Cuba Has Alan Gross, US Doesn’t Really Care

Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 1 — If you click on Google News Cuba, the first item that pops up of late is on the fate of Alan Gross, a Maryland resident arrested when working in Cuba for Development Alternatives Inc.

The corporation receives hefty contracts to carry out “democracy building” projects for the US State Department in “enemy” or “hostile” countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

Gross was caught in the act of smuggling in and distributing illegal communications equipment in a country where the US has been trying to overthrow the government for over 50 years.

Obviously, such a crime against the Cuban state was taken quite seriously.

Ever since his arrest in December 2009, the US State Department, and even President Obama, have been telling Cuba that it should release Gross.  At first they tried to say he was innocent but when that became obviously false they went the humanitarian route.

US authorities have lectured Cuba that relations would not have a chance to improve unless Gross was freed.  But such talk without substance fell on deaf ears in Havana.

Even before the Gross arrest, nearly a year into the Obama presidency, the US had failed to produce an iota of movement towards an end to the blockade and normalized relations.

Simply put, the political will to stand up to a vocal and moneyed Florida exile community was never on the president’s agenda. This was even less so for his secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Talk is cheap and sometimes blurs reality. If the US government really cares about Gross, 62, turning 75 in a Cuban prison, the diplomatic tools are available to see that doesn’t happen.

But one thing is crystal clear, Cuba is not going take orders from Washington and the administration knows this fully well.

To the contrary, when US officials try to tell Havana what it should do, the island’s officials only dig their heels in, something Washington counts on beforehand.

The only visible bargaining chip for Alan Gross is the Cuban Five, agents sent from Havana to infiltrate Cuban-exile groups in the ‘90s to uncover any planned terrorist attacks on the island or its interests.

The agents, considered heroes by many back home, have already served 13 plus years in different prisons scattered around the USA.

After first refusing to even consider the possibility of a prisoner swap, Cuban leaders have softened their position and hinted that the fate of Alan Gross for that of the Cuban Five could be negotiable.

Washington, however, continues to rule out an exchange and in doing so is well aware that Gross’s fate doesn’t look good.

4 thoughts on “Cuba Has Alan Gross, US Doesn’t Really Care


  • Obviosly innocent in most countries in the world, at least democratic countries.
    Shame on the Cuban regime trying to make people believe that helping people have access to free information is a crime!
    Yes, Khadafy was a criminal, Cuban people need to know. Yes ,he was shooting at unarmed civilians protesting 40 years of him in power (oops poor guy only 40 years to Castro’s 54) yes, Basher al Assad is shooting any Syrian protesting against him and that is why Syrians took up arms to try to oust him from power, 40 years of his father dynasty is more than enough!
    And yes Cuba signed the human rights declaration, including clause allowing its people the free information, free assembly or association, free entrance or leaving their country or birth and free electing (electing means choosing among two or more) their leaders.

  • Las acusaciones de Cuba se derivan de la labor humanitaria realizada por el señor Gross en representación de la empresa que opera los fondos estadounidenses para la promoción de democracia, en respaldo a sus compatriotas judíos en la isla. En concreto, ayudó a establecer una intranet y mejorar el acceso de ellos a la internet.

    Mucho se ha insistido en el hecho de que el señor Gross llevaba teléfonos celulares y computadoras cuando viajaba a la isla, pero debe decirse que al menos en una ocasión las autoridades cubanas registraron su equipaje y le permitieron entrar los equipos al país después de pagar impuestos. “Yo no hice nada en Cuba que sea distinto a lo que se hace a diario en millones de hogares y oficinas en todo el mundo”, dijo Gross  ante el tribunal que lo declaró culpable el pasado marzo. O sea, ese es justamente el punto: en Cuba, ayudar a la gente a comunicarse libremente puede ser un delito.

  • The majority of Americans care about the well being of Mr. Gross and pray that he is not being tortured mentally or physically. It would be nice if Cuba and The United States could move beyond cold war tactics and work on improving relationships that benefit the people of both countries. We should focus on positive steps that bring us together as neighbors and stop the ‘monkey wrenching’ foolishness of the past. The Cuban 5 garnered about as much ‘secret information’ as a band of janitors could. They posed zero threat to Americas military security compared to the Wiki leaks. Gross posed a similar threat to Cuba, about zero to none. Playing this spy verses spy game illustrates the absurd side of our governments. The people of the world want peace, happiness and freedom but it seems our governments are getting in the way. Happy New Year and may everyone find forgiveness in their hearts and begin a transition toward world peace.

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