“I am leaving Cuba most disappointed and perplexed,” said former New Mexico Governor and recent Democratic diplomatic troubleshooter Bill Richardson from Havana’s Hotel Nacional last week. “After one week (in Cuba) I have exhausted all possibilities to visit Alan Gross. I have tried all channels. All I asked was a simple humanitarian gesture. And it was denied.”
Alan Gross is a U.S. citizens and a contractor for USAID jailed in Cuba since December 3rd, 2009. His crime was bringing cell-phone and internet equipment into Castro’s fiefdom 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.
According to the AP: “The case has crippled attempts to improve relations between Washington and Havana, and destroyed what had been a warm relationship between Richardson and Cuban leaders.”
“Step aside, you squares!” Richardson had always smirked. “I’m friends with the bad**ses!—with the hoods! They really, really, like me down there in Cuba. They think I’m cool! And let me into their little gang!” We all remember such people from high-school (and probably from long afterwards.) The Beach Boys knew the feeling: “My buddies and me are getting real well known.Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone. I get around.”
Well, Bill Richardson (and by inference, his Obama Administration handlers) “got left alone” by the bad boys alright—and during an entire week of knocking on diplomatic doors in Cuba. “Thrown under the bus,” Beltwayers might call it.
Shortly came the “he said, she said” regarding the trip. To wit:
She (Josefina Vidal, Castro regime spokesperson as related by the AP) said: "The release of U.S. citizen jailed in Cuba, Alan Gross, was never on the table during the preparations for his trip, which was made clear to Mr. Richardson as soon as he raised it."
It WAS TOOOOO! whines Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos: "The Cubans are making flimsy excuses only after they personally invited Gov. Richardson to discuss the Alan Gross detention and only after they inexplicably stonewalled Governor Richardson."
It WAS NOT! Answers Josefina Vidal: "His request to see the prisoner became impossible due to his slanderous statements to the press in which he described Gross as a 'hostage' of the Cuban government,"
It was TOOOOO! responded Gallegos: “Richardson first brought up Gross' plight during an August 2010 visit to Havana in which he met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. The two spoke again about Gross the next month in New York on the sideline of the U.N. General Assembly. Then on June 20 of this year, Richardson got a call from Jorge Bolanos, Cuba's top diplomat in Washington, who asked him to come over to the Cuban mission.”
It WAS NOT! "We explained to Mr. Richardson that Cuba is a sovereign country which does not accept blackmail, pressure or posturing." (Josefina Vidal)
Last Tuesday President Obama told reporters: “Anything to get Mr. Gross free we will support, although Mr. Richardson does not represent the U.S. government in his actions there." Then whoops!--the New York Times (no less!) reported that in fact Richardson would offer to remove Cuba from the U.S. State Department’s list of State-Sponsors of Terrorism. U.S. “tourists” do not generally carry such authority.
“Whoop-dee Doo!” laughed the Castroites. “So what’s to improve in our relations?” snickers Castro. ”You Obama folks have been more than accommodating already. Muchisimas gracias, by the way! To wit: In executive order after executive order, Obama abolished President Bush’s travel and remittance restrictions to Castro’s terrorist-sponsoring fiefdom and opened the travel and remittance cash 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.
The Soviet subsidies came with strings attached. The cash-flow from the U.S. is essentially “free-money.” So again: what’s to “improve?”
As a public service for Gov. Richardson and the Obama State Department’s Cuba “Experts,” I provide case studies of others who helped Castro consolidate power, then promptly exhausted their “usefulness.” Few revolutions have “devoured their own children” with the voracity of Castro and Che’s.
Humberto Sori Marin had been an official Comandante in Castro’s rebel movement and its official “Judge Advocate General,” where he initially helped sentence many hapless Cubans to Che Guevara’s firing squads. Later he soured on the obviously Stalinist regime he helped install. In April of 1961 he was himself arrested as a “counterrevolutionary” and his brother Mariano went to visit Castro, pleading clemency for his brother. If only "for old times’ sake," pleaded Mariano, recalling when Fidel and Humberto had been Revolutionary comrades.
"Don't worry, Mariano," a smiling Castro said while slapping him affectionately on the back. "In the Sierra I learned to love your brother. Yes, he's in our custody, but completely safe from harm. Absolutely nothing will happen to him. Please give your mom and dad a big hug and big kiss from me and tell them to please calm down."
The next day Mariano collapsed at the sight of his brother, Humberto's, mangled corpse in a mass grave. Castro's firing squad had pumped over 20 shots into his brother's body that very dawn. Humberto Sori Marin's head was almost completely obliterated, his face unrecognizable.
"Kneel and beg for your life!" Castro's executioners taunted the bound and helpless William Morgan as he glowered at Castro's firing squad in April 1961. Morgan was an AWOL GI with creditors and ex-wives on his tail who fled to Cuba and wound up a Comandante in Castro's Rebel army in 1959. He also soured on the Revolution when the unmistakably Red pattern emerged. Castro heard about Morgan’s discomfiture through spies and promptly arrested him. Within weeks he was in front of a firing squad.
"I kneel for no man!" Morgan snarled back, according to eye witness John Martino in his book, I Was Castro's Prisoner.
"Very well, Meester Weel-yam Morgan," replied his executioners, who were aiming low, on purpose – "FUEGO!"
The first volley shattered Morgan's knees. He collapsed snarling and writhing. "See, Meester Morgan?" giggled a voice from above. "We made you kneel, didn't we?" Over the next few minutes as he lay writhing, four more bullets slammed into Morgan, all very carefully aimed to miss vitals. Finally an executioner walked up and blasted his skull to pieces with a .45.
Che Guevara had a wall torn out of his 2nd story office in Havana’s La Cabana prison and execution yard office to better watch and coach his beloved firing squads. Though he was technically Cuba’s “Minister of Industries” at the time, many former La Cabana prisoners say he was the one giggling and mocking Morgan during his last minutes alive.