The more than five-decades long history of countless failed attempts to reason with the Castro dictatorship in Cuba through appeasement means nothing to individuals like Sen. John Kerry. Their servile desire to assuage murderous dictators on the left is simply irresistible. And if a few defenseless and brutally repressed pro-democracy activists have to be sacrificed in order to appease the dictator, well, that is just the price they are all too willing to pay.
Report: John Kerry held secret talks with Cuba to free Alan Gross
A published report describes steps the Massachusetts Democrat took in 2010 to negotiate the jailed subcontractor’s return.
Sen. John Kerry, nominated as the next secretary of state, held a secret meeting with Cuba’s foreign minister in 2010 in a failed bid to win the release of jailed USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, according to a published report.
A senior state department official also met in secret with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez to discuss the Gross case, but the foreign minister lectured the U.S. official for an hour, added the report in the respected magazine Foreign Affairs.
José Cardenas, a former top official at the U.S. Agency for International Development, wrote that the article amounted to a “lesson on the folly of attempting to appease dictators.”
A knowledgeable Senate aide also challenged the article’s description of the role that Fulton Armstrong, a senior staffer in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former CIA analyst, played in the campaign to free Gross.
Gross was arrested in Havana in late 2009 and sentenced to 15 years for giving Cuban Jews sophisticated communications equipment paid for by USAID’s “pro-democracy” programs, outlawed by Cuba as designed to bring about “regime change.” His continued detention has been a key block in efforts to improve U.S.-Cuba relations.
The report authored by R.M Schneiderman, an editor at Newsweek, includes previously unknown details of a U.S. effort to win Gross’ freedom by cutting back funding for the pro-democracy programs and making them less provocative to Cuba.
In September of 2010, Spanish government officials helped arrange a secret meeting between then-Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela and Rodríguez to discuss a possible release of Gross, according to Schneiderman.
“The Cubans were far less flexible than the Americans expected. The U.S. … wanted Cuba to release Gross, and only then would it press ahead on any other policy changes,” he wrote. “Rodríguez allegedly lectured Valenzuela for roughly an hour on Cuba’s history of grievances.”
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