01/08/13 - Tbo.com - Report: Kerry sought American's release
Sen. John Kerry, nominated as the next secretary of state, held a secret
meeting with Cuba's foreign minister in 2010 in a failed bid to win the
release of jailed USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, according to a published
A senior State Department official also met in secret with Foreign
Minister Bruno Rodriguez to discuss the Gross case, but the foreign
minister lectured the U.S. official for an hour, added the report in the
respected magazine Foreign Affairs.
Jose Cardenas, a former top official at the U.S. Agency for International
Development, wrote that the article amounted to a "lesson on the folly of
attempting to appease dictators."
Gross was arrested in Havana in late 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in
prison for giving Cuban Jews sophisticated communications equipment paid
for by USAID's "pro-democracy" programs, outlawed by Cuba as designed to
bring about "regime change."
His continued detention has been a key block in efforts to improve
The report authored by R.M. Schneiderman, an editor at Newsweek, includes
previously unknown details of a U.S. effort to win Gross' freedom by
cutting back funding for the pro-democracy programs and making them less
provocative to Cuba.
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