How Obama can easily secure the release of Alan Gross, an American held hostage in Cuba
For the past four years, the Obama administration has been engaged in a futile effort to "diplomatically" secure the release of American aid worker Alan Gross who is being held hostage by Cuba's notoriously lawless apartheid dictatorship. However, with more than a half century of history clearly indicating that the Castro regime never cedes through diplomatic pressure and only responds when inflicted with pain, it is woefully apparent this fact is completely lost or ignored by President Obama. Instead, the White House continues down the fruitless path of offering gifts and cash to Cuba's lawless regime despite the fact that such tactics have been an abject failure each and every time they have been tried. Unfortunately, it is Alan Gross and his family who will suffer and continue to suffer the brunt of this failed policy of appeasement.
Alan Gross could be home quicker than anyone can imagine if only the Obama administration would have the courage to hit the Castro dictatorship where it hurts them the most: Their wallet.
A Test Case for Alan Gross's Release
Since American development worker Alan Gross was unjustly imprisoned by the Castro regime on December 3rd, 2009, the Obama Administration has sought diplomatic engagement (in 2010) and easing sanctions (in 2011) as means to secure his release.
(See "Cuba's American Hostage" in The Wall Street Journal).
Neither have been successful.
The one thing the Administration hasn't tried is tightening sanctions.
This would likely secure Gross's release.
Don't believe us?
Here's a test case:
The Castro regime is currently threatening to cut off travel to Cuba during the holidays, unless the U.S. government secures banking services for its diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Knowing the U.S. government can't compel private banks to provide service to anyone -- let alone to a foreign dictatorship -- what the Castro regime really seeks is to coerce the U.S. into further easing sanctions, namely removing it from the "state-sponsors of terrorism" list.
Presuming the Obama Administration won't allow itself to be coerced, the Castro regime will soon blink.
"Tom Popper, whose New York-based Insight Cuba Company arranges people-to-people trips, said he expects any concerns over how his clients will pay for their visas will be fixed in a few days — likely by having them pay in Havana rather than in Washington."
Bottom line: These trips are key to the economic subsistence of the Castro dictatorship.
Thus, it cannot afford to cut them off.
It's like when Venezuela's government threatens to cut off oil sales to the U.S. It would never do so, as these sales represent over 80% of its income.
Want to secure Alan Gross's release?
Squeeze the Castro regime's key travel income and send an unequivocal message that taking Americans hostage is unacceptable.
Watch the Castro's blink.