On the matter of communist subversion in Latin America, The Washington Post editorial page has been pretty good. It has not hesitated, for example, to expose the Marxist misrule of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
But consider the Tuesday editorial, “Cuba’s Jewish Hostage,” on the plight of American Jewish citizen Alan Gross, who has been imprisoned without charges by the Castro dictatorship for more than a year and has lost 90 pounds as a result. The editorial let President Obama off the hook for this outrageous treatment, saying, “To its credit, the Obama administration has put further improvement of relations with Cuba on hold while pressing for Mr. Gross’s release.”
Putting relations “on hold” with a regime that harbors communist terrorists like Joanne Chesimard, who murdered a New Jersey State Trooper, doesn’t sound very tough. Isn’t this the same regime that once sponsored Soviet nuclear missiles targeting the United States for annihilation?
But what has Obama done in the Gross case?
As noted by the World Jewish Congress, “Judy Gross [Alan’s wife] praised US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her efforts on behalf of her husband, but said Obama had yet to take up the case.”
The Post editorial said, “Appeals by the State Department and congressional leaders for Mr. Gross’s release on humanitarian grounds—or at least the detailing of charges against him—have fallen on deaf ears in Havana. Instead the regime appears to be intent on forcing an exchange of Mr. Gross for one or more of five Cuban intelligence agents who are serving federal prison terms after being tried and convicted on espionage charges. This makes Mr. Gross not a prisoner but a hostage—one whose continued detention is a flagrant violation of international law and human decency.”
The release of the “Cuban Five” has been a big cause for Marxists in the U.S.
Notice the reference in the Post editorial to appeals from the State Department and congressional leaders—but not by President Obama himself.
In a December 3 statement, Rep. Eliot Engel said, “…Alan Gross is not a politician. His work brought him to Cuba because of his passion for the country’s Jewish community. Earlier this year, I met with Judy Gross in the Capitol. She told me that Alan jumped at the chance to work in Cuba, because he loves the Cuban people and wanted them to be able to communicate better with the rest of the world. She explained that he never would do anything to harm them.”
His “crime,” although he has not yet been charged, was distributing “garden-variety” communications equipment to the Cuban people as part of a foreign aid program. It seems Gross believed in the concept of freedom of information.
Obama’s failure to say anything on behalf of Gross is indefensible from a number of standpoints, including that, as The New York Times had reported, Gross had been “a volunteer field organizer for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.”
It appears that “hope and change” was not meant to apply to Communist Cuba and those working for freedom there.
Will U.S.-based “progressives” be as upset about this as they are about Obama’s deal with Republicans on taxes? We doubt it.