Dec. 4.─ Alan Gross could've been your neighbor. An American baby boomer who loved to play the mandolin and snack on sunflower seeds, Gross had a big heart. He chose a job that took him all over the world to help equip those struggling under political and economic oppression.
Sadly, Alan Gross is not your neighbor. He is a prisoner of a repressive, freedom-denying Cuban regime. The picture on the left shows Mr. Gross before he was imprisoned. On the right, the picture was taken during one of the rare visits allowed to family.
Gross sits in jail today because the Castro regime persistently denies its people basic political freedoms, including the freedom to access uncensored, unfiltered news and opinions. The U.N. acknowledged this right over 60 years ago.
The Obama Administration protested Gross's imprisonment from the start and claims that better relations with Cuba hinge on the American's release. Yet Havana insists on a prisoner swap, using Gross as a bargaining chip to win the release of the Cuban Five—a group of Cubans convicted in Miami for acts of espionage.
On the surface, Cuba looks to be offering a reasonable deal: You give us our spies and we'll give you your spy. But a little digging proves that Cuba's offer is completely unacceptable.
First of all, Gross is not a spy. Cuba even admits that it does "not consider Alan Gross a spy." However, Cuba does admit that the Cuban Five were spies. Moreover, Gross is imprisoned for, at the worst, providing a small group of Cubans with uncensored Internet access. In comparison, the Cuban Five were convicted for using false identification to infiltrate U.S. airports and naval air stations ...
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