Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Quick update on Alan Gross on the fourth anniversary of his imprisonment

Alan Gross’ wife plans a protest at the White House on December 3 -- hoping to persuade President Obama to move to exchange Gross for the "Cuban Five."

I learned of this planned protest from a press release issued by JTA, a Jewish news agency. JTA has published 23 releases on Gross since he was arrested -- providing a timeline for the case.

I've also published several more detailed posts on this blog.

Update 12/2/2013

What do Barbara Boxer and Ted Cruz agree on? That Alan Gross should be freed.

On the fourth anniversary of his imprisonment in Cuba, former U.S. government contractor Alan Gross wrote a letter to President Obama, asking him to personally intervene in his case.

That letter, two others, signed by 14 and 66 US Senators are reproduced along with an article on the case in the Washington Post.

Update 2/10/2014

Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota just returned from a three day trip to Cuba to talk about agricultural trade. Heitkamp, who favors a change in our relationship to Cuba, met with Alan Gross and said that his "incarceration has really led to a point of difficulty in our continuing effort to normalize relations."

Update 8/4/2014

Alan Gross is depressed and threatening suicide, saying "life in prison is not a life worth living." What he attempted would have had little practical impact had he succeeded -- why prolong his imprisonment?

Update 10/5/2014

CCTV (Chinese) video (9:48) interview of Judy Gros, wife of Alan Gross, She claims he was there to connect to the Cuban intranet, not the Internet, but then what was the satellite equipment for? She also claims that Gross did not know he was violating Cuban law. They also mention the Zunzuneo project, which she calls "stupid."

Update 11/3/2014

A New York Times editorial calls for a prisoner swap -- Alan Gross for the remaining Cuban Five. For more on Alan gross click here.

Supporters of Alan Gross across from the White House last year. CreditPaul J. Richards/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A poster in Havana of the Cuban Five, in August 2005.CreditAdalberto Roque/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Update 11/8/2014

CNN reports that there have been government talks about a prisoner exchange:
The signs include the admission this week by senior administration officials that talks about a swap between Gross and three imprisoned Cuban agents -- part of group originally known as the Cuban Five -- have taken place.
The coverage also includes a short video:

Update 11/12/2014

Senators Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, and Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico, said they met with Gross for about two hours during a trip that included meetings with Cuban officials and they are optimistic about the release of Alan Gross.

There has been a flurry of other news about Alan Gross lately. Articles about him have been turning up in my "Google Alerts" pretty much every day, the USAID is reviewing their Cuban-democracy efforts and the New York Times and others are calling for the release of Gross and the end of the embargo.

I would not be surprised if he were released soon.

Update 12/3/2014

Suggestion for a negotiating tactic

Would it help if the US were to take responsibility for the various USAID attempts to influence Cubans?

Update 12/11/2014

Clip from interview of President Obama (1m 2s) -- they've been negotiating for some time through a variety of channels.

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