Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Joe Biden Gives Interview to Cuba’s First Independent Digital News Site

    Joe Biden Gives Interview to Cuba’s First Independent Digital News Site
    By Kyle Munzenrieder Tue., May 27 2014 at 3:54 PM

    A week ago Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez launched 14yMedio, the
    first independent online media outlet in Cuba. Today it published its
    first big “get”: An interview with Vice President Joe Biden.
    The chat follows a 2009 interview President Barack Obama gave to Sanchez
    that was posted on her blog Generación Y. Biden essentially reiterated
    many of the previously held positions and answers of his boss, but also
    called for the release of American prisoner Alan Gross.

    Gross, who was working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency for
    International Development, was arrested and convicted in 2011 for
    sneaking satellite communication devices into the island. He continues
    to sit in Cuban jail, and, according to statements made through his
    lawyer, he seems disillusioned with the American and Cuban governments.

    “I cannot emphasize enough that Cuba’s continued detention of Alan Gross
    is a major impediment to improved relations between the United States
    and Cuba,” Biden said at the very end of the interview.

    “We can be as creative as we like with our policy, but Alan’s case
    remains at the top of our list for resolution. He deserves to come home,
    and should be released on humanitarian grounds.”

    Biden also took the opportunity to dispel the notion often promoted by
    the Cuban government that America has imminent plans to invade Cuba and
    overthrow the Castro regime.

    “I can give you the simplest of answers, and that answer is no. Just as
    President Obama said,” he said.

    “We support the development of a prosperous, secure and democratic Cuba
    and continue to support the brave Cubans who seek to exercise their
    freedoms. Our position is clear: only Cubans can or should determine the
    future of Cuba. These accusations are a relic of a distant past. They
    are being used to strike fear into the hearts of decent Cubans to divert
    your attention from the problems closer to home. The Cuban people
    deserve more honesty from their government.”

    Sanchez launched 14yMedio last week as an alternative to the other news
    outlets on the island, which are controlled by the government. The site
    was blocked in Cuba shortly after it launched, but as of this week
    appears to have been unblocked.

    Still, access to the Internet is still rare for many Cubans. Many can
    only access the Internet by using satellite phones and cell phones (like
    those Gross is accused of providing), though Cuba’s state telephone
    company has announced it will begin offering in-home Internet service
    sometime this year.

    Sanchez’s interview with Biden took place in April while she was
    visiting Washington.

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    Source: Joe Biden Gives Interview to Cuba’s First Independent Digital
    News Site | Miami New Times –
    http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2014/05/joe_biden_gives_interview_to_cubas_first_independent_digital_news_site.php