The Cuban Hostage Crisis: Day 1460

alan-gross-photoOn December 3rd, 2009, Castro’s KGB-trained police arrested Alan Gross, a U.S. citizen working in Cuba on contract for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Mr. Gross has languished in a KGB-designed prison cell ever since. His crime was bringing cell phone and Internet equipment into Castro’s fiefdom to help Cuba’s tiny Jewish community communicate more freely with the outside world.

A reminder: Pre-Castro Cubans enjoyed some of the most advanced communications systems in the world. In 1958 Cuba boasted more phones and TVs per capita than most European countries. Today, Castro’s fiefdom has fewer Internet users per capita than Uganda, and fewer cell phones than Papua New Guinea. The Stalinist regime is very vigilant in these matters.

By the way, introducing cutting-edge communications equipment into Cuba didn’t always land Americans in torture chambers. In 1957 ATT presented Cuban “Dictator” (according to every media mention) Fulgencio Batista with a Golden Telephone for his regime’s enthusiastic welcome of all of their latest technology. This Cuban “dictator” reveled in the fact that Cubans had better, more abundant and cheaper means of communications than most Europeans. You might recall the scene from Goldfather II where Hyman Roth and Michael Corleone pass the Golden telephone around Batista’s conference table. This one scene contains an element of historically accuracy.

In March 2011, after he had lost almost 100 pounds from his prison ordeal, a Castroite court finally got around to actually trying their American hostage Alan Gross. They condemned him to a prison sentence of 15 years for working for an agency of the U.S. government “that aimed to destroy the Revolution through the use of communication systems out of the control of authorities.”

And there’s the hitch: “control of the authorities.” Not even Gadaffi’s late regime, or Assad’s in Syria or Hu Jintau’s in China seek to control cell-phone and Internet access.

Censor? Absolutely. But outright control of all means of communication is a fetish peculiar to Communists, which no longer applies to the mainland Chinese regime, though it certainly remains despicable and dangerous. No “control-freaks” have ever shackled the human body and mind with the fanaticism and efficiency of Communists. The Castro regime, lest we forget, was founded in 1959. Essentially the same people are running it today as ran it then. Many of the Russians and Spanish Reds who designed Castro’s judicial and prison system had worked for Stalin.

Trotsky’s murderer, Ramon Mercader, for instance, served as Cuba’s “inspector of prisons” in the 1960’s and was favorite companion of Raul Castro–and especially!—of the starstruck Che Guevara, who had appointed him to the prestigious post. Upon his death in Havana in 1978, the man who hacked Leon Trotsky to death with an ice-axe was buried with honors in the Cuban capitol. Later his ashes were transferred to Moscow.

Nonetheless, the Castro regime never suffered for lack of veneration from “Trotskyists.” Upon the 30th Anniversary of Che Guevara’s death Trotskyist Christopher Hitchens wrote in the New York Times that: “1968 actually began in 1967 with the murder of Che. His death meant a lot to me. He was a role model.”  The famously erudite Hitchens was here referring the man who admired and befriended Trotsky’s murderer.

Senator Marco Rubio was among the first to comment on Alan Gross’ sentence: “With Mr. Gross’ sentencing, the Castro regime has effectively demonstrated the hopeless and dangerous naiveté of this administration’s policy toward the regime. The Obama administration’s insistence on moving forward with policies that put more money in this terrorist-sponsoring regime’s coffers is baffling and runs contrary to everything America should stand for.”

“When it is a question of annihilating the enemy,” pronounced Stalin’s chief prosecutor Andrei Vishinsky, “we can do it just as well without a trial.” Alan Gross was certainly “tried”– but by some of Vishinsky’s most devoted disciples.

Former political prisoner Armando Valladares, who somehow escaped the firing squad but spent 22 torture-filled years in Cuba’s Gulag, described his trial very succinctly: “not one witness to accuse me, not one to identify me, not one single piece of evidence against me.” Senor Valladares was arrested in 1961 for the crime of refusing to display a pro-Castro sign on his desk. Shortly after his arrival on U.S. shores, Senor Valladares was appointed by Ronald Reagan as U.S. ambassador to the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, a setting where both Fidel Castro and Che Guevara traditionally basked in wild ovations. Modern history records few U.S. diplomatic tweaks as slick, or U.S. ambassadors as effective.

On July 17, 2012 Armando Valladares published a letter to Alan Gross in The Daily Caller. Among its highlights:

Alan P. Gross
Havana, Cuba

Dear friend:

That is how I am compelled to address you, because even though we have never met, we share a common bond: I too lived behind the iron bars now surrounding you in Cuba — in my case for 22 years.

