Café Fuerte has published the declaration in court of USAID contractor Alan Gross, in his own handwriting. He explains his intentions and his respect for Cuban sovereignty and his view that he would never set out to subvert a political system. Most intriguing, he says he was “used” and “duped.” By whom he does not say – by the U.S. government, the company that contracted him, or Cuban officials.
Café Fuerte also has an interview with Mrs. Gross.
Meanwhile, Governor Richardson is leaving Cuba, having withdrawn after a few days his melodramatic ultimatum not to leave without visiting Mr. Gross in jail. I have good wishes for anyone who tries to help, but there is a lot that I don’t understand about Richardson’s effort. Such as why he would set up a conflict over a goal – a prison visit – that lower-profile visitors have achieved without fanfare. Or why he would provide a running public commentary on his views and his efforts. In the end, my guess is that neither government objected to his visit, but neither sought his mediation, much less the hoopla. It looks like improvisation to me, and Mr. Gross deserves better.