of a larger strategy of USAID that also included violating Cuban law by setting up a false Cuban Twitter network, revealed this week by AP.

Supporters of Gross and the USAID program to subvert the Cuban government, state that the equipment Gross was to smuggle in and install, as well as the false Twitter network, were justifiable to help Cubans communicate among themselves and the outside world, citing the low percentage of the island’s residents with access to the Internet.

Gross, who had been a tall heavy set man, has lost over a 100 pounds in prison and his wife Judy has made repeated pleas to President Obama, asking him to personally intercede on the Maryland resident’s behalf without any success. In a protest earlier this year in front of the White House Judy said that Gross’s life is on the line.

Cuba publically floated an offer to the US administration to swap Gross for three Cuban agents serving time in the US.  Part of the Cuban Five, they have already served over 15 years for spying on violence-prone Miami based anti-Cuban organizations, while the other two served out their time and were released.

“So far the United States has flatly rejected any trade, especially for one of the Cubans who is serving a double life sentence for conspiracy to murder for his role in Cuba’s shooting down of two U.S. civilian planes in 1996, killing four anti-Castro activists. Aircraft from their group, ‘Brothers to the Rescue’, had been buzzing the Cuban coast for more than a year, dropping leaflets,” informed Reuters.

Not a word has appeared about Gross’s hunger strike in the Cuban media.

8 thoughts on “Cuba: Alan Gross Plays Hunger Strike Card

  • US interventions to install democracy:
    German occupied Netherlands, Belgium, France, Denmark, Norway, Austria…


    Can you name a single instance where the USSR intervened to install a democracy?

    How about Cuba, any democracies they helped install?

  • This reminds me of George Orwell’s essay “Shooting an Elephant”.

    The essay describes the experience of the English narrator, possibly Orwell himself, called upon to shoot an aggressive elephant while working as a police officer in Burma. Because the locals expect him to do the job, he does so against his better judgment, his anguish increased by the elephant’s slow and painful death. The story is regarded as a metaphor for British imperialism, and for Orwell’s view that “when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.” — Wikipedia

    I can’t see how sending the three Cubans back home is going to any harm to anyone. The US is just getting caught up in a superiority complex that no one else cares about anymore.

  • This reveals imperialism’s “bi-partisan” foreign policy: not only will the Dems., like their Repug. bretheren, NOT exchange Gross for (the remaining) Cuban Five, but I predict that they will shortly free somone who caused the U.S. real damage when he carted out full suitcases of TOP SECRET Pentagon documents for his Israeli masters: Jonathan Pollard!

  • Myanmar (Burma) genious.

  • I don’t know from what alternate universe you get your info and thinking but here on Earth the U.S. is waging an economic war to destroy Cuba
    They ( the USG) will never engage in anything other than diplomacy that is filed with lies and insincerity and not too dissimilar to the now defunct Israeli -Palestinean Piece Talks where throughout that sham process Israel takes a another PIece of Palestine with U.S backing. .
    You know , although you are loathe to admit it that the U.S does the bulk of its diplomacy at the end of a gun barrel .
    Can you name a single instance where the U.S. intervened to install a democracy ?
    Of course you can’t.
    Can you admit it ?
    Of course you can’t.

  • What gives you the impression that the US “couldn’t give a damn about their own”? Because we have not engaged in an international propaganda campaign? Plastering billboards across Cuba and instigating marches in Madrid do ‘diddlysquat’ to free the Cuban spies. Only serious and genuine diplomatic engagement should be considered as real effort. The Castros need the Cuban 5 in prison as a propaganda tool. They have no serious interest in their early release. If they did, they would not have arrested Gross in the first place. The Castros let him come and go four previous times without detaining him. A handful of laptops and cellphones pose no real threat to Cuban national security. However, when it occurred to them that Gross might be useful in a trade, they arrested and convicted him in a closed trial. The US can simply not afford to bargain with rogue governments. Capitulating to the Castros only emboldens copycat tyrants around the world to do the same thing. This is a terribly sad reality for Mr. Gross and his family but if he dies while in the Castros custody, his blood
    will be on their hands.

  • Let him rot.

  • The United States is an imperial power seeking hegemony over the world .
    Every empire experiences “blowback” : the CIA term for people striking back for PRIOR U.S. imperial atrocities .
    The victims of this “blowback” are considered the normal cost of empire and Gross, like the 2000 who died in the 2001 attacks at the WTC and all the soldiers who die in imperial combat are the ones who pay the price for these wars fought for benefit of the very wealthy .
    As pointed out, Cuba cares about its people and the U.S. does not..

Comments are closed.