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CASTRO’S FIST TO OBAMA: Cuba to seek a 20-year prison sentence for American Alan Gross

Posted by FactReal on February 8, 2011

This is what Obama gets for reaching out to the Marxist Cuban Dictator with his soft policies, i.e., lifting restrictions on travel: American Alan Gross to be used as bargaining chip:
Via The Foundry: (Emphasis added)

On February 4, the Cuban government announced it will demand a 20-year prison sentence for U.S. citizen Alan Gross. The 61-year-old Maryland resident was arrested in December 2009 in Havana after visiting Cuba to distribute satellite phones to Jewish and other civil society groups. Although details of his activities remain sketchy, Gross was employed by Development Alternatives, Inc., a U.S. State Department contractor, rendering democracy support work in the field. Gross was helping deliver technologies of freedom that Cuba’s leaders greatly fear.

After over a year in jail, Gross, who is in declining health, is now formally charged with the commission of acts against “the integrity and independence” of Cuba. A Havana show trial will soon follow. […]

…Cuban readiness to prosecute and condemn Gross to a slow death in a Havana prison is a heavy blow to the Administration’s soft policy of enhanced engagement.

Over the past two years, the Obama Administration has sought to improve ties with Cuba by using executive authority to lift restrictions on travel and the dispatch of remittances to the island. The last round of liberalization measures were introduced in early January. It has also conducted several rounds of immigration talks with senior Cuban officials. […]

Yet, not unexpectedly, Cuban behavior in the Gross case is consistent with previous responses to U.S. openings. Once more the open hand of the Obama Administration encounters the clenched fist of Cuban tyranny. […]

At the back of Raul’s mind may be further pressure on the U.S. to pardon or release the so-called Cuban Five, who are charged with spying for Cuba in the 1990s.

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