Friday, October 7, 2011
After 13 years in jail, first of the Miami Five is released
González has a wife, two daughters and parents -- both 80 -- and all of them are in Havana. He hasn't seen his wife in 11 years. She was deported by the U.S. government in 2000, on the allegation that she's a spy too. She was permanently barred from reentering the United States in 2008.
In the vast majority of cases, the U.S. would immediately send somebody like González back to his "second" country. But not in this case. A vindictive federal prosecutor has insisted that González be required to serve out another three full years of "post-release supervision" in the States, and so far the judge is honoring that request. González is regarded as a national hero in Cuba, and the Castro government is furious that he still can't come home, even after serving his entire sentence. Four other convicted members of the Miami Five remain incarcerated in federal prisons, serving lengthy terms.
Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to whine about Maryland "contractor" Alan Gross, about whom I have written several times (see my multiple posts below). I don't want to digress into that case here, but suffice it to say that Gross was working undercover for an agency that has close ties to the U.S. government. He entered Cuba multiple times in 2008 and 2009 under false pretenses -- carrying an ordinary tourist visa. He made those trips to distribute internet training technology and communications devices to the island's 1,000 member Jewish community. He was arrested in December 2009, and is serving 15 years for state security crimes after being convicted by a Cuban court in March. Gross says he was "duped" by others, but for obvious reasons he hasn't offered up the details yet.
It's simply STUPID of the U.S. government to think that Alan Gross is going to be released on "humanitarian grounds" anytime soon while we treat René González in such an illogical and malevolent manner. But that's international power politics for you. The little guys become pawns in the hands of others. And don't look for Barack Obama to do anything constructive on this issue. He's turned out to be a complete cream puff on Cuba. He's terrified of those rabid Cuban expats in south Florida, who are just waiting (in their dreams) for the day when they can return to Havana and "reclaim their property." The net result is that while extracting every ounce of blood from René González and the other Miami Five members, we are punishing Alan Gross (who is said to be ill) and his desperate family members back home (two of whom are also quite ill). Another example of America's disastrous 50 year old policy towards our island neighbor 100 miles south of Miami.
René González was released at 4:00 a.m. this morning, but his attorney declined to reveal where he will be staying for the next three years. Here's my opinion on what should be done.
Feb. 13 - Alan Gross knew USAID mission was illegal and lied to Cuban authorities
at 1:36 PM