El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) viajó a Asunción, Paraguay en una visita oficial. Durante su viaje, Rubio se reunió con el embajador de Taiwán en Paraguay, José Han, y reafirmó su apoyo inquebrantable a Taiwán. Paraguay es actualmente el último país en...
RUBIO MEETS WITH TAIWANESE AMBASSADOR TO PARAGUAY, JOSÉ HAN U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) traveled to Asunción, Paraguay on an official visit. During his trip, Rubio met with Taiwanese Ambassador to Paraguay José Han and reaffirmed his unwavering support of...
El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) viajó a Asunción, Paraguay en una visita oficial. Durante su viaje, Rubio se reunió con el presidente Santiago Peña para hablar sobre los desafíos regionales que enfrentan tanto EE.UU. como Paraguay, la importancia de...
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) traveled to Asunción, Paraguay on an official visit. During his trip, Rubio met with President Santiago Peña to discuss the regional challenges both the U.S. and Paraguay face, the importance of our bilateral relations, and ways...
Alexei Navalny’s Death Is a Loss for Russia and the World U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) February 21, 2024 Newsweek …For more than 10 years, [Alexei] Navalny openly opposed the Russian dictator, calling out the “crooks and thieves” in the Kremlin who enabled his...
After years of left-leaning governments, the people of Argentina democratically elected President Javier Milei and Vice President Victoria Villarruel. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, met with President...
Free Alan Gross
“Earlier today, I asked Unanimous Consent that a July 29, 2011 editorial by The Washington Post entitled “Cuba Should Free Alan Gross” be entered in the official Senate Record.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the Cuban regime’s unjust incarceration of Alan Gross. As the editorial highlights and as the Castro regime well knows, Mr. Gross is simply a humanitarian who was seeking to help the Jewish community in Cuba access the Internet. Only the most oppressive, totalitarian regime would seek to jail someone for trying to expand access to uncensored information.
“As this editorial notes, “The regime in Havana is so brittle and creaky that it blanches at the idea of its subjects communicating too freely with the outside world, lest they undermine a communist system whose attempts at economic development have delivered scanty results.”
“I also want to take this opportunity to once again call on the Obama administration to halt its new Cuba policies that liberalize travel and expand allowable remittances to Cuba. This unilateral gift to the Castro brothers by the Obama administration is totally unwarranted, especially in light of Mr. Gross’ case as well as the ongoing repression of the Cuban people.”
Washington Post Editorial: Cuba Should Free Alan Gross
ALAN P. GROSS, the U.S. Agency for International Development subcontractor who committed what Cuba considers the unconscionable offense of making the Internet available to members of its minuscule Jewish community, has almost exhausted possible judicial appeals of his 15-year prison sentence.
Mr. Gross, 62, a resident of Potomac, was arrested in December 2009 as he prepared to fly home from Havana. Convicted on trumped-up charges in March this year, he appeared a few days ago before Cuba’s highest tribunal to appeal his conviction and plead for release. The outcome of his appeal, expected in the coming days, is certain to be dictated one way or another by Cuban leader Raul Castro — and will be a sign of whether Cuba is remotely interested in better relations with Washington.
Cuba, besides its repressive ally Venezuela, is virtually the only place in the Western Hemisphere where distributing laptop computers and satellite phone equipment intended to connect people to the Internet — Mr. Gross’s supposed “crime” — could be construed as subversive. The regime in Havana is so brittle and creaky that it blanches at the idea of its subjects communicating too freely with the outside world, lest they undermine a communist system whose attempts at economic development have delivered scanty results.
There are plenty of humanitarian reasons to release Mr. Gross, who has been confined for 19 months. Somewhat overweight when he was arrested, Mr. Gross has lost 100 pounds, according to his wife and other American visitors who have been allowed to meet with him; he also suffers from gout, ulcers and arthritis. His daughter is struggling with cancer, and his mother is reported to be in poor health.
Cuban authorities have portrayed Mr. Gross as a spy involved in an enterprise aimed at undermining the regime. That seems unlikely in the extreme. In fact, Mr. Gross, a veteran development worker who had minimal command of Spanish, was part of a democratization project of the sort the U.S. government runs in countries all over the world.
At the time of his arrest, Mr. Gross was working for Development Alternatives Inc., a Bethesda firm that had won a $6 million government contract to promote democracy in Cuba. His work consisted mainly of providing computers and satellite phones to Cuban Jews, a community thought to number about 1,500, so they could access the Internet, whose use is restricted in Cuba, and contact Jewish communities beyond Cuba’s shores. Not exactly a cloak-and-dagger project likely to bring the Castro brothers to their knees.
The Obama administration has made it clear that any improvement in relations with Cuba is on hold pending Mr. Gross’s release. That’s a fitting response to the communist regime’s knee-jerk behavior in persecuting an American whose “crime,” if any, may have been an excess of naivete.