Richardson to leave Cuba without seeing jailed American
September 13th, 2011
01:19 PM ET

Richardson to leave Cuba without seeing jailed American

By Sr. State Dept. Producer Elise Labott

Saying he is "disappointed and perplexed," former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday he is leaving Cuba without any progress in seeking the release of jailed American Alan Gross.

Richardson, speaking to media in Havana, said he would be leaving Cuba Wednesday morning.

"I have exhausted all possibilities after one week to visit Alan Gross," Richardson said. "I tried all channels."

Richardson, who arrived in Havana September 7, was given the cold shoulder by the Cuban government. He was not able to see Gross, nor did he meet with Cuban leader Raul Castro. "My conclusions are that it is possible the Cuban government has made a decision not to improve relations with the United States," he said Tuesday.

Even before Richardson announced he was leaving Cuba, officials in Washington said the mission was not going well. One senior State Department official who has been in touch with Richardson throughout his visit told CNN earlier that "it doesn't look good" for securing Gross' release.

The State Department said that while Richardson is traveling as a private citizen, the United States supported his efforts to obtain Gross' release.

Richardson said that he was never promised Gross would be released if he traveled to Havana, but that he was invited by the Cuban government to talk about U.S.-Cuban relations, including the Gross case.

"There were never any guarantees, but when they made the offer there was great hope. He was told he would be able to see Gross," one senior official said.

The atmosphere quickly soured once Richardson arrived in Havana and Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told him that not only could he not take Gross back to the United States, but he couldn't even meet with him.

"There were no demands," Richardson said. "It was just an outright rejection of even a dialogue on what could be done to free Alan Gross." Officials said a reference by Richardson to Gross being a "hostage" of the Cuban government further escalated tensions.

Richardson had told the State Department he would not leave without seeing either Gross or Raul Castro.

"My main message is that the key to improving relations between the U.S. and Cuba - which has been one of my objectives - is the release of American Alan Gross," Richardson said initially.

Senior State Department officials suggested the problem could have been the result of a debate within the Cuban regime about how to relate to the United States.

"Gross' case is all about the U.S. and some fear if he is released, this could open up a space for more dialogue," one senior official said.

An exclusive report last week by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" said Richardson was invited by the Cuban government for the specific mission of trying to negotiate the release of Gross.

"We are pleased that the Cuban government invited Gov. Richardson to Havana," said a statement issued September 7 on behalf of the Gross family. "We welcome any and all dialogue that ultimately will result in Alan's release. We are grateful to Governor Richardson for his continued efforts."

Last month, Cuba's highest court upheld the 15-year sentence imposed on Gross for committing crimes against the security of the state.

Gross, 62, was jailed in December 2009, when he was working as a subcontractor on a U.S. Agency for International Development project aimed at spreading democracy. In a speech, President Raul Castro accused him of importing satellite equipment to connect dissidents to the Internet.

Gross says he was trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet and was not a threat to the government.

The case sank U.S.-Cuba relations to a new low after initial signs of thawing when President Barack Obama took office. The State Department has said no progress will be made until Gross is released.

Former President Jimmy Carter visited Cuba earlier this year and tried to secure the aid worker's release on humanitarian grounds, arguing that Gross' mother and daughter are battling cancer. But he went home empty-handed.

The Gross family statement expressed hope that Richardson and Cuban authorities would be "able to find common ground that will allow us to be reunited as a family before the Jewish High Holy Days," which begin on September 28 this year with the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

CNN's Shasta Darlington in Havana contributed to this report

soundoff (368 Responses)
  1. Stephanie

    Cuba is so interesting right now. I can't wait for this book "Habana Libre" to come out.
    I love the work that Michael does and the creative side to Havana that no one has herd about until now.

    September 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  2. jhnz

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    September 15, 2011 at 4:32 am | Reply
  3. Libertad

    The most feasible retaliatory response the United States can perform is to close the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone. Nothing would infuriate, and terrify the Castro regime more than for them to witness a territory of free enterprise and democratic values prop up on communist soil. MAKE GUANTANAMO BAY A DEMOCRATIC FREE TRADE ZONE

    September 14, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • Bart Brown

      Libertad wrote:

      "The most feasible retaliatory response the United States can perform is to close the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone."

      Libertad, thank you for the first - ONLY, actually - intelligent and original idea I've seen on this whole "Cuba/Richardson" story comments section (including my own). Not only is it a direct and constructive solution to both Castro's arrogance and America's shameful maintenance of an extra-legal dungeon even more disgraceful than Abu Ghraib, it's an excellent spit-in-the-eye for Fidel and Raoul and all they stand for. A Gift to the People of Cuba - don't know how long it would STAY in the possession of the people of Cuba, but a VERY public and hugely-publicized ceremony transferring ownership of Guantanamo to the Cuban people would be the sort of global embarrassment needed to galvanize the people to whom Fidel promised freedom and prosperity, but instead gave them repression and poverty even worse than what they had suffered under Fulgencio Batista.

