Alan Gross, "Destroyer of the Revolution"

We become so accustomed to taking swipes at stupid America’s stupid and counterproductive Cuba policy—the pointless embargo, the ridiculous travel restrictions—that we tend to overlook the obvious: When Washington engages in diplomacy with the Castro dictator, it’s typically unidirectional (and shouldn't unidirectional "diplomacy" just be called "concessions"?). Our quid is rarely, if ever, followed a quo.

It was long fashionable to argue that Havana’s foreign policy, its alliances with sundry Moscow-backed dictatorships, was purely reactive; that the Cubans turned to the Kremlin for assistance only when rebuffed by Washington. In other words, because Washington didn’t meddle in the appropriate way (by transferring support from the ancien régime dictator, Batista, to the dictator-in-waiting), Castro decided that he would become a Marxist-Leninist because it was a better paying gig.

Everything about this “analysis”—constructed for ideological, not historical, purposes—is wrong. And it perpetuates the sinister myth that the Castro regime only acts out when others mistreat it. President Obama, I assume, now also understands that dealing with the Cuban regime is rather more complicated, having attempted to engage the regime by easing travel restrictions, loosening limits on the amount of hard currency that can be sent to the island, and generally signaling a dramatic change from the hostility of the Bush administration. Another reset button pressed, another "new relationship" yet to bear fruit.  

The simple quo for all of this quid would be the release of Alan Gross, the USAID contractor/imperialist monster arrested for distributing “devices the allowed remote Internet access.” Instead, for attempting to provide a few Cubans access to websites other than Juventud Rebelde and Granma, Gross was sentenced to 15 years in prison. While waiting to stand trial, Gross, whose daughter and mother are both suffering from cancer, reportedly lost 90 pounds.

The Wall Street Journal has details:

Saturday's sentencing of Alan Gross, a contractor from U.S. Agency for International Development, throws recent progress into question, some experts said. Mr. Gross had been distributing Internet communications equipment on the island under a democracy-promotion program run by the U.S. Agency for International Development. That was illegal, according to a Cuban court, which handed down a harsh 15-year sentence for aiming "to destroy the Revolution."

The ruling—made over a demand by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to immediately release Mr. Gross—will decrease chances the U.S. will push more conciliatory measures with Cuba in the near future, experts said.

"Do we give them all these concessions in the hope that they will do something, or do we think in terms of real politics and try to tighten the screws?" asked Jaime Suchlicki, a Cuba analyst at the University of Miami.

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Or the US could just eliminate their Cuba policies because they're wasteful and counterproductive, without expecting Castro to repay them anything for the favor.

    Sometimes pulling your arm out the horse's ass is its own reward.

  • Bill||

    +10

  • prolefeed||

    I was gonna say something, but Hugh nailed it right out of the box.

    The Castros are gonna be dicks no matter what. Let's just do what is best for the U.S., and not worry about what they think of us.

  • sevo||

    The thug government doesn't deserve a so much as a crumb, but I'm not sure what the US could do to harm the government without harming the population.
    *They* don't deserve any further harm; their government has handed out quite enough.

  • ||

    So Obama doesn't pander to the fucking idiot cigar twister lowlifes in Florida?

    So what?

    Reminds me of another reason to support Obama - he wants to kill the tax break for "charitable" Christo-fascists in the USA.

    Fuck all that shit - let the market decide.

    And fuck Taco Rubio too - he wants the US to renege on its bond interest.

    Taco Rubio is a filthy low-life Tea-Jack off.

  • ||

    You're so stunningly, spectacularly retarded, shriek. Every word you type is like the spoutings of the kids in special ed. Please, tell us more about stuff.

  • ||

    Probably a spoof, given the failure to use the emphatic "-fag" suffix.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure this is 100% real shriek. To spoof his particular brand of batshit crazy hyperactive moronity would be pretty damn hard.

  • sevo||

    "I'm pretty sure this is 100% real shriek. To spoof his particular brand of batshit crazy hyperactive moronity would be pretty damn hard."

    Agreed. Especially given the irrelevant rant about how he's gonna take it in the shorts.
    Day trading can be painful.........

