- Against the backdrop of US - Cuban relations, the Havana
Times broke the news, headlining on March 12, "Cuba Finds Alan Gross
Guilty, Gets 15-Years," saying:
- A US citizen, he was arrested on December 3, 2009, attempting
to return home after his fifth Cuban visit in nine months, traveling on
a tourist visa in spite of coming for other purposes.
- On March 12, he was convicted for "Actions against
the Independence and Territorial Integrity of the State....while working
for a (USAID) funded program seeking regime change in Cuba." In other
words, for spying and involvement in destabilizing, subversive activities.
- Before the verdict, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
audaciously demanded his immediate release. Earlier, her spokesman, PJ
- "We have made it very clear to the Cuban government
that the continued detention of Alan Gross is a major impediment to advancing
the dialogue between our two countries....He was in Cuba to help the Cuban
people connect with the rest of the world." Apparently, he was up
to no good, caught, and now imprisoned.
- He may appeal to Cuba's Supreme Court. On March 12, his
lawyer, Peter Kahn, said doing so was being considered, adding:
- "We will continue to work with Alan's Cuban attorney
in exploring any and all options available to him, including the possibility
of an appeal."
- The Cuban News Agency's web site said during trial proceedings,
Gross "had recognized having been used and manipulated by USAID."
- In mid-2010, Washington ruled out exchanging him for
the bogusly convicted Cuban Five. More on them below.
- New York Times writer Randal Archibold headlined, "Cuba
Gives 15-Year Prison Term to American," saying:
- Washington called him a "humanitarian" bring(ing)
satellite telephone equipment....to the small community of Cuban Jews,"
an implausible purpose on its face. More likely, it was cover, Cuban authorities
saying he was convicted for taking part in "a subversive project of
the US government that aimed to destroy the revolution through the use
of communications systems out of the control of authorities."
- An employee of the Bethesda, MD-based Development Alternatives
Inc. (DAI), he performed USAID subcontractor services, a government agency
involved (among other activities) in funding opposition groups in countries
like Venezuela and Cuba, used for propaganda and other destabilizing purposes.
- Washington, in fact, spent $2.6 million defending Gross,
ostensibly because he "supported democracy" in Cuba, a laughable
reason on its face.
- Moreover, claiming he was arrested for being Jewish is
also ludicrous. In fact, Denver-based Cuban lecturer Arturo Lopez-Levy
said Jewish delegations regularly visit Cuba, some "donat(ing) computers
and cell phones to Cuban Jews" without running afoul of the law.
Clearly, USAID didn't hire Gross for humanitarian purposes.
- Lopez-Levy said other visiting Jewish delegations have
no "declared strategy of imposing regime change in Cuba." In
fact, US laws endorse it, including the 1992 Cuban Democracy Act, authorizing
financial help to individuals and organizations working for "non-violent
democratic change." In other words, replacing Cuban socialism with
predatory capitalism, besides turning the state into a brothel as in pre-Castro
- According to Cuban-American lawyer Jose Pertierra:
- Under George Bush, "the budget for fomenting an
opposition in Cuban society allied to the interests of Miama (where most
Cuban expats live) and the White House increased astronomically, from $3.5
million in 2000 to $45 million in 2008." Gross apparently benefitted
handsomely until arrested.
- Cuban authorities also believe that internal opposition
exists largely because of US financial and logistical support. Whether
or not so, for sure they've regularly gotten it for decades. Moreover,
Cuba accuses USAID of waging internal cyberwar, instigating disruptive
- On December 10, Parliamentary President Ricardo Alarcon
said, Gross "violated Cuban laws and national sovereignty and has
committed crimes which in the United States can carry heavy sentences."
Indeed so as a previous article explained, saying:
- All countries have laws against espionage and subversion;
that is, for covertly obtaining secret information without authorization
or conducting destabilizing activities, especially related to national
defense or security. America's 18 U.S.C. § 793 : US Code - Section
793: Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information is relevant,
accessed through the following link:
- Covering a detailed list of offenses, it says anyone
found guilty under this title shall be fined and/or imprisoned for up to
10 years or longer, in some cases for life, depending on the crime's severity.
