home Cuba, Economic Sanctions Alan Gross was not a U.S. intelligence agent, Obama Administration is playing a dangerous game

Alan Gross was not a U.S. intelligence agent, Obama Administration is playing a dangerous game

Over at the Foreign Policy blog, Yochi Dreazen penned a piece about the unlawful detention of a U.S. government subcontractor, Alan Gross. The piece does a good job outlining the facts in the case as well as some of the behind the scene maneuvering that is taking place to secure Gross’s release from Cuban jail. What Dreazen leaves out, I will attempt to fill in.

The only reason the Cuban regime is holding a U.S. citizen hostage is to secure concessions from the Obama Administration. What concessions? Most people think, as Dreazen details in his piece, that the Cubans just want the release of several Cuban spies.  Part of that may be true, however, I think it is a lot more that.

The release of four Cuban spies in U.S. federal prison is a  sideshow, the low-hanging political fruit. The regime does not really need their release. Heck, several dozen have been expelled from the United States over this case. There are plenty more in the ranks to take their place. Cuba’s bigger play is the easing of economic sanctions.

The Communist Party of Cuba desperately needs hard currency and debt relief. Why? The island economy is crumbling. People are hungry and starting to look for a better deal. The revolution failed long ago, not its a matter of survival.

Cubans may be political troglodytes, but they are experts at exploiting our political system. The sanctions are working and the Communist Party needs relief. In order to do this, the regime uses whatever it can to leverage for what it needs. It uses the Gross situation, not just Gross, to exact concessions from the U.S.

If Gross was not a U.S. intelligence agent, the Obama Administration is playing a dangerous game. Rather than play diplomatic footsie with the regime, it should be ratcheting up economic pressure to secure the release of Gross. With the support of the pro-engage Cuba lobby in Congress and this town, it has done the opposite. And, in the process, these people, along with the Cuban regime, have put Gross’s life in danger. I wonder if our Virginia governor-elect did anything to secure Gross release when he went to Cuba?

The Alan Gross case has little to do with spies, and all to do with normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations. At least it has devolved into this over the course of many years. To secure Gross’s release, increase economic sanctions. Stop licensing the export of food for use in Cuba’s tourism industry. Clamp down hard on remittances. Most importantly: temporarily suspend people-to-people travel. You’ll see how quickly Alan Gross will come home, where he belongs.

 

  • Rio de Janeiro, RJ,
    Brazil

    joetwagner@yahoo.com

    April
    2, 2013

    Dear President Obama,
    Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Lew, and Senator
    Leahy;

    How many signatures on
    a petition would it take to convince you to release the Cuban 5 for
    Alan Gross’s release and put an end to this old failed Cuban Embargo?
    The name Helms, that represents the extension of the cruel Cuban
    Embargo, was also known as an open racist. We, the new generation of
    Americans, do not except Jesse Helms’ immoral political philosophies,
    with their negative effects on our society. These negative effects
    of Jesse Helms’ immoral political philosophies, with their endeavors,
    should be dead and buried with Jesse Helms. Amen?

    There is no benefit for
    the U.S. to keep the Cuban 5 with such long prison sentences. The
    Cuban 5 were sent to Miami, by their country, to investigate the root
    cause of terrorist acts happening in Cuba. Their intentions were
    not directly harmful to the U.S.. As a matter of fact, George W.
    Bush’s war crimes of the preemptive invasion of Iraq, with false
    intelligence, and torture of Muslim prisoners, were extremely harmful
    to the U.S., and he never even was prosecuted, while these Cuban men,
    who were investigating terrorism, were condemned to extremely long
    prison terms. Has our country become the protector of evil while
    condemning those trying to expose terrorism? Does the U.S. have the
    moral ability to negotiate peace with the Israels and Palestinians
    when it can’t find a compromise with its passive neighbor Cuba, and
    it now has a history of torturing Muslims and allowing terrorist
    attacks on it neighbor Cuba?

    The State Department
    should stop down playing what Alan’s intent was in Cuba. The source
    of Alan’s income and the untraceable SIM card are self evident of the
    intent of Alan’s employer. Both the American public and the World
    are not buying this State Department’s down play of the intent of
    Alan’s employment in Cuba, and many of us are upset that this U.S.
    justification about Alan’s intent in Cuba was even used, and could
    have sparked anti Semitic feelings. In other words, the State
    Department should stop trying to put the Jews at the center of the
    American Cuban Conflict. The State Department needs to be more
    sensitive as a world leader. They need to embrace the truth,
    because down playing a situation is lying and harmful to our national
    character. From my perspective, Alan’s employment in Cuba was
    geared to the U.S. effort to undermine the Cuban Government, which
    makes him more guilty then the Cuban 5’s endeavor in the U.S..
    After all, the Cuban 5 were in the U.S. trying to investigate the
    source of terrorism in their own country, they were not in the U.S.
    trying to undermine our U.S. Government. So, stop trying to down
    play the seriousness of Alan’s situation. Alan got himself into
    very serious trouble working for the U.S. Government, which is bent
    on undermining the Cuba Government, and the U.S. Government has the
    responsibility to do what ever it takes to get him out of this
    terrible situation. The U.S. Government should not be sacrificing
    Alan to a 15 year prison term, for the purpose of anti Castro
    propaganda.

