U.S. Agency for International Development

Our Man, Cuba’s Pawn

February 4, 2010

by Liz Harper

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 U.S. keeping so quiet… still? This has been a vexing question. There’s no grand geopolitical strategy behind our silence.

Alan Gross did not sign a privacy waiver. That simple. Out of respect for this request, the U.S. won’t say anything about Gross—either in his defense or in defense of our policies. This is true even though it’s in our best interests to clarify what Gross was doing and what equipment he was distributing.

For now, it’s all very murky, enhancing the cloak and dagger mystique around this 60-year-old guy from the suburbs of WashingtonDC. This makes the nature of his work seem all the more insidious.

We could be rebutting more aggressively the charges that the Obama administration is still Cuba’s arch enemy, working stealthily to topple its regime. Gross is being turned into the predictable tool for the Castros and the Chavistas to denounce the U.S., reminding me of how Fidel Castro sought to use Elián González as a pawn against the United States.

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Tags: Cuba, Raul Castro, Alan Gross, U.S. Agency for International Development