  • Scruffy Nerd Herder||

    Dude, you shouldn't mix alcohol and prescription narcotics.

  • Almanian||

    Says you...

  • SHrike, you're a Nazi Freak||

    What is the name of your Hate Group, you sick fuck?

  • sevo||

    "What is the name of your Hate Group, you sick fuck?"

    Hey! Hate groups have standards, you know.

  • Michael||

    Cigar twisters?

  • Abdul||

    Aside from bartender, there is no more noble profession.

  • sevo||

    shrike|3.14.11 @ 7:56PM|#
    "Spittle-filled rant with 'fuck' tossed in plus a truly stupid defense of Obama."

    Thanks, shriek, you're good at that.

  • ||

    Fuck all that shit - let the market decide.

    Ummm, what?

  • ||

    He means Marquette, the school, I think.

  • Kolohe||

    Which bracket are they in?

  • ||

    "Do we give them all these concessions in the hope that they will do something, or do we think in terms of real politics and try to tighten the screws?" asked Jaime Suchlicki, a Cuba analyst at the University of Miami.

    Send in the Marines!!!!

  • Scruffy Nerd Herder||

    It would be cheaper to air drop crates of satellite modems, and probably more productive.

  • sevo||

    "It would be cheaper to air drop crates of satellite modems,"

    Problem is, they need electricity and this is Cuba we're discussing.

  • ||

    She sounds like she's really thinking about that question.

  • ||

    Freedom will be the ruination of Cuba. They'll be all consumery, and stuff.

    And- what if they build a mosque and vow allegiance to teh Caliphate?

  • sevo||

    "And- what if they build a mosque and vow allegiance to teh Caliphate?"

    Or, eat BIG MACS?!
    The HORROR of the thing!

  • ||

    Just think what a tedious, run-of-the-mill Latin American tourista trap Havana will be when the streets are crammed with Daihatsus and Toyota minivan taxicabs.

  • sevo||

    "Just think what a tedious, run-of-the-mill Latin American tourista trap Havana will be when the streets are crammed with Daihatsus and Toyota minivan taxicabs."

    Terrible!
    Where will lefty 'journalists' go to watch people starve in their colorful, primitive splendor?

  • Scruffy Nerd Herder||

    Chiapas

  • ||

    having attempted to engage the regime by easing travel restrictions, loosening limits on the amount of hard currency that can be sent to the island, and generally signaling a dramatic change from the hostility of the Bush administration.

    We should do all this quo, and more, with no quid. Indeed that might do more to bring down the Castratos than any embargo stick would.

    As for Mr Gross, while obviously the Cuban govt is a bunch of douchebags for what they're doing to him -- he knew what he was getting into. There is no reason for the US to expect that other countries will release US citizens who break their laws. Moral of the story is, be careful where you travel and what you do while you're there. It ain't hard.

  • ||

    Great advice Tulpa, don't attempt to "destroy the Revolution" while in Cuba. It's so clear!

  • ||

    I apologize for giving practical advice, instead of pretending the world is full of libertarian duckies and bunnies and invisible hands full of chocolate chips.

  • ||

    Tulpa, I'm getting tired of having to explain very simple things to you. So I won't explain why your advice was impractical and nonsensical. You'll just have to think for once.

  • juris imprudent||

    Well see, the govt shouldn't have relaxed the travel restrictions. You can't "destroy the Revolution" when you can't travel to the shit-hole in the first place.

  • prolefeed||

    Are you really saying that because one person got on the wrong side of the Cuban government, the rest of us must be forcibly prevented from going there because some more of us might get arrested too?

  • juris imprudent||

    I think your sarcasm detector needs an adjustment. Either that or you're going to get trolled royally.

  • prolefeed||

    My bad. Didn't pick up on the sarcasm.

  • LarryA||

    As for Mr Gross, while obviously the Cuban govt is a bunch of douchebags for what they're doing to him -- he knew what he was getting into.

    One would hope. But I know lots of people who got on the wrong side of the law in Mexico, and were aghast when they found out that the U.S. Bill of Rights didn’t apply.

  • MJ||

    But borders are meaningless, arbitrary lines on a map, right?

  • db||

    Our quid is rarely, if ever, followed a quo.

