American Convicted and Sentenced - What Now?
The Wall Street Journal has reported that Mr. Alan Gross, an American Jew, has been convicted to 15 years in prison in Cuba. According to the Associated Press, the Cuban court said the case had been proven that Mr. Gross was:
"...working on a "subversive" program paid for by the United States that aimed to bring down Cuba's revolutionary system."
The New York Times reported American officials saying:
"... USAID programs in Cuba, a $20 million initiative, were being reworked to emphasize educational exchanges and small-business growth rather than efforts that could be perceived as directly weakening the government."Interesting but not surprising.
However, one is very sorry to hear about Mr. Gross. One is very sorry for his daughter and family. Mr. Gross is being used as a bargaining chip and that is inhumane.
But the United States must not give in to extortion.
Furthermore, if it does not have any realistic strategy to rescue new American captives in Cuba it should immediately warn them, and swiftly stop allowing travel there. It should never have permitted it given that it finances Castro.
Cuban Americans who have families in Cuba should not be allowed to travel there any longer either. Visas to Cubans wishing to come to the United States should be restricted to those who already have an immediate family member in the United States or for political reasons. Cultural and academic exchanges should cease. They have only served to promote and embolden Castro. Visits by clergy for religious purposes should be allowed in both directions.
The United States should not support or help strengthen a tyranny. It should bring relations with Cuba back to the just basis that was abandoned with its immediate support of Batista's coup in 1952. Everything started there.
This Time It's an American Who May be Convicted in Cuba (Revised)