A group of Congressmen have suggested that in its response to the detention of USAID contractor Alan Gross in
Separately, I have found that if you examine the USAID program’s legal foundations and
Mr. Gross’ problem is that the Administration, Congress, USAID, and his employer sent him to carry out a project in
Demanding his release is a fine idea, but that requires the State Department to make the demand face-to-face to Cuban officials. No one likes a situation where a USAID contractor is stuck in a communist legal system and our diplomats have to make a case for his release. We can assign blame to the Cuban government – fair enough, it arrested him – but the
I continue to believe that the best hope for Mr. Gross is that Cuban authorities come to the conclusion that they have made their point, and he can be released on a humanitarian basis. Let’s hope that happens.
But I am concerned that a public relations campaign executed last week with regard to his case may have worsened his predicament. I would say the campaign was done on Mr. Gross’ behalf, but it seems more a political defense of the USAID program than an effort to win his release. I hope I’m wrong. (See Reuters article, a fact sheet from a public relations firm, and this video from Mrs. Judy Gross.)
Some have speculated that
Maybe so. But for now, the more salient connection seems to be that the Cuban Five were convicted of charges including operating here as unregistered foreign agents.
Last week’s campaign made the case that Mr. Gross’ intentions and activities were good. That argument is likely to go nowhere in the Cuban government.
I’m as much in favor of free satellite Internet service as the next guy, but as a practical matter – regardless of one’s views of the Cuban government, Cuban law, or Mr. Gross’ activities – assertions that the
Why? Because – and let’s note that people on my side of this debate are not usually the ones who have to drag this little factoid out – Cuba is a one-party state, guided by Leninist principles and defended by the closest thing to the Stasi that has ever existed in this hemisphere.
Those assertions about good
What is Mr. Gross’ predicament?
Read the post below, and connect the dots yourself.