Mr. Gross Remains in Cuba Limbo

January 11, 2011 | Print Print |

By Circles Robinson

HAVANA TIMES, Jan. 11 — Alan Gross has been in prison in Cuba for 13 months for allegedly distributing illegal electronic equipment as an employee of Development Alternatives a company that works under contract for the US government in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

The imprisonment of Gross on his “mission” in Cuba has given the Obama administration a much used excuse to justify its failure to move the ball on improving US-Cuba relations.  Likewise, the US travel ban that prohibits ordinary US citizens from visiting Cuba remains intact as does the half-century economic blockade on the neighboring island nation.

“Gross’s arrest cast a spotlight on a program that has been criticized by Democrats as wasteful and overly politicized. USAID said in a statement that it continued to carry out democracy programs in Cuba “to empower Cuban civil society to advocate for greater democratic freedoms and respect for human dignity,” stated the Washington Post in an article published on Tuesday.

To date, Gross has not been formally charged or given a trial. The possibility that he be exchanged for the Cuban Five, who have been in US jails for over 12 years for conspiracy to commit espionage and other charges, remains a behind the scene topic, although the US State Dept. has repeatedly said such a swap is out of the question.

Gross’s wife and family, including a daughter battling breast cancer, like the relatives of the Cuban Five, continue to hope a diplomatic breakthrough could send their loved ones home.


What's your opinion?

  • Danny

    “Open minded writing from Cuba” is your slogan? Are you kidding? This article has a full castro regime slant to it. Obama is not using Gross’ imprisonment as an “excuse” to not further relations as you simply state as a fact . The fact is, (if your even interested in real facts without a the regime’s spin), Gross was trying to help the small Jewish community in Cuba have access to internet based learning sites, (i.e. encyclopedia sites, etc.) Of course, that is not permitted in Cuba and would expose people to the truth behind the false propaganda the regime has been trying to hide behind for over 52 years, so they simply arrest him, like they’ve done so many times before with 10’s of 1000’s of politcal prisoners and now are trying to use Gross as a bargaining chip. The true “excuse” is the one castro has used for over half a century in blaming the embargo (not blockade) as justification for every aspect of the miserable state the country is in now and has been for a long time. That’s the REAL truth.