      Libertad, thank you for the ONLY constructive comment posted here..

      September 15, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
      • Libertad

        Not my idea, came across an article that proposed this brilliant idea. Google "Free Trade Zone Cuba"

        September 15, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
      • Libertad

        Thank you though for your kind words. Now spread the word!

        September 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
  4. Barton Brown

    Erm, Habeas Corpus does not extend to prisoners of war.

    The Constitutionally-legal definition of "prisoners of war" does not apply to civilians, especially civilians who are citizens of countries with whom we're not at war - and that means every country on earth, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Just because that pansy TANG draft-dodger "beer run hero" Bush 43 said we're at war, so he could strut around and declare himself a "war-time President" (and "War on Terrorism?" Where is THAT particular country on the map? That's as stupid as Pig Bill Bennett's "War on Drugs." We really won that one., too), does not mean we're at war. Only Congress has the right to declare war. The Executive branch of the US Government - what's left of it - does not, even have the power to unilaterally declare war, whether it's that wax exhibit from Madame Toussaud's, "Sleepy Ron Reagan," or Lyndon Johnson and his "Gulf of Tonkin" hoax, or Bush 43's copycat WMD hoax (or are you one of those Limbauglodytes who says "we're gonna find them WMD's any day now!"?). That's why Bush's decade of $70-$80 BILLION per year wars were done completely off the books - not part of the "official" budget, so it couldn't be voted down in Congress. But guess what? That $70-$80 BILLION per year was REAL money. That's why, when Bush got installed into the White House by Fat Tony Scalia, the Pope of Washington, and his College of Cardinals, the budget surplus the US enjoyed when Clinton left office, got turned around in ten years to the worst budget deficit this country has ever faced, and a downgrade to Double-A rating. Face it, schmucks: the Republican Party has turned America into the very first example in history of a "First World" financial giant becoming a Third-World nation. We're already living off Chinese foreign aid. They'll own us soon, if India doesn't beat them to it.

    Without a declared war, there cannot even legally BE "prisoners of war." Of course, since we've completely tossed the Geneva Conventions, "renditioned" civilian prisoners to Syria, Russia, and Libya, and flushed the US Constitution down the toilet, all of this is a moot point. The Republicans' idea of American Utopia is a corporate welfare state, with those corporations headquartered in a Swiss post office box, paying ZERO taxes on their obscene profits. Apparently every Republican thinks he/she/it (Palin) is going to be a CEO someday, so let's gut our tattered cobweb of a social safety net, pull all our funding completely out of education and programs that only (barely) benefit those millions of people too lazy to find jobs, and invest all our money in the greatest boom of the 21st century, selling American weapons by the boatload to the Mexican drug cartels, then weep and earmark money for building a BIGGER fence when that gang-fight spills across the border, as it already has.

    Wzrd, huh? Is that some Aryan Nations code-word for "drooling moron?"

    September 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  5. Dave (aka "Peaches")

    An exclusive report last week by CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" said Richardson was invited by the Cuban government for the specific mission of trying to negotiate the release of Gross.

    "We are pleased that the Cuban government invited Gov. Richardson to Havana," said a statement issued September 7 on behalf of the Gross family. "We welcome any and all dialogue that ultimately will result in Alan's release. We are grateful to Governor Richardson for his continued efforts."

    I see absolutely NO WAY that CNN can make the statement in the first paragraph from looking at was said in the second paragraph. There's not even a quote or mention specifically from the Cuban government as to what Richardson was specifically invited for, if there was even a specific reason, as opposed to just acknowledging that he is coming with no specific agenda on behalf of the Cuban government. (CNN: noticed how I used the words Cuban government and not Cuba here, because I respect that the Cuban government may have a different agenda than anyone living in and/or a citizen of Cuba. It's not that hard to not be a propagandist, particularly when you're role in a democracy is actually precisely the opposite).

    September 14, 2011 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • Dave (aka "Peaches")

      Oh, I'm sorry.

      I noticed CNN DOES use the words "Cuban government" to describe the Cuban government, and not Cuba.

      But when it comes to the United States, they use the words "United States" to describe the federal government of the United States.

      Right... got it. Here in the United States we are a hivemind. In Communist Cuba, the people of Cuba are treated with a dignity that separates them from their government.

