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It seems that an important portion of the Cuban Jewish community, whether from fear or from pressure, have turned their backs on Alan Phillip Gross, the 62 year old American contractor.  I would say that if his family and lawyers publicized his sentence, using the vulnerability of the vulnerable, seeking understanding and support from certain members of the international Jewish community, he would not finish his sentence, nor even a few years of it. of course I’m not referring to the unquestionable help a campaign would be, preceded by an open letter demanding release, signed by people with prestige. I’m talking also about a meeting of support well-known Jews like my good friend Enrique Rotenberg, the enigmatic entrepreneur and Mossad retiree Rafael (Rafi) Eitan, or the charismatic French sugar producer Serge Versano, whose words carry weight and are heard in Cuba.

The Internet connection on the island is regulated and controlled, and there is no need to dwell on that, but there is no legal prohibition. And according to the penal code, you can not punish what is not penalized.

His ‘ accomplices’ whom some, while denying any knowledge of the imprisoned American, exaggerate into some kind of info-communications system, are nothing more than the descendents of the Ashkenazi and/or Sephardic Jews  eager for information. There is no social danger. The only contravention of the man condemned to 15 years has been to violate the customs regulations specific to a country, not the security of a State.

His real accomplices are not dissidents nor opponents, but inexperienced or corrupt customs officials. And although there is talk of a subversive project of the United States government against Cuba, the only obvious motive is to discourage a miniscule group that is part of a marginalized community in a marginalized society.

Politics has no place in this; and espionage- there is too much of that. Even so, the Court for Crimes Against State Security, of the People’s Supreme Court, the highest organ of justice in Cuba, issued an order rejecting any challenges or other legal remedy.  The government needs an implement with which to apply pressure, and Alan Gross is its choice.  Now they sit back and wait, and like a bribable official fighting to fulfill a  five year plan,  they glorify their exaggerated trophy, while hiding the pardon under the table in order to negotiate.

Juan Juan Almeida

March 1 2012