Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Obama and Cuba – Ideology Over National Security

    Obama and Cuba: Ideology Over National Security
    by Elliott Abrams
    January 8, 2016

    In previous posts I’ve argued that President Obama’s “opening to Cuba”
    gave the Castro brothers everything they wanted and got nothing for the
    United States–or for Cubans struggling peacefully for human rights and
    democracy.

    But I didn’t know the half of it. Today The Wall Street Journal reports
    as follows:

    An inert U.S. Hellfire missile sent to Europe for training purposes was
    wrongly shipped from there to Cuba in 2014….

    For more than a year, amid a historic thawing of relations between the
    U.S. and Cuba, American authorities have tried to get the Cuban
    government to return the missile….

    Hellfires are air-to-ground missiles, often fired from helicopters. They
    were first designed as antitank weapons decades ago, but have been
    modernized to become an important part of the U.S. government’s
    antiterrorism arsenal, often fired from Predator drones to carry out
    lethal attacks on targets in countries including Yemen and Pakistan….

    U.S. officials worry that Cuba could share the sensors and targeting
    technology inside it with nations like China, North Korea or Russia….

    So let’s review the bidding.

    A Hellfire missile that could be of great value to Russia, China, North
    Korea gets to Cuba. We ask for it back. The Cuban regime says, in
    effect, drop dead. All the while we are negotiating with Cuba over an
    end to the embargo, much increased travel and investment and trade, and
    an opening of diplomatic relations. Do we say “hold on, we are ready to
    go but will not take those steps until we get the missile back?”

    Of course not. Not in the Obama years, when the ideological goal of
    warming up to the Communist regime in Cuba takes precedence. This is a
    legacy item, after all, like the Iran nuclear deal. So now Fidel and
    Raul have the trade and the investment and the tourists and the U.S.
    embassy–and the missile.

    One can only imagine the conversations inside the Cuban regime, when
    some fools argued that to get the Obama deal done they would have to
    give back the missile. Raul and Fidel knew better: nothing would stop
    Obama from going forward if only the American prisoner, Alan Gross, were
    freed.

    And so it was.

    And what are the chances that the Castros have not shared the Hellfire
    with Moscow? Zero.

    Source: Pressure Points » Obama and Cuba: Ideology Over National
    Security –
    blogs.cfr.org/abrams/2016/01/08/obama-and-cuba-ideology-over-national-security/