Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cuba releases Alan Gross from prison: US relations headed toward normalization … by gimleteye

According to news reports, Cuba has just released Alan Gross from prison in Havana. President Obama is due to address the nation on Cuba at noon.

It will be interesting to hear what the Cuba lobby has to say about this … right?

One observer noted, "Everything Obama could have done to win elections for Democrats in November, he's done after the election." It is an interesting point. Before the election, polling suggested that normalizing relations with Cuba would hurt Democrats' chances. On this blog, we argued to the contrary.

Whatever the calculus leading to today's decisions -- and notwithstanding the harsh pushback from longtime Senate leader Bob Menendez (D-NJ) -- it is indisputable that the relic of the Cold War had outlasted its purpose.

Congratulations to the Gross family on an historic day and thanks to President Obama.


Anonymous said...

All silent on the Capitol Hill Cuban front. Be hating on Obama any time now. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Here is what the Cuba lobby has to say. Gross is a victim of a 50 year plus game played by the Cuban government. We are glad to see him liberated and reunited back with his family. I am sure he will have lots of stories to tell about the horrors that occur in Cuban prisons. As far as the three spies going south that is also a good thing. The Cuban government has squeezed a lot of miles out of that incident by accusing our government of not following up on what they consider local terrorist activities. The Cuban problem can be easily solved if both political parties were willing to do so. By lifting the Cuban embargo and repealing the Cuban Adjustment Act we would show we are no longer willing to play the Cuban government game. Let us not forget though that the communist Cuban government has been a thorn on the U.S. side since 1959 and its homicidal dictator pushed the Russians to implement and deploy nuclear weapons against our country. The Cuban government and its communist dogma has been a total disaster that has destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of families and the death of countless victims, including women and children. Let us not forget who the real enemies of this country are.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Obama will discuss the Cubans in the United States who lie, cheat and steal to get government contracts and favors from weak and corrupt elected officials. Latin Builders Association come to mind? Big Sugar? Miami-Dade County procurement process?

Anonymous said...

President Obama has opened up tremendous economic opportunities in the US, in Cuba, and in all of Latin America. This action will have major financial impacts in all of South America for generations to come. I don't think people understand how big in land area South America is. The land area of the whole USA would fit neatly only in the ice cream-like section of the cone of the land area of South America. It is huge! The potential financial impact here is huge.

Anonymous said...

I heard Miami investors want to make Guantanamo a torture prison museum. They just need $9 million in tax payer money to attract another 500 private investors.

Anonymous said...

The local Cuban ruling class has outlasted it's imperialism in Miami Dade! As a Rebuplican from Monroe county, I truly thank Obama for moving forward with Cuba. The Keys will benefit greatly economically, not just the insiders doing deals with third party country's trading with Cuba.

Anonymous said...

FACT SHEET: Charting a New Course on Cuba

Unwavering Commitment to Democracy, Human Rights, and Civil Society

A critical focus of our increased engagement will include continued strong support by the United States for improved human rights conditions and democratic reforms in Cuba. The promotion of democracy supports universal human rights by empowering civil society and a person’s right to speak freely, peacefully assemble, and associate, and by supporting the ability of people to freely determine their future. Our efforts are aimed at promoting the independence of the Cuban people so they do not need to rely on the Cuban state.

The U.S. Congress funds democracy programming in Cuba to provide humanitarian assistance, promote human rights and fundamental freedoms, and support the free flow of information in places where it is restricted and censored. The Administration will continue to implement U.S. programs aimed at promoting positive change in Cuba, and we will encourage reforms in our high level engagement with Cuban officials.

The United States encourages all nations and organizations engaged in diplomatic dialogue with the Cuban government to take every opportunity both publicly and privately to support increased respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba.

Ultimately, it will be the Cuban people who drive economic and political reforms. That is why President Obama took steps to increase the flow of resources and information to ordinary Cuban citizens in 2009, 2011, and today. The Cuban people deserve the support of the United States and of an entire region that has committed to promote and defend democracy through the Inter-American Democratic Charter.

