Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Alan Gross, ‘The New York Times’ And The Spies

    Alan Gross, ‘The New York Times’ And The Spies / 14ymedio, Mario Felix
    Posted on December 3, 2014

    14ymedio, Mario Felix Lleonart, Havana, 1 December 2014 — Last November
    4, the White House reiterated that the case of citizen Alan Gross,
    prisoner in Cuba for bringing electronic equipment onto the Island, is
    not comparable to that of the Cuban spy members of the Wasp Network and
    that therefore there will be no exchange.

    The reaffirmation invalidates the principal objective of the Havana
    regime in the kidnapping of Gross and took place amidst one of the
    intense campaigns by the so-called International Conference for the
    Liberty of the Five, which more than freedom for the prisoners has as
    its objective making noise and gaining followers from among the naïve of
    the world who may still be in favor of a Caribbean totalitarianism that
    approaches its 60th year.

    Far and wide, the name of Gross has kept petitions moving that join the
    regime’s proposal that he should be exchanged for the spies. The Church
    World Service, for example, which since its beginning in 1948 has served
    the interests of the extreme left, made a three-day visit to Cuba at the
    beginning of November in which it made clear that Gross is only its
    excuse, and its objective: the liberation of the Cuban spies.

    Among the saga of the editorials devoted to Cuba by the New York Times,
    which so far add up to six, the fourth, published at the very beginning
    of November, aligned with the proposal for exchange contrary to the
    reiterations by the American government. November, by the way, concludes
    with the visit by the editorial writer Ernesto Londono to Cuba, and with
    him, also, the spirit of each editorial arrives on the Island.

    The support of the Church World Service for each propagandistic slogan
    Havana’s political agenda is to be expected, it has always been its
    trajectory. Never a statement in favor of the victims of the system,
    always in favor of the victimizer.

    But the case of the New York Times has been different, because in its
    history we remember positions contrary to the dictatorial excesses on
    the Island, as occurred in the face of the so-called Black Spring of
    2003. At that time, Fidel Castro’s “Reflections” did not report
    favorably on the positions taken by the New York Times, nor did we see
    the wholesale publication of New York Times editorials in the Communist
    Party Organ, but all to the contrary.

    Like that article in Granma of April 24, 2003, under the signature of
    Arsenio Rodriguez, which Reinaldo Escobar of 14ymedio reminded us of,
    where he stated: “…its editorial decisions are neither serious nor
    liberal, but they obediently comply with the defense orders of the
    dominant power interests of that nation,” to conclude: “…the true role
    of The New York Times (sic) was, is and will be to represent the essence
    of the empire.”

    On the other hand, the New York Times has never said that those who hold
    political power in Cuba are a good government, what it criticizes are
    positions historically maintained by the United States, which from its
    point of view have been ineffective in achieving the dismantlement of
    totalitarianism on the Island and for which it proposes another policy,
    one of rapprochement, which some call “the embrace of death.”

    Even if I do not agree with the New York Times’ thesis, I do hope that
    after their present visit to the island, the new editorials that are
    published will correct a little their current direction. For example, in
    the case of the fourth editorial I have the hope that Londono will not
    only interview Gross himself in person, but that he will explore other
    possible resolutions for the case that worries him, that of the spies,
    more feasible for an exchange and that until now he has not considered:
    that of the exchange of other probable spies for spies.

    This has to do with cases like that of Ernesto Borges Perez, accused of
    spying for the United States, now confined in the Combinado del Este
    Prison, in his 16th year of incarceration, the same amount of time as
    the three who are imprisoned in the United States accused of spying for

    Under accusations similar to those of Borges are found also Rolando
    Sorraz Trujillo, sentenced to 25 years since 1995; Claro Fernando Alonso
    Hernandez, sentenced to 30 years since 1996; the team of Ricardo
    Alarcon, ex-president of the National Assembly of Popular Power, Miguel
    Alvarez, sentenced to 30 years, and Mercedes Arce, sentenced to 14; and
    Eusebio Conrado Hernandez Garcia, close to the ousted Carolos Lage and
    Felipe Perez Roque, sentenced to 20 years, which he is serving in the
    Guanajay prison.

    It is obvious that the Cuban regime is not interested in packing off
    these prisoners who seem to be a high priority of general Raul Castro,
    but one would have to see his reaction if the United States government
    recognizes that the accusation under which Havana keeps in prison – with
    severe penalties – these Cubans were correct and were to take an even
    further step, weighing as more valid the option of exchanging for them
    the three Cuban spies in United States territory.

    Maybe the New York Times, which likes to look for the fifth leg to the
    table, will redirect its proposal and expose this more comparable
    option. And that, of course, the exchange of spies for spies will be
    produced with the antecedent liberation of Alan Gross, who evidently did
    not spy for anyone and finds himself unjustly imprisoned in Cuba.

    Translated by MLK

    Source: Alan Gross, ‘The New York Times’ And The Spies / 14ymedio, Mario
    Felix Lleonart | Translating Cuba –