“His message is that the United States and Cuba have to sit down and have a dialogue without preconditions. … He told me that the first meeting should result in a non-belligerency pact being signed between the United States and Cuba.”
Nobody can blame Gross for feeling abandoned by his government, although a solution to his case has been a constant demand of the State Department and while I think some of his latest moves may be counterproductive, especially a $60 million demand for negligence after he accepted a job where he arguably knew the risks and was paid well for.
What’s ridiculous is how we got to this point, with a slew of inefficient and dangerous programs put in place to placate a small but vocal minority and their representatives in Congress. As a result we have a desperate prisoner stating the obvious: a policy of confrontation is only likely to result in more confrontation.
Meanwhile, Mario Diaz-Balart uses the third anniversary of Gross imprisonment to fire off another press release asking for the end of a supposed “appeasement” of the regime, which consists of family visits and remittances. MLB seem to have picked up where David Rivera left off in the business of sending shameless press releases. As his uncle was one told: ¡Vamos bien!
UPDATE: Phil Peters puts it succintly:
Only in the case of Cuba are the U.S. programs built on an explicit regime-change premise contained in the 1996 Helms-Burton law. We can like or dislike the law, and we can like or dislike the Cuban political system, but we can’t avoid the operational consequence: a program like that is going to be hard to operate within Cuba if the Cuban government cares about its own survival and if it cares to defend Cuban sovereignty. As Mr. Gross found out too late, it cares about both.