Ball is in Obama’s court regarding Cuban ‘swap’
Ruth Marcus (“Nightmare for an American left behind in Cuba”) was half-right when she urged the Obama administration to negotiate a “swap” to free Alan Gross from a Cuban prison in exchange for releasing the “Cuban Five,” in American prisons. Gross, a contractor for the State Department, was imprisoned for smuggling Internet equipment into Cuba.
Marcus was well off the mark when she claimed that Gross was “a victim of the repressive Cuban regime.” In fact, Havana had promoted the swap. It was President Obama who rejected the deal, claiming that the Cubans had their “due process rights” – ignoring the evidence that the Cubans had been tried by a kangaroo court in Miami, a city rife with anti-Castro hatred. “The possibility of selecting 12 [impartial] citizens” was virtually “zero,” according to witness sociologist Lisandro Perez.
Moreover, Marcus was too hard on the Cubans, claiming they “are not the heroes of Cuban lore,” and too soft on Obama when she said that “Gross hasn’t been abandoned, just prioritized.” Havana had sent the Cubans to Florida to expose the Cuban-American terrorists who had been attacking their homeland for decades, leading to thousands of deaths. Instead of nabbing the militants, Washington convicted the Cubans of espionage.
When their attorneys appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for review in 2009, Obama urged the court to reject the case. The judges rejected the review without explanation.
“Prioritized”? The ball is already in Obama’s court. Either he accepts the swap or he slams the doors for both Gross and the Cubans.