Monday, November 8, 2010

Cuban source: Alan Gross will be held for trial


In a new letter, Judith Gross pleas for her husband's release and says he's a "political pawn" of the more than half-century-long U.S.-Cuba grudge match.
She also said Alan Gross did not hide the communication gear he carried to Cuba. She wrote:
Before this fateful trip, Alan had visited Cuba several times and never been in trouble. When Alan arrived in Havana, he declared to the Customs authorities what he was bringing into the country.
A knowledgeable source in Havana told me he is convinced that Gross will be tried in Cuba. I can't identify the source or say if this source works in - or out - of the Cuban government. But I would like to pass along his perspective. The source said of Alan Gross:
He is not a hostage. He has a trial pending. This is about a violation of Cuban law that Cuba will not tolerate now or in the future, and that trial will take place inexorably.

I am sure the trial will show that what he came to do in Cuba was illegal and is strongly punished by the law.
The source said he expected that Cuban officials would "apply the law in the same way the law is applied in the United States," where five Cuban agents are imprisoned. "That is inevitable."

The source said he didn't know when the trial would be held.

Judith Gross said she hopes her husband is released on humanitarian grounds. She wrote:
It is clear to me that Alan is being held as a political pawn by two governments that refuse to change course in the way they relate to each other. I can understand Havana’s distaste for U.S. measures it considers interference in its internal affairs, but I can also appreciate the notion that the ability to communicate with one another is a basic human right.

For my family, however, it has been 11 months since Alan was put in prison and two months that my daughter has been without her father while battling cancer. For me, this is personal; it’s not about politics. Enough is enough. We need Alan home now, and he needs us. Our family should not pay the price for more than 50 years of turmoil in U.S.-Cuba relations.

This is my plea to Presidents Obama and Castro: Be different from your predecessors, change the tide of bilateral relations. I call on President Obama, in whom my husband believes so much, to not forget his pledge of a “new beginning” in relations with Cuba. And I call on President Castro to continue working on improving Cuba’s human rights record. To both, I beg: Do not make Alan’s case an excuse to fall further apart, but rather an example of a new era in U.S.-Cuba relations.

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