Cuba: Failed Attempts to Free Alan Gross

January 9, 2013 | Print Print |

HAVANA TIMES – U.S. Senator John Kerry held a secret meeting in 2010 with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in a failed attempt to free operative Alan Gross, jailed in Cuba, Foreign Affairs magazine revealed.

According to El Nuevo Herald, the article says that in September 2010 there was a secret meeting between the then Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela, and Rodriguez, and a month later another contact occurred between Cuba’s FM and Sen. John Kerry, in New York.

Gross’s release was conditioned on cutting the “pro-democracy” destabilization programs of the State Department and USAID, but could not be achieved because the maneuvers of the Cuban-American Florida lobby, which is inflexible

Gross was arrested in Havana in late 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for endangering Cuban national security. His arrest is considered by some specialists as an obstacle in efforts to improve relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Kerry has been nominated for Secretary of State in substitution of Hillary Clinton for the second term of Barack Obama.


What's your opinion?

  • Moses

    Let’s take a look this post:

    (1) Contrary to all the public pronouncements, the real agenda of the Castro regime in arresting and imprisoning Alan Gross was to effect a trade for a change in US policy towards Cuba. The Castros really don’t care about gaining freedom for the Cuban 5. As prisoners of the Empire, the five spies are far more valuable propoganda tools.
    (2) Having already seen the Cubans “game face” as a result of these secret negotiations, soon-to-be Sec’ty of State Kerry is NOW likely the last person in Washington to believe there is value in relaxing relations with Cuba as a means to gain concessions for democratic reforms.
    (3) Obama is facing intense congressional battles over gun control, the debt ceiling, cutting entitlements, immigration reforms and Syria/Iran/Afghanistan. With the political capital that he has left after these issues, if any, who still thinks he will be willing to fight Sens. Menendez and Cruz and Ros Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart in the house over lifting the Cuban embargo?
    (4) One or two years from now, who will be in charge in Venezuela? Will Venezuela’s relationship with Cuba be the same in a year? Two years? Given the direction of the economic situation in Cuba today, it is likely that Cuba will be worse off economically a year from now, not better off. The possibility of US interests to expand democracy and human rights in Cuba improve as Cuba’s situation worsens.

    Castro supporters may disagree with the US agenda of regime change but the reality is that time is not on their side.

    • Griffin

      A solid rebuttal, Moses.

      However, not to open up a discussion of US politics, but John Kerry has a remarkable capacity to overlook reality. He lead the diplomatic effort to rehabilitate the reputation of Bashir al-Assad that resulted in Hillary and Obama calling Assad a “reformer” even as the rebellion against his brutal rule had begun. Not a good judge of character, I’d say.

      Kerry also lead a mission to Nicaragua to meet Daniel Ortega where he parroted the anti-American propaganda of his host.

      • Moses

        True enough regarding SENATOR Kerry’s former role as “useful idiot” for these totalitarians. However, as SECRETARY OF STATE, that is too say, as a close member of Obama’s administration, Kerry will not be able to spout off with whatever hair-brained progressive idea that pops in his head. I dare say that Obama learned his lesson well with Hillary Clinton and her embarassing role prior to the coup in Honduras. I have no doubt that Kerry will have a “sit down” with his boss soon after confirmation. Also, consider the egos these guys have. He went to Cuba to cut a deal and failed. Across the table from him is Bruno Rodriguez, who has never had an original thought of his own. Kerry is not accustomed to hearing “no” from anyone, especially a lesser soul like Rodriguez. I have every reason to believe that Kerry does not want to fail twice. He will be reluctant to try to deal again with the Castros unless he is assured of a win. With the Castros, that’s an impossible option.

        • Griffin

          You have greater faith than I that kerry will suddenly acquire new found wisdom. Empowering an arrogant fool does not making wiser, quite the contrary, it gives him greater encouragement to be an even bigger fool.

          The only cause for optimism is that Cuba is not a big priority in Obama’s agenda, so not much if anything will be done about it. Unfortunately, Kerry’s will cause enough harm elsewhere in the world.

  • Humberto Capiro (El Cibergues@)

    The following in an excerpt from a transcript of these hearing held to analyze the USAID projects in Cuba!

    Summary of State Dept-John Kerry Q&A- USAID

    Excerpt: “These programs are comparable to what we and other donors do to support democracy and human rights in repressive societies all over the world. Possible counterintelligence penetration is a known risk in Cuba. Those who carry out our assistance are aware of such risks. …the Cuban government arbitrarily arrests and detains citizens who try to exercise basic freedoms…Unfortunately, given these circumstances, we are not always able to publicly convey the details and impact of our programs.”

    2) Question: Democracy programs were supposed to evolve under the Obama administration. How is that happening?
    Answer: This isn’t regime change anymore. We’re helping Cubans “freely determine their own future.” Also, the emphasis has shifted. We’re channeling as much aid as possible directly to Cuba rather than spending outside the island. We’re helping a wider range of people, not just legacy dissidents, but LGBT groups and the disabled.
    http://cubamoneyproject.org/?p=1961#more-1961