Helping Cubans “a mistake”


In Reuters yesterday, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson insinuates that detained American Alan Gross, although “a good man” and “innocent,” he “may have made some mistakes.”

“I believe Alan Gross is a good man who may have made some mistakes. I think he is innocent,” Richardson said.

I am curious to know, Gov. Richardson, just what mistakes did Alan Gross make that justify his imprisonment for the past 8 months?

What is it about providing cell phones and internet connections to non-political Jewish groups in Cuba that makes it such a heinous crime and justifies his imprisonment by the regime?

I know the Cuban dictatorship has laws against providing anyone with the means of communicating with the outside world, but they also have laws against possessing books such as Martin Luther King’s autobiography.

Would providing books to Cubans on the island also be a mistake?

Would providing poster boards and magic markers to Cuba’s civil society that they may use to make :::gasp::: signs calling for liberty and democracy a mistake?

What kind of meaningful help for Cuba’s civil society would you consider to not be a mistake, other than financing the brutal regime that oppresses them?

Just wondering, you know, since you are so gung ho about lifting embargoes and travel restrictions to Cuba in order to spur democratic change on the island. I think American tourists can really use your advice. They should know which “mistakes” to avoid while they are busy fomenting liberty in Cuba between the mojitos and the shows at the Tropicana Night Club.

7 thoughts on “Helping Cubans “a mistake””

  1. That is one lousy dye job, a dopey hair “style,” and that oily, rumpled, overstuffed cushion of a face is bad enough to cause dyspepsia. Given the superficiality of our culture, how did this guy ever get anywhere in politics? Is everybody butt-ugly in New Mexico? Oh yeah, I want to be lumped together with this A-hole as a “Hispanic.” Sure thing. Next time I’m asked, I’ll put myself down as “Central European,” thanks. I can identify far better with the Czechs than with this sort of element. As for Gross, it’s only a matter of time before Jimmah C. gets around to it, assuming Bill Clinton (in his current Humanitarian Extraordinaire mode) doesn’t beat him to it. But yes, Obama could trump them both by cutting a deal for the five Cuban spies, which a number of people think is in the works.

  2. I won’t defend or criticize this particular comment of Richardson’s since — like you — I don’t know what he means by “mistake”.

    I will say this: Alan Gross did make at least one mistake. He got caught, and I doubt that was part of the plan, so there are things he could certainly have done differently.

    Further, if the mission really was to provide some humanitarian and communications relief to the Jewish community (as opposed to providing it to political dissidents), one of his mistakes was taking satellite phones. He didn’t get locked up for cell phones. They were sat phones.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking sat phones to people who need a more secure way to communicate. But why risk your own safety and the safety of the people you are providing this technology to by giving them sat phones when cell phones have just been legalized?

    Anyway… I’m not about to agree or disagree with Richardson, but if the “mistake” he is referring to was strategic/practical (which it seems it is since he ALSO asserts that Gross is “innocent”), then he might just be right.

  3. Nicolas:

    You’re absolutely right: if Gross did make a mistake, it was getting caught.

    The point of my post, however, was to illustrate the disingenuousness of the “lift the embargo” crowd. People like Richardson know that any American tourist that strays off the Potemkin village and tries to help the opposition in Cuba in any way — whether it be with sat phones, subversive literature (anything pro-democracy), or anything else that aids the struggle for freedom — risks the same fate as Alan Gross. Richardson knows quite well that any meaningful aid any American tourist provides the Cuban opposition movement will elicit the same reaction from the regime that they had with Gross. Yet he and his fellow anti-embargo advocates keep trying to sell us that bill of goods.

    I find it duplicitous and quite disgusting that Richardson is knowingly selling a false premise with no regard for either Alan Gross, or the 11-million Cubans enslaved by the dictatorship.

  4. I am sure that Retardation Richardson would get a quick lesson in Cuban Reality( a la native) if he stayed in Cuba for a little time and lived as Cuban citizen do. One thing if for certain. He would lose a little FAT!

  5. Ditto Henry,

    That idiot and all those that continuously praise Cagastro’s tyranny deserve to live in Cuba as the natives do (and not as tourists) to experience the Cuban reality. Nothing else will help them understand the truth as they’re way too stupid.

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