Anonymous said...

Ref. previous anon:
And along with the Cubans who lie and cheat he can discuss the English, Irish, Italian, German, African, Russian, Indian, etc., who also steal, cheat and rob us blind. Last I heard those qualities were in place here before the first Cubans arrived.

Anonymous said...

Part of the deal should be extradition of all the embezzlers and wanted people who ran from the law with millions of stolen and medicare money.

Anonymous said...

Thank you President Obama for choosing the right policy towards Cuba against the rhetoric of political opportunists who oppose losing their power base. Thank you also for recognizing the accomplishments of those Cuban Americans who made the U.S. their new homeland and against the tide of bigotry and hatred have raised their families in the U.S. and contributed to make this a greater nature.

Anonymous said...

People can now go home and spend Christmas with their families.

CUBAN PETE said...

Cuban Haters and just plain fools will be out in droves today some have even already commented here.

That said I don't mind the lifting of the Emabrgo, Travel restrictions or ending the Cuban Adjustment act. Like it or not the US has relations with Vietnam a country where 55K American lives where lost, Im surprised this lasted 56 years.

What bothers me is that 3 men convicted of crimes in the US have been released, this puts our legal system on par with that of Castrolandia....Really! Our legal system may not be perfect but compared to Cuba's its heaven on earth.

What I want to see if the Castro's or their minions will be held to really opening up Cuba not only for tourism but from a human and civil rights standpoint. I won't hold my breath.

Some of you folks may want to make light of all this but remember many people here lost family members (FIRING SQUADS AND SUMMARY EXECUTIONS WERE COMMON IN late 50S AND EARLY 60S), homes and businesses at the hands of the Castro's.

Anonymous said...

DECEMBER 17, 2014
Learning the Art of Coexistence
The New Opening With the USA
Since my election as President of the State Council and Council of Ministers I have reiterated in many occasions our willingness to hold a respectful dialogue with the United States on the basis of sovereign equality, in order to deal reciprocally with a wide variety of topics without detriment to the national Independence and self-determination of our people.

This stance was conveyed to the US Government both publicly and privately by Comrade Fidel on several occasions during our long standing struggle, stating the willingness to discuss and solve our differences without renouncing any of our principles.

The heroic Cuban people, in the wake of serious dangers, aggressions, adversities and sacrifices has proven to be faithful and will continue to be faithful to our ideals of independence and social justice. Strongly united throughout these 56 years of Revolution, we have kept our unswerving loyalty to those who died in defense of our principles since the beginning of our independence wars in 1868.

Today, despite the difficulties, we have embarked on the task of updating our economic model in order to build a prosperous and sustainable Socialism.

As a result of a dialogue at the highest level, which included a phone conversation I had yesterday with President Obama, we have been able to make headway in the solution of some topics of mutual interest for both nations.

As Fidel promised on June 2001,when he said: “They shall return!” Gerardo, Ramon, and Antonio have arrived today to our homeland.

The enormous joy of their families and of all our people, who have relentlessly fought for this goal, is shared by hundreds of solidarity committees and groups, governments, parliaments, organizations, institutions, and personalities, who for the last sixteen years have made tireless efforts demanding their release. We convey our deepest gratitude and commitment to all of them.

President Obama’s decision deserves the respect and acknowledgement of our people.

Anonymous said...

I wish to thank and acknowledge the support of the Vatican, most particularly the support of Pope Francisco in the efforts for improving relations between Cuba and the United States. I also want to thank the Government of Canada for facilitating the high-level dialogue between the two countries.

In turn, we have decided to release and send back to the United States a spy of Cuban origin who was working for that nation.

On the other hand, and for humanitarian reasons, today we have also sent the American citizen Alan Gross back to his country.

Unilaterally, as has always been our practice, and in strict compliance with the provisions of our legal system, the concerned prisoners have received legal benefits, including the release of those persons that the Government of the United States had conveyed their interest in.

