CAFE Statement on Alan Gross hunger strike

CAFE is aware of the hunger strike undertaken by Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor imprisoned in Cuba for his participation in programs created under the Helms -Burton Act. The purpose of that act is to bring about regime change in Cuba. It was designed in Washington by the racist Jesse Helms, who was a fiercest defender in the U.S. Senate of both Pinochet and the apartheid regime.

Mr. Gross has declared his anguish and disgust at the lack of a substantive negotiation for his release between the governments of Cuba and the U.S. Gross explains that he was misinformed and manipulated by those who sent him to Cuba.

More evidence of how the USAID Cuba program  flagrantly deviates from the norm came out during a congressional hearing on the agency's 2015 budget. In response to questions from Senator Patrick Leahy, USAID's Director Rajiv Shah even admitted that standard USAID programs to protect children cannot be carried out in collaboration with Cuba because of the restrictions of the Helms -Burton Act.

Leahy has called on the Obama administration to review these programs and negotiate with the Cuban government a solution to the tragedy of Alan Gross to bring him home to Maryland soon.

CAFE seconds the plea by Senator Leahy, a great American and champion of human rights, like few others. We signed the petition launched by Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) and call on all people of good will to express their support for a substantive negotiation regarding Mr. Gross and the three Cubans imprisoned in the U.S. It is time to contact our representatives and the U.S. and Cuban embassies around the world to demand a solution to this embarrassing situation.

 

CAFE Executive Board