Friday, October 14, 2011
Cuba rejected one for one prisoner swap
AP said its story is based upon information provided by U.S. officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. According to the proposal, once Gross had been freed the U.S. would "evaluate other Cuban complaints." The primary other Cuban complaint is its demand for the release of González' co-conspirators, all of whom were arrested in south Florida in 1998. Convicted of similar crimes, the group is collectively known as the Miami Five. The four others are still serving lengthy prison terms, and the U.S. has repeatedly said it will not swap them for Gross, who it refers to as a political prisoner.
Today's news is not surprising. In Mexico City earlier this week, the president of Cuba's parliament, Richard Alarcón, publicly rejected the same proposal. "How could anybody think that the two cases are comparable? One deals with a man who is just finishing up a (13 year) sentence (González),the other with a man who is just beginning a (15 year) sentence (Gross). It's like comparing apples to pears."
According to the AP report, Cuba counter offered to release Gross in return for González and at least one other of the Miami Five, a trade which the U.S. rejected, says AP.
Footnote to this story: Following the A.P. report, the U.S. State Department denied today that it had ever offered to trade even René González for Alan Gross. Officials from State did acknowledge that in September, direct talks were held with Cuban officials over the Gross case, but nothing else. "We're not considering freeing any of the Five," said a spokesperson. The absolute stalemate continues.
More on the René González case: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2011/09/u-s-shows-revolting-double-standard-in-rene-gonzalez-case/.
More on Richard Alarcón's statements: http://mexicogulfreporter.blogspot.com/2011/10/cuba-gives-resounding-no-to-unilateral.html.
Why there should be a complete prisoner exchange: http://www.theyucatantimes.com/2011/08/alan-gross-y-los-cinco-de-miami/.
at 8:09 AM