We have also agreed to renew diplomatic relations.

This in no way means that the heart of the matter has been solved. The economic, commercial, and financial blockade, which causes enormous human and economic damages to our country, must cease.

Though the blockade has been codified into law, the President of the United States has the executive authority to modify its implementation.

We propose to the Government of the United States the adoption of mutual steps to improve the bilateral atmosphere and advance towards normalization of relations between our two countries, based on the principles of International Law and the United Nations Charter.

Cuba reiterates its willingness to cooperate in multilateral bodies, such as the United Nations.

While acknowledging our profound differences, particularly on issues related to national sovereignty, democracy, human rights and foreign policy, I reaffirm our willingness to dialogue on all these issues.

I call upon the Government of the United States to remove the obstacles hindering or restricting ties between peoples, families, and citizens of both countries, particularly restrictions on travelling, direct post services, and telecommunications.

The progress made in our exchanges proves that it is possible to find solutions to many problems.

As we have reiterated, we must learn the art of coexisting with our differences in a civilized manner.

Raul Castro is president of Cuba.

This is the text of Cuban President Raul Castro’s address to the nation this Wednesday broadcast on radio and television on the recent developments in the Cuba-US relations.

Anonymous said...

Do this mean 1.2 million exiles just became immigrants?

Anonymous said...

The embargo has not worked. Some local politicians have benefited greatly from the Island staying in a time warp. We have to start somewhere. The migrants who risked their lives escaping tyranny has not been forgotten in the situation. It's long past time to move on and start a new. I have not had this feeling since the Berlin Wall came down so many years ago! It's time to open Cuba to all and catch up with the rest of the world who has been trading with Cuba for years. These economic policy's will eventually catch up and have a positive impact with the poorest of the Cubans because of it.

Anonymous said...

Ref. comment:
"Do this mean 1.2 million exiles just became immigrants?"

I guess if we utilize your logic 300 million exiles in our country are nothing but immigrants, unless of course you are a Cherokee, a Navajo, Arapahp or any of the tribes that were here before European settlers set foot in this continent.

Anonymous said...

The population is 80% Black now, and it is time we move on. They need to hook-up with the rest of the world. They have some interesting innovative things going on there even with little resources. They are doing some interesting things there in the field of medicine. Think of what might develop if they can hook up with our researchers. A cure for cancer or some other bad disease may emerge. It is a win-win for everyone except a few republicans.

Anonymous said...

This is a great Christmas present to people on both sides of the Florida straights.
Hopefully we can warm up to implement same for Iran soon, swallow our misplaced pride and treat country and people fairly.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? The Latin Builders, other builders in this country and around the world are going to have a field day in Cuba. They need everything. Water and sewer, roads, drainage, commercial buildings, residential construction, institutional construction. There are people all over the world with money looking for investment opportunities. Now the door is open. Let the dance begin!

Anonymous said...

Some of you folks may remember many people here lost family members (FIRING SQUADS AND SUMMARY EXECUTIONS WERE COMMON IN the EARLY 50S Batista Regime AND EARLY 60S Castro regime), Public Property in the Hands of Private sector, homes and businesses at the hands of the Batistata Regime and then the Castro regime.

Anonymous said...

Embarrassment U. S. Senator Marco Rubio this is not your South Florida Sports League in miami- Mr. Gross spent more time in and under the Castro regime harshest conditions longer than Rubio or any other Cuban exiles living high on the hog in the U. S. only because they fled their so called beloved country.
How did Castro he was also imprisoned and exiled over throw the Batista regime?? Look it up.. 50 years later and 1.5 million exiles and nothing.

Anonymous said...

How easy it is for some Cuban haters to come here and summarize the last 60 years of Cuba-U.S, relations on a single paragraph. Some of you haters may be surprised to find out that back in the 1770s Cuban women were selling away their jewelry to support George Washington's troops while they struggled through a tough winter in Valley Forge. So much was their hate for the British. Cuban nationals have fought on the side of the U.S. since the war of independence and Cuban exiles have supported U.S. causes while every other Latin American country referred to the U.S. as an imperialist country. To those haters we say go read up some history and get off your whote horse. You are no better than us.

