Pressuring Cuba Won’t Free Alan Gross

Senator Patrick Leahy met with Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana. Photo:

Says US Senator Patrick Leahy

HAVANA TIMES —Washington’s unilateral pressures on Cuba will not achieve a solution in the case of USAID communications operative Alan Gross, said US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to CNN on Sunday at the State of the Union address.

The president pro tempore of the Senate and its Judiciary Committee said Gross’s release depends on both countries being willing to make compromises on their positions.

“There are ways to get him released, but this will require some give and take on both sides, and peaceful negotiations,” he said.

Leahy visited Cuba last week leading a US congressional delegation received by President Raul Castro. The Senator had direct contact with Gross at the military hospital prison where he’s serving a 15-year sentence for smuggling illegal communications equipment onto the island.

Leahy also noted that “there’s no point in keeping Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism,” and he pointed to the trade embargo as another issue Washington should review.

11 thoughts on “Pressuring Cuba Won’t Free Alan Gross

  • People come here to matanzas et/al and do what they think makes the comm happy when in reality they are keeping the PTB happy IE amerika
    Get real whenever america sends a snitch to do it dirt and they snitch fails he should get what he gets

  • This i agree with Gross knew that the US would not protect him and he is where he should be

  • Gross needs to stay right where he is he is a criminal and like all criminals he deserves what he gets UNTIL Cuba decides

  • AC, can you imagine how long the line is of people waiting for and probably deserving of a Presidential Pardon here in the US? What makes the five convicted Cuban spies so special that their case merits jumping the line? Only in the most extraordinary cases does a President issue pardons and then it is usually literally on their last day in office. Can you imagine the Tea Party response to an Obama pardon which frees five Cuban communists convicted of, among other crimes, espionage against military instalations? In the midst of the battle for the hearts and minds of Middle America on issues like immigration, gun control and tax reform, there is no way Obama sends these guys home without a sh#tload of political reforms from the Castros to justify the pardons. I accept your argument for Castro not sending one or more of the bullsh#t members of Parliament to lobby for the five spies. But why not send Bruno Rodriguez, the Foreign Minister or any other member of the Council of State to meet with the Secretary of State or even the Vice President Biden. You know why? Arrogance. Seems crazy since the Castros send people to beg for money, food or oil. But for the five spies, nadie. What’s up with that?

  • Likewise, why he stronger superpower in the world, paladin of democracy and human rights, supreme defensor of justice wont simply pardon and deport the Cuban 5 after 15 years?

  • I replied to you yesterday but for some reason it never got posted, so here we go again. I apologize beforehand if my previous comment get posted later.

    Cuba does NOT have any law requiring preconditions to deal with US, so their parliament has no business intervening in Gross case.The negotiation of Gross release must go thorough the executive branch of the government, in this case the council of state. Specifically its president, currently Raul Castro is the only person that have the right to release Gross via presidential pardon.

    The same is true for US, once extinguished all legal recourses, the release of the Cuban five can only be achieved by presidential pardon, so it falls in the Obama’s shoulders. What the congress and senate debates is irrelevant, they can argue all they want but if what the Cubans wants is the release of the Cuban five, it has to be negotiated between the both presidents.

  • “Cuba have suffered 50 years of this cruel, suffocating, disgraceful embargo because of the uneven correlation of force.” Mr. Jones, I think you have eloquently expressed what I, and many Americans have always felt. I’ve met Cuban children that go without (you name it here), and if we Americans have anything to do with that, we should be ashamed. I know I am.

  • Touching. I almost bought the whole Castro as a victim thing. Mr. Gross knew what he was getting into. If Castro’s Cuba is anything more than an insignificant, unimportant, weak, poor, underdeveloped and yes, black, island nation then why don’t they unilaterally release Mr. Gross for humanitarian reasons and really live up to your gilded view of them?

  • As millions of Cubans in the past and even today are victims of this political aberration, so is Mr. Gross part of this political strife in which, no pressure or threats on Cuba will improve his lot. Tens of millions of people around the globe are demanding the US to lift, remove and demolish this mutually harmful abomination, that never should have existed.

    Neighbors, friends, families and nations, have all suffered differences, divisions and strife, in which, intelligence, respect, fairness and justice, have played a pivotal role in its solution.

    Cuba have suffered 50 years of this cruel, suffocating, disgraceful embargo because of the uneven correlation of force. United States sees Cuba as too insignificant, too unimportant, too weak, too poor, too underdeveloped and maybe too black, to sit down and discuss their grievances. Life have proven them wrong and may do so in the future, while Mr Gross, who is not morally, politically or ideological fit to endure his punishment; will crumble before our eyes, shaming himself and those he loves.

  • Sen. Leahy has visited Cuba twice in as many years to solicit the release of Mr. Gross to no avail. Is it any wonder that he would reach this conclusion. Former New Mexico Bill Richardson also came up short after his visit. The Castros have made it clear that they will accept nothing less than the release of the five convicted spies in exchange for Mr. Gross. Likewise the US has said in no uncertain terms that this option is not on the table. The Castros will need to offer something else to trigger interest in furthering ‘quiet’ negociations. One other point: from Sen. Leahy who advocates softening US policy towards Cuba to a beleaguered but unbowed Sen. Menendez who as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations cmte. has vowed to maintain the hardline. The debate on the Senate floor could be wide-ranging. Now, imagine a comparable debate in the Asemblea Nacional de Cuba? Can’t imagine it? Neither can I.

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