- Defending the Empire
- On March 9, Murdoch's Wall Street Journal headlined,
"Cuba's American Hostage," accusing Cuba of "tyranny as
- "We warned a year ago that Castro would use this
incident to test Mr. Obama, and Mr. Gross' trial is a sign that the regime
believes it has nothing to worry about."
- The WSJ and other major media ignore over five decades
of US state terrorism, including the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, harsh
sanctions, and violent and other type internal subversion attempts to reverse
Cuba's revolution, to no avail.
- A Final Comment
- A previous article discussed the Cuban Five, accessed
through the following link:
- Arrested in September 1998, a Florida grand jury accused
them infiltrating terrorist groups, charging them with 26 offenses, including
conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States and espionage. For
lack of evidence, the latter charge became conspiracy to commit it.
- For over 12 years, they've been horrifically treated.
Pre-trial for 17 months, they were isolated in a Special Housing Unit,
for many weeks in separate cells.
- In fact, they were in America monitoring Miami-based,
US funded, extremist right-wing group terrorist activities against Cuba.
Ongoing for decades, declassified US documents showed that from October
1960 - April 1961 alone, CIA operatives smuggled in 75 tons of explosives
and 45 tons of weapons. During the period, 110 attacks were carried out,
using dynamite and bombs against 150 factories, 800 plantations, and six
- From 1959 - 1997, US funded groups and CIA operatives
committed around 5,800 terrorist acts, hundreds involving bombings that
killed or injured thousands of civilians. In addition, from 1959 - 2003,
61 planes or boats were hijacked. From 1961 - 1996, 58 sea attacks were
launched against dozens of economic targets and the civilian population.
- Evidence also shows CIA recruitment and support for over
4,000 individuals and 300 paramilitary groups, responsible for murdering
hundreds of Cubans and injuring thousands, many permanently disabled. Fidel
Castro himself was targeted hundreds of times unsuccessfully.
- Moreover, chemical and biological warfare was conducted.
In 1971, a biological attack contaminated half a million pigs, then killed
to prevent swine fever from spreading. In 1981, introduced dengue fever
affected over 340,000 people, killing at least 158 including 101 children.
On July 6, 1982 alone, around 11,400 cases were registered.
- South Florida is a hotbed of anti-Castro extremism, CIA
operatives complicit in training and funding planned terrorist attacks,
still ongoing. On June 16, 1998, Cuban authorities asked FBI officials
to provide documents on known US-sponsored extremists to no avail. Three
months later, the Cuban 5 were arrested for risking their lives legally
for their country, monitoring subversive Americans to warn Havana of impending
- They harmed no one, committed no crime, did nothing illegal,
had no weapons, nor did 119 volumes of testimonies and over 20,000 court
pages of documents contain evidence against them.
- Nonetheless, their seven-month show trial was orchestrated
to convict. As a result, on June 8, 2001, all five were found guilty, then
sentenced to four life terms and 75 years, a gross miscarriage of justice.
Repeatedly, Cuban authorities denounced it, in vain trying to arrange their
- On March 8, Cuban representative, Juan Antonio Quintanilla,
denounced their incarceration before the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR).
Asking for their release, he urged all UN members to conduct supportive
- On March 11, Cuba's UNHCR ambassador, Rodolfo Reyes,
read a message from the Five before the Council, in part saying:
- "Why what is considered terrorism when practiced
against the powerful is not....when (they) commit it? Why a few can attack,
massacre and destroy human life on behalf of the alleged fight against
terrorism while the victims of their terrorist acts cannot exert the simplest
right to defense?"
- They concluded saying they'll continue appealing for
justice. They've been denied it for over 12 years. US media reports vilified
them, the same ones supporting Gross' alleged USAID-funded "humanitarianism,"
a policy no US agency undertakes, especially an imperial one like USAID.
- Often it's subversively partnered with the CIA, National
Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI),
and other US agencies and groups, disruptively trying to destabilize and
oust governments Washington opposes.
- Anyone contesting that agenda deserves praise, not prison.
Others caught serving imperial interests deserve what they get, and then
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays
at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs
are archived for easy listening.