This post is a follow-up to my Unleash the Googles entry from last week. But now I would like to specifically focus on the human rights implications of Alan Gross’ detention.
Why is the
Alan Gross did not sign a privacy waiver. That simple. Out of respect for this request, the
For now, it’s all very murky, enhancing the cloak and dagger mystique around this 60-year-old guy from the suburbs of
We could be rebutting more aggressively the charges that the Obama administration is still
This is frustrating for everyone who wants to explain the program, defend Mr. Gross and our policy. Especially frustrated must be our man in
For one, we do know Gross was not there simply doing humanitarian work; there were other objectives. Gross, a subcontractor for a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) democracy program in
Raúl Castro accuses him of spying and distributing communications equipment. Gross was armed with what? Flash drives?
And why is it that too often in talking about our
Let’s stop sweeping that under the rug; it must be a higher priority as we hopefully craft new policy on
There’s no reason why we need to overlook these facts while moving forward in chipping away at the embargo.
The very fact that our government has kept quiet about this guy is in part emblematic of our value for human rights, personal privacy and decency.
Is there any reason why it would serve our national and strategic interests to put political freedom on the backburner? Instead, we can ride the high horse and show regional leadership, especially when regional bodies like the Organization of American States are not doing so.
Let’s not forget that political freedoms must be the bottom line as we go forward in re-examining and retooling our current ineffective policies. Where the
*Liz Harper is an americasquarterly.org contributing blogger based in
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Salvador, El Salvador
Julio Rank Wright
Christian Gómez, Jr.
Johanna Mendelson Forman