Like you, I was convicted by the Cuban authorities without a single shred of evidence against me.

I have no doubt that your greatest pain right now must be the realization that the U.S. government has turned its back on you. There was a time when the words “I am an American citizen” meant something. It gives me great sadness to say that inside the Communist boot that now tramples upon your dignity is the foot of the American president, Barack Obama.

The more Castro’s thugs oppress you and make your family suffer, the more your jailers torture you, the harder things get for you — the more this administration seeks to reward them with new concessions. Under any previous U.S. administration, Democrat or Republican, you would not still be in jail. The American president, who has made a habit of publicly bowing to foreign powers, bows to your torturers and would-be executioners. Meanwhile, the adult daughter of Cuba’s dictator recently visited the U.S. to applaud and show her support for President Obama. She receives a visa to come to the United States and a Secret Service escort. And you? You suffer the torture of imprisonment.

The Obama administration must step up its efforts to press for your release through its diplomatic channels. Should those diplomatic efforts fail, then they must be followed by real action, including the suspension of flights and remittances to Cuba until such time as you are allowed to return to the United States. If the Obama administration even threatened to do this it is my considered judgment that you would be on the next flight back to your home in Washington, D.C.

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  • Softly Bob

    I wonder what will happen when both Fidel and Raoul drop dead. Will Cuba be free or is there somebody else being lined up to take over?


      They can get the midget Sean Penn to be commendante.

      • Softly Bob

        Pah ha ha ha ha…. good one.

  • Bamaguje

    Obama is a traitor who has repeatedly betrayed everything America stands for.

  • Elizabeth Cape Cod

    the obama regime leaves everyone behind…Benghazi patriots, American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran because of his faith,
    Dr Afridi, who helped us find binladen, and others who I can’t remember or know about.
    obama has no integrity, but he can tell a mean joke.

  • Eric Trefney

    I hope Mr. Gross can come home soon, that being said, while the president can make some major headway with assisting Mr Gross, this article does not evaluate the many congressmen and women who block any possible improved relations with Cuba. Not saying Cuba is faultless, with their many human rights violations, one cannot point the finger directly at the President. Also, to place quotations around dictator when speaking about Bastisa is implying that he was not a dictator, which he completely was.

    • H

      I’m pretty sure the point is that as bad as Batista was, life under him was infinitely better than life under Castro and company. Your comments also grant insight into why progressive policies tend to implode. You guys just can’t prioritize effectively because to you every thing is the same. Batista and Castro may superficially resemble each other but the results are different and you probably can’t figure out why.

      Conservative republican obstructionism in the congress has historically been a good thing as opposed to when the democrats have tried their version of it. Newt Gingrich led President Clinton kicking and screaming to a budget surplus. Tea partiers have cut the democrats excessive spending in half. The democrat version gave us the civil war, Jim Crow, and the Clan, so if conservative congressmen don’t think rewarding bad behavior is a good thing then I’m inclined to believe them. And yes we can point the finger directly at Mr. Obama when his buddies are cozying up to dictators like Castro and others thereby granting them aid in the form of legitimacy and prestige aka rewarding a repressive regime for bad evil behavior..

    • reader

      Eric, you are a picture perfect character from the spoof Mars Attacks. I don’t know what your IQ is, but I hope that it’s high enough at least to recognize yourself in that snippet:

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “Not saying Cuba is faultless, with their many human rights violations, one cannot point the finger directly at the President. Also, to place quotations around dictator when speaking about Bastisa is implying that he was not a dictator, which he completely was.”

        Castro is “president” but Batista was a dictator?

        OK. So who is responsible for the regime’s actions? Misunderstandings? Poverty caused by the “imperialists?”

  • dougjmiller

    Alan Gross is Jewish which makes him expendable to Obama and the State Department. There’s also a Jewish federal employee languishing in an Iranian prison. He’s also expendable. Even though Obama just released $billions in frozen funds to the Iranian regime, relaxed economic sanctions, and freed an Iranian nuclear scientist, the Jew is still in prison. And even though Obama pressured Israel to release dozens of convicted Arab terrorists, Jonathan Pollard is still behind bars. There is an unmistakable pattern of anti-Semitic bigotry here.

    • A Z

      I won’t go so far to agree about Jonathan Pollard, but I agree with the rest.

  • v

    Egypt is the only country with kohones, by charging this renegade Obama with crimes against humanity of which he is guilty on so many levels.