Compassion Here and Justice There by Setting the Captives Free
Freeing Cuba's five spies imprisoned in the United States may be the most ethical and effective way to obtain the release of American Alan Gross and Castro's remaining Cuban political prisoners. While these spies certainly facilitated the murder of Cuban exiles, to my knowledge there is no evidence that they knew this would happen or linking them to the decision to shoot down the small aircraft carrying them to Cuba. The regime led by Castro murdered them. The spies only uncovered the plan and informed Castro of its details. They are, however, guilty of having spied in the United States but, unlike murder, that is not necessarily intrinsically evil; and the United States also has spies.
Castro's five spies obeyed his orders, just as United States spies are expected to obey the orders of its government. The fact that Castro's is not a legitimate government makes no difference since he still exercises power as if it was and forces people to obey him. The spies could have chosen another career or refused (if recruited) to become spies for a tyranny; of that they are guilty, but not of first degree murder.
It is a terrible injustice for innocent people such as Castro's political adversaries or Mr. Gross (regardless his political views) to be separated from their families and imprisoned in Cuba. More painful yet is the fact that Mr. Gross' twenty six year old daughter has been diagnosed with cancer. If by freeing any or all of these five spies their and/or his liberty can be obtained, then it should be the first option to consider, provided it does not jeopardize the security of the United States.
As expressed in a previous post:
"Freeing a prisoner who is innocent (e.g. Alan Gross, Castro's political prisoners regardless of charges) is the only just thing to do. Freeing one who, once freed, cannot bring harm to others, is compassion."Furthermore, for Cubans and Cuban Americans who oppose Castro's tyranny, this solution is far superior to the one proposed by the Wall Street Journal, that is, conditioning visas and economic assistance to a criminal tyranny in order to obtain the release of Mr. Gross. That would be a grave offense, just as it was to support Batista after his 1952 coup on Cuba's democratically elected government.
Instead, travel by Americans (including Cuban Americans) to Cuba should be unconditionally stopped (except for exclusively religious purposes). Remittances by Americans to Cuba, and any other policy that economically enriches and therefore strengthens the tyranny should be immediately stopped, unless it can reasonably be expected to bring down the tyranny in less than one year. Cultural exchanges should similarly be immediately stopped as they only serve to package and promote a criminal who has enslaved a nation for over fifty two years. None of those policies should ever have been implemented.
Only direct and open charity by the US government or authorized Churches should be allowed for the exclusive purposes of helping Cubans (i) build houses (ii) grow food, (iii) prevent malnutrition, (iv) obtain free uncensored access to the Internet and (v) pursue religious purposes (hopefully Roman Catholic).
So the foregoing is a way to perhaps obtain the release of Alan Gross without further harming the Cuban people.
Flawed Reasoning on Cuba by The Wall Street Journal and Obama