The Cuban Hostage Crisis

On August 5th Cuba’s Stalinist regime upheld their sentence of 15 years for U.S. citizen Alan Gross, a contractor for USAID jailed in Cuba since December 3rd, 2009 for bringing cell-phone and internet equipment into Castro’s fiefdom. Mr Gross was trying to help Cuba’s tiny Jewish community communicate more freely with the outside world. For the record: pre-Castro Cuba boasted more phones and TVs per capita than most European countries. Today Castro’s fiefdom has fewer internet users per-capita than Uganda and fewer cell-phones than Papua New Guinea. The Stalinist regime is very vigilant in these matters.

Enemy of the State

“Mr. Gross’s unjust sentence is the latest example of everything that is wrong with the Castro regime, “responded Senator Marco Rubio. “For every Alan Gross, there are many more Cubans being incarcerated, harassed and repressed for simply yearning to be free. The Obama administration’s insistence on moving forward with policies that put more money in this terrorist-sponsoring regime’s coffers is baffling and runs contrary to everything America should stand for.

“(Alan Gross) is guilty of nothing more than caring for the Jewish community and the people of Cuba,” responded the U.S. Interest Section’s (embassy by any other name) Public Affairs officer, Gloria Berbena after the original verdict. “The Cuba government seeks to criminalize what most of the world deems normal (my emphasis) — in this case, access to information and technology.”

So Cuba is Communist after all! Did Ms Barbena think she was being posted to Denmark? In fact, based on the reporting by networks and press agencies bestowed Havana bureaus, most may be forgiven for forgetting this: but Castro’s is a Stalinist regime. Based on modern college textbooks most may be forgiven for never knowing this: but such regimes are rigidly totalitarian. Based on modern public education most may probably be unaware of what totalitarian means: but it means total state control of every facet of their subjects’ life.

Former political prisoner Armando Valladares, who somehow escaped the firing squad but spent 22 torture-filled years in Cuba’s Gulag, described his trail in 1960 very succinctly: “not one witness to accuse me, not one to identify me, not one single piece of evidence against me.

Fidel Castro (a lawyer, who abolished Habeas Corpus immediately upon assuming power) clarified his regime’s judicial philosophy weeks after his coup: “Legal proof is impossible to obtain against war criminals. So we sentence them based on moral conviction.”

In fact, President Obama is in a better position to “influence” the Castro regime than any recent U.S. President. Right now the Obama administration holds a huge hammer over Cuba’s Stalinist regime. A wink or nod from the U.S. President could crash it on the Castro brother’s heads with a loud “BANG!”

“Hunh?!” you say.

Some background: subsidies from Hugo Chavez provide the Castro regime’s main lifeline. And just last month week we learned that doctors give the cancer-stricken Chavez’ (undergoing Chemo in Cuba as I write) a 50/50 chance of making it past another 18 months. But almost neck to neck with Hugo Chavez subsidies, Castro’s Stalinist regime lives off cash-flow from the U.S.

“WHAT?!” you say. “How ’bout that embargo I’m always reading and hearing about?”

It’s been loopholed to death during Obama’s term. “We have seen Raul Castro’s comments and we welcome this overture,” gushed Sec. of State Hillary Clinton at the Latin American Summit in April 2009. “We view the present (Pres. Bush’s) policy as having failed. We view engagement (with Cuba) is a useful tool to advance our national interests.”

Deeds quickly followed words. In executive order after executive order, Pres. Obama abolished Pres. Bush’s travel and remittance restrictions to Castro’s terrorist-sponsoring fiefdom and opened the pipeline to a point where the cash-flow from the U.S. to Cuba today is estimated at $4 billion a year. While a proud Soviet satrapy Cuba received $3-5 billion annually from the Soviets. Some “embargo.”

“There is no reason for the United States to help enrich state sponsors of terrorism,” explained Marco Rubio while filing his first amendment back in February to limit Cuba travel. Now Senator Rubio champions another bill introduced by fellow Cuban-American legislator Mario Diaz-Balart to restore President Bush’s policy and thus begin choking Castro’s U.S. lifeline. The legislation, shrewdly attached to an appropriations bill, has a good chance of passing.

So the Castro regime is quaking. So Obama Team, you’re in the driver’s seat. As a point of reference many of us recall how the Iranian hostage crisis was solved in a New York-minute by the simple expedient of Americans electing Ronald Reagan. All the diplomatic intricacies, all the fears of dreaded “cowboy unilateralism,” all the hoops and hurdles constantly trotted out by Mid-East “Experts,” by Think Tank “scholars” and by experienced “diplomats” all vanished in a “POOF!” (in the view of the Iranian regime) during the few seconds Ronald Reagan took his oath of office.