Saturday, March 12, 2011

15-year sentence for Alan Gross

USAID contractor Alan Gross was convicted and sentenced to a 15-year prison term for “acts against the independence or territorial integrity of the state.”

I don’t see any sign that a court document has been released, so the closest we have is this Cuban News Agency story. It says that prosecutors established successfully “the direct participation of the U.S. contractor in a subversive project of the United States government to destroy the Revolution through the use of communications systems outside the control of authorities, to promote plans of destabilization against various social sectors.”

The story notes that Mr. Gross has the option of taking his case to Cuba’s Supreme Court. As I understand it, he could seek relief there by arguing that the court made an error of procedure, or of law.

A U.S. spokeswoman in Havana told AP: “We reject and deplore this ruling..It is appalling that the Cuban government seeks to criminalize what most of the world deems normal, in this case access to information and technology.”

USAID’s 2008 warning to contractors and beneficiaries about the conflict between its program and Cuban law is here.

Here’s coverage from AP and Reuters.


Anonymous said...

He needs to act and act quickly , finding a casacion attorney, as a regular Cuba would do, not through the channels of the state department or the Cuban government. As a Cuban lawyer I can tell you they don't have a case under the current Criminal Code. It is extremely important to have access to that sentence , where are the conclusiones definitivas del fiscal? the idea that keeping all matters to this process private and trusting some hints from Cuban officials help is wrong. Even if he doesnt win the casacion it will show the public opinion why he is not guilty.
BUFETE ESPECIALIZADO EN RECURSOS DE CASACIÓN Teniente Rey No. 605 e/ Prado y Zulueta, municipio Habana Vieja, provincia Ciudad de La Habana,teléfonos 863-2885 y 862-7233
ARTICULO 71.-(Modificado) El recurso se interpone ante el propio Tribunal dentro de los diez días hábiles siguientes a la notificación del auto o sentencia a la parte que lo establezca.
ARTICULO 32.-Todos los días y horas son hábiles para las actuaciones de la fase preparatoria del proceso.
Para las demás actuaciones son hábiles todos los días excepto los declarados no laborables por la ley. Para las propias actua-ciones son hábiles las horas comprendidas entre las siete de la mañana y las siete de la noche.

Anonymous said...

While I have no sympathy whatsoever for the thugs ruling Cuba, the US authorities must ask themselves if they are not sitting in the glass house throwing stones, having sentenced the 5 Cuban 'spies' to very long jail terms.
That's the usual hypocrisy of US (foreign) policy.
Just look at the way they do EVERYTHING to keep dictators in power in the Middle East, while pretending to be oh so offended by the Cuban dictatorship next door.

leftside said...

"It is appalling that the Cuban government seeks to criminalize what most of the world deems normal..."

Does the US really think it's normal for a government to hire a company to smuggle sophisticated communications equipment into an enemy country? Would we think it's normal for Cuba to secretly give Americans communications equipment that was able to operate outside of US jurisdiction?

This whole fake rage from the US Govt. is a little embarrassing, particularly when we've held 5 Cubans for 12.5 years, for doing far less.

Anonymous said...

One thing that remains conspicuously absent in the Allan Gross case is a clarification by the US government of exactly which 'Jewish' organizations he as assisting. Apparently the three principle Jewish organizations in Cuba were not collaborating with him. So who was? Moreover, the Jewish community already has internet connectivity, so what kind of connectivity was Gross bringing? I wonder if the Jewish link is just a fabrication, with the intended recipients of the satellite communications equipment really being the political opposition in Cuba. In a Machiavellian way, creating a 'Jewish link' for Gross might have been a clever strategy by the US government, because now I am sure some people are thinking that the Cuban government is 'anti-semetic', which obviously is not true.

tredway said...

Now is a good time to let diplomats on both sides evaluate the situation without heated rhetoric in public forums, although that is difficult to contain.It would be appropriate for experts from CUBINT and USINT to figure a way forward through quiet diplomacy. Cuba and the U.S. have larger interests at stake and diplomacy can find solutions that are not available from politicians.

Anonymous said...

well, what's going to come of all this?

leftside said...

“We reject and deplore this ruling..It is appalling that the Cuban government seeks to criminalize what most of the world deems normal, in this case access to information and technology.”

No Mr. US spokesman, it is not normal for a Government to have a policy of regime change, which includes subcontracting out the installation of sophisticated communications equipment to poor saps like Mr. Gross. It is called foreign subversion. I guarantee said spokesman would not call it normal for Cuba to set up such networks outside of US control in the US.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gross was giving the chance of access to information through the Internet. A right that Castro denies to the Cuban people. And Castros do that because it's very convenient to tell only what they want Cubans to hear. The US should give them a week to release Mr. Gross or else.

Alexander Peterson said...

Poor guy. I feel really sorry for him.