Alan Gross Update: Jews and Masons and Blacks, oh my!
New details have emerged on the activities of Alan Gross in the Castro Kingdom. These have surfaced as part of his family's lawsuit against DAI (Development Alternatives Inc.), the federal contractor that sent Gross to Cuba.
Oddly enough, the details of Gross's plan seem more like something out of the 18th century than the 21st, even though modern technology was at the heart of his mission.
As it turns out, Gross intended to link up Cuba's 12 synagogues with the Masonic lodges on the island via satellite. The plan was to begin with the synagogues, where Masons could be trained, and to turn all of these locations into communication centers where Cubans could connect with each other and with the outside world. Included in this plan was a third cabal: Cuba's black population (and a fourth and fifth as well: women and young people).
In other words, his "crime" was to provide Cubans with access to uncensored information and a network of communication immune to the prying eyes of Big Brother's Ministry of the Interior (MININT).
The odd mixture of Jews and Masons and Blacks as a secret cabal within the island might seem almost funny or ridiculous to a disinterested observer. (Jews and Masons and Blacks, oh my! ) But, of course, it isn't funny at all, given what happened to Alan Gross.
As it turns out, Big Brother found out about Gross's plan through a chivato (informer) from the Ministry of the Interior who infiltrated the Masons. His name: José Manuel Collera Vento (a.k.a. "Agent Gerardo")
The secret Cuba files of Alan Gross
By Tracey Eaton (alongthemalecon.blogspot.com)
Alan Gross envisioned setting up satellite Internet connections for Cuban Jews in Havana and six other provinces, then expanding his effort to include as many as 30,000 Masons at more than 300 lodges across the country.
Cuban Jews had “strategic value” in the democracy project because of their religious, financial and humanitarian ties to the United States, Gross said in an October 2008 memo filed this month in U.S. District Court.
Jewish synagogues were a “secure springboard through which information dissemination will be expanded,” Gross wrote in the 27-page memo to his former employer, DAI, a federal contractor in Bethesda, Md.
The memo and other documents filed this month in U.S. District Court give new details about the original scope of the multimillion-dollar project, which was designed to go far beyond helping Jews connect to the Internet as the State Department has repeatedly suggested.
Gross, 63, and his wife, Judy, are suing DAI for $60 million, saying that the contractor failed to prepare Gross for his risky mission, resulting in his capture in 2009. DAI has denied the accusation and says it isn’t to blame for the subcontractor’s jailing.
Cuban authorities arrested Gross in December 2009. He was convicted of crimes against the state and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
His 2008 memo said U.S.-based humanitarian organizations that take computers and other supplies to Jews in Cuba could be useful in DAI’s democracy project. One possible implication is that these groups could be used, perhaps unwittingly, to shuttle equipment to Cuba, although Gross doesn’t explain in detail what he had in mind.
He writes that Cuban Jews and later Masons could help DAI establish an information and communications technologies “foothold.”
"These groups are likely targets for successfully establishing a low-profile ICT foothold. Both have extended organizational networks and communities throughout the island and both are connected and/or have strong institutional relationships with US faith-based and humanitarian organizations that frequently sponsor Island missions."
In his proposal to DAI, Gross proposed setting up Internet sites at 12 Jewish synagogues in the provinces of Havana, Villa Clara, Cienfuegos, Guantanamo, Granma, Camagüey and Santiago de Cuba. Some 1,800 men, women and youth were members of the synagogues. They were the initial target of the democracy project. Gross wrote:
"Members of the primary target group will be able to help train members of the secondary target group in the event of a follow on project.
The secondary - or follow on- target included members of 319 Masonic Lodges in Cuba. An infographic Gross submitted to DAI also cites "youth, women and Afro-Cubans."
Gross said in court documents he was coordinating some of his activities with the Pan American Development Foundation, or PADF, another organization that had received U.S. government funds to try to hasten Cuba's transition to democracy.
Cuban agents wound up infiltrating PADF's operation in Cuba. One of the organization's main contacts, José Manuel Collera Vento, former head of the Freemasons fraternal organization in Cuba, turned out to be an informant for Cuban State Security (See interview with Collera, also known as Agent Gerardo).
Continue reading HERE, where there is much more, including links to additional information and excerpts from Gross's 27-page memo....