Anonymous said...

Next year Castro brothers are visiting Miami and will walk in Little Havana

Anonymous said...

50 years of an unsuccessful exercise in futility. Now the door to change is open just a crack.

Finally a Pres. with guts to tackle the Immigration, Health and Cuban issues. He may not fix them completely but at least he is trying to move us in the right direction.

I doubt that McCain, Romney or Palin would have had the guts to tackle these critical issues anytime at all. W certainly did not.

I suspect we could have saved 30, 40 or even 50 years if families here had not sent (voluntarily or penalty of law) all that money to relatives there. If so, they would have taken to the streets long ago and overthrown the regime.

The Latin Builders Association, Sedano, Fanjul’s, Goya, El Dorado, ATT, Sprint and others must be salivating for the opportunity to get in there. God help Cuba if in 5 years there is a Starbucks, Walgreens, KFC, CVS, McDonald and Walmart on every corner.

Anonymous said...

They are defineately going there. And if they don't move fast enough Walmart will be there first and offer EVERYTHING from banking, to healthcare to food, and everything else under the sun for sale to the Cubans at very low prices to capture the market. Plus they will give them jobs in all the stores. The only problem will be how fast the infrastructure can get up-roads, water and sewer, and electricity. The basic wiring for the Internet has to also be installed.

Anonymous said...

I am a former disgusted Democrat... I changed my party affiliation today following Obama's speech. I am seriously tired of his decisions that are his personal dogma and not reflective of the US as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Miami always had corruption. Before the Cubans arrived it was nickel and dime stuff. Now the corruption involves millions. $9 mil for a loyal campaign contributor. $2 Billion for a Cuban engineer for sewer work. Unlimited billboards in return for campaign contributions. Every recent mayor born or descended from Cuba. Waterfront land given to Cubans... List goes on. Where are the Feds?

Anonymous said...

China is a totalitarian communist state. Cuba is a totalitarian communist state.

So why are they treated differently when it comes to trade and refugees?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gross is really someone very special. After all of these years, he is still concerned about the Cuban people. What an exceptional human being he is. He is one of the few people in the world I would like to meet and talk with. My conversation with him would not just be about his personal struggle, but also about his philosophy of life. Later EOM might try to interview him?

Anonymous said...

The Pope played a very important role in making this happen. While they would not talk with each other, they all listened to the Pope. And actions followed on both sides. This is an important role for the church.

Anonymous said...

"Before the Cubans arrived it was nickel and dime stuff. Now the corruption involves millions"

Corruption occurs in every city and state in this nation. In South Florida, many of the names associated with corruption are those of Cuban because a large number of Cubans reside in this area. It is shameful and those involved should be prosecuted to the fullest. Go a little further north and the same level of corruption is exhibited by Jews, Blacks, Irish, Italians, Koreans, Chinese and every other nationality or ethnicity in this nation. Corruption is not innate to being Cuban, it is a deformity of the soul and every group in this country suffers from it. To bash an entire group for the misdeeds of some of its members is plain wrong. Michael Pizzi and Steve Bateman are not Cuban and yet one was taking fed monies in a closet and the other was up to no good in Homestead.

miaexile said...

note to people living in the Miami Cuban bubble, most of America could give a fig about what happens to Cuba. Most of America wiuld be hardpressed to find it on a map. So tired remarks like President Obama is going against the will of the people..umm no, he's going against the will of a few who are stuck in the past. Do you think the families of the 55k + Americans who died fighting In the vietnam war begrudge the success of Vietnam today? President Obama deserves yet one more standing ovation and a chorus of BRAVO Mr President!

Anonymous said...

You must Speak SPANISH because this is Miami. No Excuses. Si o No