    It has come to my
    attention, that earlier, you, “President Obama”, were willing to
    give what ever the Cubans wanted for Alan’s release. I thought that
    was great of you. Then the revengeful Miami Cubans seemed to block
    an exchange attempt to get Alan home. It sure seems like now the
    U.S. Government likes the idea of Alan’s prison situation, which
    continues to give the U.S. Government more anti Castro propaganda.
    I can not believe that your administration wants to sacrifice Alan to
    a 15 year prison sentence for anti Castro propaganda purposes. It’s
    not your style, and it is not fair to Alan or his family. After
    all, Alan served your Government so well, and G-D has given you,
    “President Obama”, the power to negotiate with the Cubans for
    Alan’s release. To fail to do so shows, arrogance, a lack of
    compassion, and cruelty, which were the foundational causes of the
    destruction of Sodom, (Ezekiel 16: 49 & 50), and have become our
    own national failures. After more then half a century of our
    killing the communist for Jesus, and seeing our failures with the
    Vietnam War, the Cuban Embargo, the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion, and
    the 20 million dollars wasted annually trying and failing to
    undermine the Cuban Government, one would think we Americans should
    have come to the conclusion that the G-D of Israel is against the
    U.S. policy of killing the communist for Jesus. By the way, Jesus
    had some very strong and radical economic principles and could be
    viewed as the first communist himself. Jesus understood tsedekah,
    and the concept of tsedekah is a main reason why around 75% of
    American Jews vote Democratic.

    It is time that we
    Americans and the Cubans concentrate on what we have in common. For
    example, both our countries have had a history of struggling with
    uncontrolled greed and its harm to labor, the poor, and working
    class. In many parts of the world communism has been used to combat
    and purge the negative effects of greed from a society. Also, both
    our governments suspended individual rights because of a foreign
    threat to national security. Because of our resent history of
    economic failure, due to greed in our own capitalistic sector, and
    after the Twin Towers attack, now we Americans can better understand
    why the Cubans had to purge greed from their own society and why
    individual rights had to be suspended for the purpose of national
    security, both in Cuba and the United States. For the U.S. to
    properly deal with the Cubans, the U.S. has to understand them.
    Not understanding our opponent’s logic, only causes failure to our
    policies, such as the 50 year failure of the Cuban Embargo, the
    disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion, and 20 million dollars wasted
    annually trying and failing to undermine the Cuban Government. If
    the Cuban Government collapses what would replace it that wouldn’t
    expose the Cuban people to revenge and greed? While talking to
    Americans, I now see the American people understanding the Cubans and
    their reasoning. Because of terrorism creating a need to suspending
    individual rights in our own country, and the collapse of the U.S.
    economy due to capitalistic greed, now we can better understand the
    Cuban’s logic. We need to change our course with the Cubans. We
    might not agree with them, but now we American people can understand
    their logic.

    History will view this
    failed cruel Cuban Embargo like the failed cruel Vietnam War. Just
    another American mistake. Those Americans that stand up to our
    failures and mistakes become the true patriots. Those that step out
    of their comfort zone to understand their enemy, become the
    enlightened of our society. Until that promised Messianic
    Intervention becomes reality, let’s try to make this World a more
    tolerable place. Please President Obama, bring down this failed
    cruel barrier and give the Cubans what they want to bring Alan home.
    Please stop sacrificing Alan to a 15 year prison sentence for the
    purpose of anti Castro propaganda. The American public will support
    your endeavor. How many signatures will it take for you to feel
    supported by us Americans? We can give you those signatures if you
    are willing to give us the amount you need to feel democratically
    secure.

    To start relations with
    the Cubans, it would be a good idea for you, “President Obama”,
    to thank them for not putting Alan in the general prison population
    and you should move the Cuban 5 out of the general prison population
    and into a house arrest situation while also letting their families
    visit them. Joseph
    Wagner;

    • Since I believe in free speech, even when it is incorrect, will leave your pro-regime response intact.

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