United States Cuba Policy & Business Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Alan Gross and Regime Change in Cuba


by Jacob G. Hornberger
January 25, 2013

Ever since Alan Gross was arrested and incarcerated in Cuba, his supporters have portrayed him as a simple, naïve American who was doing nothing more than distributing some cell phones to Jewish groups in Cuba. U.S. officials have especially played the innocent, couching their demands for Gross’s release in the context of free speech and other principles of a free society.

Gradually, however, the truth has come out. What Gross was actually doing was serving as a cog in the U.S. national-security state’s decades-long machinery designed to bring regime change to Cuba.

Gross’s role in this sordid affair has been detailed in a series of official documents that have been released by Gross’s employer, Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). The documents were posted within the last few days on the website of the National Security Archive.

It turns out that USAID, which historically has served as a front for the CIA, employed DAI to ship sophisticated satellite equipment into Cuba as a means of facilitating regime change in Cuba. The hope, no doubt, was the same as it has been since Fidel Castro took power in 1959 — to bring another pro-U.S. dictatorship to Cuba, one that would do the bidding of the U.S. government, much as the Batista regime did before Castro booted him out of power.

So, it turns out that we’re not talking about a few cell phones being given to destitute Cubans. We’re talking about a high-level, U.S. government plan costing millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money to smuggle sophisticated technological and communications equipment into Cuba in order to enable U.S. officials to achieve their decades-long dream for Cuba.

The documents came to light because Gross, who is now serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba, has sued DAI for not sufficiently training him for the dangerous work he would be doing in Cuba. DAI, in its response to the suit, revealed the official documents in court filings. DAI has asked the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that it is “deeply concerned that the development of the record in this case over the course of litigation [through discovery] could create significant risks to the U.S. government’s national security, foreign policy, and human rights interests.” Peter Kornbluh, an analyst at the National Security Archive, describes the threat to reveal more information as a form of “graymail.”

What is it about the U.S. national-security state’s decades-long obsession with Cuba? Only a psychiatrist could answer that one. Think about—they’ve invaded the island, they’ve engaged in terrorist attacks inside Cuba, they’ve tried repeatedly to assassinate Fidel Castro, and they’ve had a brutal embargo against the country since the Kennedy administration.

Yet, the fact remains: Neither Castro nor Cuba has ever engaged in any attack on the United States. It has been the U.S. national-security state that has always been the aggressor against Cuba.

Now, ask yourself this: Suppose a Cuban agent was caught here in the United States with sophisticated technology and communications equipment. Suppose that a search of his person revealed several official documents issued by the Cuban government providing detailed instructions for achieving regime change within the U.S. government, specifically the presidency.

What would be the response of U.S. officials, especially those on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA? We all know what the response would be. They would go absolutely ballistic. At the very least, they’d be calling for the death penalty for the Cuban. Some of them would undoubtedly be calling for another invasion of Cuba.

Why can’t U.S. officials just leave the Cubans alone? After all, they’re apparently leaving Vietnam alone (after turning that country into a charnel house). Hasn’t the national-security state caused enough suffering already, not only for the Cuban people but also for the American people? Alan Gross is just one of the latest victims of a morally bankrupt, decrepit policy of interventionism and empire toward Cuba at the hands of the U.S. national-security state.

Alan Gross Court Documents - see  http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB411/

Reprinted by permission with thanks to The Future of Freedom Foundation, www.fff.org 

[Editor's note - Excellent op-ed which explains the incongruency and hypocrisy of our foreign policy with Cuba, driven by illogical and irrational domestic politics. Our decline of leadership and influence in Latin America is in part due to this arrogant neglect with our island neighbor 90 miles south of Florida.]