I wholeheartedly celebrate the long overdue release of Alan Gross, held hostage of the Castro regime for five years for simply helping the members of the Jewish community in Cuba with Internet access. It is wonderful that the Gross family, which has suffered greatly, was blessed to welcome him home on the first day of Hanukkah and will enjoy the holiday season with him.
On the other hand, my joy for the Gross family is mixed with sadness, frustration and the sense of great betrayal that comes with the release of three Cuban spies who conspired in the cold-blooded murder of Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre Jr., Mario de la Peña and Pablo Morales. My heart aches for their families, who will never again have the opportunity to embrace their loved ones.
The release of these three criminals is not only an injustice to these families — as well as to the survivors of that mass murder over international waters. It is not just a betrayal of the Cuban exile community. It is also a betrayal of the American people.
These spies have never showed an ounce of remorse and are certain to continue working against the interests of American principles and democracy.
Moreover, throwing an economic lifeline by normalizing commercial and travel relations with a blood-thirsty dictatorial regime that stomps on human rights daily is dangerous foreign policy. It sends another message to rogue regimes that if they take American hostages, we will succumb to their coercion.
We are, in essence, supporting and financing their repressive apparatus as the dictatorship’s embargo against its own people continues.
Have we forgotten every murderous act by the Castros? Have we forgotten the firing squads? The hundreds and thousands of political prisoners? The divided families and travel visas denied to Cuban citizens? The thousands of rafters who have fled the island?
The Castro regime has not changed, yet this administration is rewarding its evil acts. There is no joy in that.
Ana Margarita Martinez, Miami