You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cuba’s conviction of U.S. citizen likely a ploy

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Earlier this month, U.S. Agency for International Development subcontractor Alan Gross was sentenced by a Cuban court to 15 years in prison for "crimes against the state." Mr. Gross' attorney, Peter J. Kahn, concluded in February that his client was caught in the middle of a long-standing political dispute between Cuba and the United States. I agree.

The freeing of Oscar Elias Biscet from prison on March 11 is connected to the Gross case. Mr. Biscet is a leading political prisoner in Cuba who served more than 11 years in prison for his steadfast advocacy of peaceful opposition to the communist regime. It seems likely the Cuban authorities could be trying to link Gross' ultimate fate to the freeing of the five Cuban intelligence agents who were convicted of espionage in 2001 by U.S. courts. This would be pure blackmail, making Mr. Gross a hostage.

On the other hand, if Cuba releases Mr. Gross on humanitarian grounds, it likely will be in an effort to score brownie points with the U.S. government. It might argue that the freeing of Mr. Gross and Mr. Biscet should lead to the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo and travel restrictions against Cuba at a time when the Cuban economy is in shambles.

Cuban authorities are not known for making peaceful gestures without expecting something of value in return. Let's hope President Obama takes a page from their book with regard to the Gross situation.

JORGE E. PONCE

Burke, Va.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts