Friday, February 24, 2012

Two American senators visit Cuba

And there was only one real topic on their agenda . . .

News sources report that two senior U.S. senators visited Cuba yesterday (Feb. 23), to discuss items of mutual interest. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D. Vt.) (left) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R. Ala.) had a "cordial" two and a half hour meeting with Cuban president Raúl Castro. Beforehand they visited convicted U.S. contractor Alan Gross in a local prison, where he's serving a 15 year sentence for state security crimes. Several other members of Congress were in the delegation.

It's obvious that the exclusive purpose of this latest U.S. effort was to find out just what it's going to take to obtain Alan Gross' release. But the answer to that question is already well known. The Cubans have been telling the United States what it's going to take for the past 26 months, since Gross was arrested in December 2009. It will take the release of the Miami Five, convicted Cuban agents who have been in American custody since 1998.

Gross was a well paid U.S. operative who was fully aware that he was breaking Cuban law when he made multiple trips to Havana in 2009. Everything about Alan Gross, the Miami Five -- and yet another American who was arrested in Havana in January under similar circumstances -- is here: It's long past time to exchange these Cold War prisoners. On a trip to Mexico last fall, the president of Cuba's parliament -- who obviously speaks for the Castro regime -- left little doubt that swapping the Five for Gross is the quid pro quo:

Senator Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Shelby is the Ranking Member on several others. Both were very courteous and deferential in their public remarks yesterday, in sharp contrast to former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson who went to the island last year in a failed bid to spring Gross. Richardson's haughty attitude and arrogant statements infuriated the Cubans, and spoiled any potential deal:

Query: Who can name the seductive Russian spy-ess swapped by the U.S. in 2009? She's now a runway model in Moscow (and a character right out of James Bond 007):

The Alan Gross story:
The real story of Alan Gross:
Judy Gross asks Obama, "please bring my husband home":
No Christmas pardon for Alan Gross:
Alan Gross y Los Cinco de Miami:
Alan Gross supporters take their release crusade on the road:
U.S. double standard on prisoners hurts Alan Gross:

U.S.-Cuba relations:
U.S. embargo of Cuba turns 50:
Newt Gingrich spews the same old Cold War rhetoric on Cuba:
Hemingway Bar opens at Cuban consulate in Washington:
What does Che Guevara have to do with Mercedes-Benz?:

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