Cuban Americans For Engagement (CAFE) wants to reiterate our support for Judy Gross' petition to the U.S. and Cuban governments in favor of a humanitarian solution for the tragic situation of her husband, Alan Gross.
As Cubans, we have asked the Cuban government to do everything conceivable to solve this situation as soon as possible and to demonstrate the best possible attitude towards the Gross family, who, like many of us, are victims of a counterproductive, illegal, and immoral Cold War policy. As Cuban-Americans who live in the United States and serve as bridges between the Cuban and American societies, we want to ask the Cuban government to make every effort to ease the untenable situation the Gross family is suffering.
Mr. Gross is not a hostage. He was not a tourist in Havana. He was working for a U.S. government regime change program. But all Cubans and Americans of goodwill should put all the blame for these irresponsible and interventionist actions where it is due: The U.S. policy of embargo against the Cuban people and its disrespect for Cuban sovereignty. The pro-embargo politicians are also the ones who would like to see Mr. Gross situation deteriorate in order to dismantle any possibility of improvement of relations between the two countries.
We salute the actions by the Cuban Jewish community of supporting Mr. Gross as one of them. Any help Mr. Gross receives from his Cuban brothers and sisters in faith shows the goodwill of the Cuban people towards Americans.
As fellow American citizens, we support Mrs. Gross' call to the Obama Administration. The U.S. government has a responsibility with Alan Gross, not only because he is a U.S. citizen, but because Mr. Gross was consistently misled by the Bush Administration USAID in his preparation about Cuba. According to his own notes, Gross was recommended by the USAID to study Cuba throughout the Babalu blog website. Today this blog calls president Obama a "Marxist Tyrant". The U.S. government enrolled Mr.Gross in a covert mission masked as an exchange between the Cuban and American Jewish communities without ever requesting the informed consent of leaders of the Cuban synagogue. . Covert actions of this kind only falls under USAID contracts because of the regime change policy designed against Cuba under the leadership of Jesse Helms, a declared enemy of Nelson Mandela and the global movement for human rights.
President Obama should hear Mrs. Gross' call and instruct Secretary Kerry to put all reasonable diplomatic solutions to solve this issue on the table, including a possible combination of parallel humanitarian pardons to Gross and the four Cuban agents imprisoned in the United States. As Cuban Americans, we would like to reiterate that our community is not politically monolithic and many of us would support such action as a way to improve the relationships between our two beloved countries.