    And even less frequently, a preposition.

  • Jeffersonian||

    "...for aiming "to destroy the Revolution.""

    He says that like it's a bad thing.

  • ||

    Fidel, Raul and Che were commies for a long time before the revolution. They got rid of their revolutionaries that weren't commies rather quickly, and permanently. After the Prague Spring showed that Fidel and Raul were essentially Stalinists, many of their socialist fellow travelers fled to Europe.

    Americans should be allowed to travel wherever they want to go. But, at their own risk. You can expect little in the way of civil liberties in Cuba. And it has nothing to do with our policies. It's the way dictators like to run things.

  • Almanian||

    You know who else rarely followed a quid with a quo...

  • Caesar tossed my salad||

    That little fucker Brutus.

  • This Dave||

    "And it perpetuates the sinister myth that the Castro regime only acts out when others mistreat it" This is EXACTLY the foreign policy fallacy shared by both leftists and the Ron Paul wing of libertarianism. Although they advicate for the US to stay out of everything, they act as if every decision made by everyone in the world were exclusively a matter of reacting to what the US did, therefore putting everything under our control. The notion that maybe Communists and Jihadists have their own agenda which will exist independent of our actions seems to be somethng that they haven't even considered. Non-Muslims being beheaded in Mecca pre-dates any American presidential administration or modern Israel. Communist gulags operated concurrent with an American alliance in the 40's. These people will be the way they are no matter how hard we try to show them that we're cool.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What the hell are you talking about.

  • sevo||

    "This is EXACTLY the foreign policy fallacy shared by both leftists and the Ron Paul wing of libertarianism. Although they advicate for the US to stay out of everything, they act as if every decision made by everyone in the world were exclusively a matter of reacting to what the US did, therefore putting everything under our control."

    Uh, and what about Elvis' alien love child on the grassy knoll?
    Sorry, your circular 'logic' isn't.

  • Cytotoxic||

    THIS. RP and co. have a myopic view of world affairs that is bent around the big bad US government that does not take into account the existence and actions of much bigger badder governments in the world. RP talks about how the US isn't all powerful but his view of history is based on an America that is.

  • ||

    Pretty much. And what is funny is that none of the Paulites on here even understand the point. I guess part of being crazy is not knowing that you are.

  • sevo||

    John|3.15.11 @ 3:49AM|#
    "...I guess part of being crazy is not knowing that you are."

    Of course! Why didn't I think of that?!
    Poisoning the well isn't a good argument.

  • sevo||

    Cytotoxic|3.15.11 @ 1:06AM|#
    "THIS. RP and co. have a myopic view of world affairs that is bent around the big bad US government that does not take into account the existence and actions of much bigger badder governments in the world."

    A just-so "story" with no evidence at all.

  • Kolohe||

    I actually don't understand why USAID had operations was in Cuba at all. Their programs are ostensibly designed not just to engage in 'economic development' but also to improve the capacity and ability of the host nation government to do such work themselves. (and ideally, to eventually not need to have it done at all). But if the host nation government irredeemably (or at least indefinitely) structurally deficient, the USAID mission is sorta pointless.

  • Warty||

    Speaking of destroyer, I cannot get enough of the video of the Aussie kid going all Zangeef on some kid who was picking on him. Let's not forget how awesome violence can be sometimes, kids.

  • Rock Action||

    Just when you thought you were all cool and funny, here comes that ol' broken leg reminding you differently.

  • @ the kid, not Warty||

    Bad use of colloquials there.

  • Almanian||

    "This video has been removed b/c it violated YouTube's terms of service."

    SHIT!

  • ||

    It's Zangief. Jesus what is this world coming to.

  • Chun DNS Li||

    Ya Ta!

  • converse magasin||

    thank you

  • Alan Gross||

    I AM ALAN GROSS, DESTROYER OF THE REVOLUTION

    BOW DOWN BEFORE ME MY MINIONS

  • ||

    ...bringing wireless connectivity to a place that you know does not allow free access to the Web is like jumping in front of a car that is traveling at 70 miles per hour and not expect to get hit...sounds fishy to me...Alan Gross might be a right wing Republican martyr trying to stop any chance of a dialogue between us and them...

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