Friday, September 9, 2011
Cuba refuses Bill Richardson permission to meet with Alan Gross; "hostage" rescue mission may be in jeopardy
So far things do not appear to be going well in Havana for America’s latest ex-officio “ambassador” to Cuba, who landed on the island Wednesday evening with the hope of bringing back imprisoned U.S. contractor Alan Gross. The Spanish language newspaper El Universal reported early this morning (September 9) that the Cuban government has refused Richardson permission to meet with Gross – something they did as a matter of course when former president Jimmy Carter was there in March. Universal reports that Cuban authorities are angry that Richardson has referred to Gross as a “hostage” rather than as a “prisoner.” But Richardson said yesterday he’s not leaving until he sees Gross, who is said to be in poor health. “I promised Judy (Gross’ wife) I would do so,” Universal quoted Richardson as saying. The paper also said a high level Cuban official has acknowledged that Gross is a “victim" of 50 year old tensions between the two countries.
It may be time for a prisoner swap – Gross in return for the so-called Miami Five. I called for just such a solution in this recent article: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2011/08/alan-gross-y-los-cinco-de-miami/
at 2:42 AM