The meeting took place on the eve of a meeting between U.S. and Cuban officials. At Friday's scheduled meeting, Clinton said:
We will underscore that the continued detention of Alan Gross is harming U.S.-Cuba relations.OK, so tell me this, Secretary Clinton, how exactly does the subcontractor's jailing harm U.S.-Cuba relations?
Consider the following:
- The U.S. and Cuba are barely on speaking terms.
- The economic embargo is aimed at making Cubans so desperate, poor and hungry that they'll rise up and topple their government.
- Under the Helms-Burton Act, the American government can't lift economic sanctions against Cuba until regime change is in motion.
- So what is there about U.S.-Cuba relations that needs to be protected from harm, Secretary Clinton? The U.S. government in recent years has taken practically every measure it can against Cuba short of another invasion.
- How effective is it to threaten Cuba with worsening relations when those relations are already in the toilet?
- How often in the past 50 years has the big stick of U.S. diplomacy actually succeeded in the case of Cuba?
Gross, at left, is a lottery prize for the Cubans and they are not going to let him go without some big-time concession from the U.S.
It may not be announced. It may be secret. The public may not learn what really happened for months or years. But Cuban officials are not going to free Alan Gross just because Hillary Clinton - or even Barack Obama - asks for it.