Monday, May 7, 2012

Alan Gross, quotable

BLITZER: If you could speak directly to the top leaders in Cuba, what would you say?

GROSS: I would say to Raul Castro that I think he’s trying to do some very courageous things.  He himself has been on national television before the national assembly.  And he said that a major problem with the economy here is the low productivity.  And that can’t be blamed on the United States.  It cannot be blamed on the United States.  And I think it took a lot of courage to say that.

– from a CNN interview with jailed USAID contractor Alan Gross, on the phone from the Carlos Finlay military hospital where he is incarcerated; partial transcript here, the full interview is here on video and well worth hearing.  Asked what he was doing in Cuba, he said: “I was contracted by a company in Bethesda, Maryland to bring some off-the-shelf equipment to test to see if it worked in Cuba.  I decided that I would at the same time try to improve the computer system within the Jewish community.”


brianmack said...

I absolutely believe Mr. Gross knew exactly why he was hired to bring "equipment" into Cuba. I sympathize with him and feel he's a very decent guy but
the money he allegedly
made for doing such a simple task is unreal.
So here's the insanity.
If we had no trade embargo, and Mr. Gross
would be with his family.

John McAuliff said...

I would find Mr. Gross more persuasive if he also criticized the US government for its refusal to negotiate on his behalf and was more honest about what he did and its illegality, as in his own accounts reported by Associated Press.

It is unlikely that a similar conversation could happen between a Havana TV station and any of the four Cubans still in prison in the US but it should be tried.

John McAuliff
Fund for Reconciliation and Development

Anonymous said...

For a guy in the supposedly horrible Cuban jails, he certainly has ease in connecting with major media in the US.
Not surprising he tries to portray his involvement in the most innocent fashion possible; unfortunate that the real facts don't have the same opportunity to be heard. He's obviously no expert on the real and terrible economic impact the US siege does against Cuba. But the bottom line, what a bunch of lies he continues to tell about what he was doing in Cuba. Off the shelf equipment??? From whose shelf, the CIA? Just don't understand what the Cubans get out of this when his one-sided lies just don't have any chance of being refuted. No sympathy for someone who is so self-deluded. If he's exchanged for all the FIve, fine, if not, have a nice stay in jail.

Curt said...

Gross got pais much more for his excursions into Cuba than the average drug smuggler. Mr. Gross and the media need to stop insulting our intelligence by saying he was doing humanitarian work. If that is true, then he is one of the richest humanitarians that I heard of.