On December 3rd 2009, Alan Gross, a U.S. citizen distributing cell phones and computer equipment to Cuba’s Jewish community on contract for the U.S. Agency for International Development, prepared to board a plane homeward at Havana’s International Airport. Hovering nearby, but unnoticed by Mr. Gross, were plainclothes officers of Castro’s KGB-trained secret-police.
As the boarding order loomed, these officers rushed up and grabbed Mr. Gross, who’s been languishing in Castro’s dungeons ever since without formal charges, though the Stalinist regime informally charges him with “spying.” “Alan has suffered tremendously while incarcerated," reported Mr. Gross’ lawyer Peter J. Cahn this December. “He has lost almost 90 pounds and his health has deteriorated significantly. Alan's incarceration for a year without clarity of the legal process he will face or its timing is a travesty. It violates every international standard of justice and due process.”
Precisely, Mr Kahn. “Violations of every international standard of justice" have reigned in Cuba for over half a century. It’s a shame the workings of a Stalinist legal-system in place for or over 50 years, just 90 miles from U.S. shores should finally come to the attention of so many due to this latest travesty. Che Guevara, who co-founded the regime that jailed Alan Gross, laid down the rules early in the game: “Judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail,” he sneered in Jan. 1959 while kicking off a Caribbean version of the Katyn Massacre. “We execute from revolutionary conviction.”
His boss Fidel Castro (a lawyer, who abolished Habeas Corpus immediately upon assuming power) followed up: “Legal proof is impossible to obtain against war criminals. So we sentence them based on moral conviction.”
This “moral conviction” saw Castro and Che’s secret police jail more political prisoners as a percentage of population than Stalin's and execute more people (out of a population of 6.5 million) in its first three years in power than Hitler's executed (out of a population of 65 million) in its first six.
Enlightened opinion, including most “liberal,” “human-rights” and “peace” groups worldwide, either yawned or actually applauded these cumulative travesties. Harvard Law School merits special attention regarding the latter.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.