      God Bless America

      September 14, 2011 at 9:14 am | Reply
  6. Monopolydog

    Not one of you anti American bubble heads living in the US, or intellectual liberal lettuce heads also living in the US would last a day in a "democratic" system like Cuba. If the gentleman is being accused of spying, why not try him publicly for the world to see the truth. Why keep family members apart, "a la" middle east. Cuba being a "sovereign" country, don't mean sh__t. Like the wise Mr. Floyd says, "I'm alright Jack keep your hands off my stack" strips us very quickly of our political labels.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:59 am | Reply
    • Slumberjack

      I last quite well in Democratic Cuba, annually in fact for two weeks at a time on their beautiful sunny beaches. The most appealing thing about vacationing there, and by far the biggest draw for people around the world who visit, at least judging by their own testimonials, is the friendly people of Cuba first and foremost, in addition to the complete absence of freedom hating corporatized Amerikkaner tourists muddying up the pristine surf with their filth and stench. People from around the world who vacation there to soak up the Cuban sun openly express these sentiments to one another, appreciating so much the fact that such a place exists where people can thoroughly enjoy themselves precisely as a result of not having to encounter the supreme arrogance and imperial hubris of Amerikkaner citizens wallowing on the beach like bloated whales. It's like a piece of heaven for many.

      September 14, 2011 at 8:21 am | Reply
      • Monopolydog

        Thank you for proving my point exactly. So which one are you, a bubble head or a lettuce head?

        September 14, 2011 at 9:14 am |
  7. Slumberjack

    US based aid organizations have always been a front for espionage and subversion, and violence, whenever and whereever they've darkened the doorway of targeted nations around the world. After 50 years of US plots and campaigns of violence against the Cuban people, it remains within their right as a soverign nation to defend themselves against US corporate imperialism. Indeed, several nations in Central and South America are currently struggling to lift the US boot heel from their necks, and to erase the stain of well over a century of US hegemony and parasitic influence over the region. Cuba's mistake in this instance was to allow corporate water boy Richardson to touch down on Cuban soil at all.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:45 am | Reply
  8. Dave (aka "Peaches")

    "The State Department said that while Richardson is traveling as a private citizen, the United States supported his efforts to obtain Gross' release."

    The State Department of the United States should not refer to the current administration of the United States federal government as "the United States".

    As much as they might want to run this country like a fascist police state that treats the will of the population like a coerced hivemind, we are not that yet.

    And the United States State Department is a disgusting reminder of how far we have fallen in that regard.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:43 am | Reply
  9. Dave (aka "Peaches")

    'Richardson, who arrived in Havana September 7, was given the cold shoulder by the Cuban government. He was not able to see Gross, nor did he meet with Cuban leader Raul Castro. "My conclusions are that it is possible the Cuban government has made a decision not to improve relations with the United States," he said Tuesday.'

    My conclusion is you're an insignificant piece of dog crap that has no business speaking on behalf of Americans or the United States in a way that treats us like a massive hivemind that completely backs up what you're doing in Cuba.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:40 am | Reply
  10. Bill

    Richardson ws not to bright. He visited Cuba on a Blue Citizen Passport and not the Official Rd Passport. Which basically means as the article reads, he was not their on government business and has no power to act or speak as a representative of the United States. He had the same right as any other foreignor nn another country. I don't recall if Jimmy Carter was sent there in an official government position to negotiate anything, so he was strictly there as a common visitor. Politics is all about negotiation, you give, we give, we find medium ground where both sides are happy with a deal. That is what made Kissinger so great, he was one of the best US Official negotiators we ever had. In oder to make a deal both sides negotiating have to have some kind of power to follow through with the entrire deal. Trump would have had better luck negotiating from a citizen perspective. Money talks and BS walks.

    September 14, 2011 at 7:21 am | Reply
  11. Che-3

    Yea Right, trying to connect Jews in Cube to the internet. What a BOGUS LIE. Keep the criminal JEW where he belongs and throw away the keys in the Atlantic Ocean.

    September 14, 2011 at 6:14 am | Reply
    • echase

      Che-3,,, your name says it all... Give me your address so I can help you meet God.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:24 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      You are a racist moron Che-3 wannabe. All B.S. Talk you blithering blubbering mass of protoplastic rubbish. Get your head out of your eunuch arse and study some history.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:27 am | Reply
  12. PARROT


    September 14, 2011 at 3:00 am | Reply
    • Ray

      Well, Parrot, aren't you the expert on foreign relations and US State Department affairs? How can you make such statements without facts to support them? It is irresponsible! I am sure there are a lot of backdoor discussions going on between various countries with which we have difficulties–much of it unknown to the public. Please don't criticize the Obama administration (or any administration) without some shred of factual evidence.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:54 am | Reply
      • Mrs. M

        PAY ATTENTION before you blast someone for their comments.

        He SAID: "I haven't seen..." He did not claim to know about anything that has (or has not) gone on behind the scenes, if anything.

        I ALSO haven't seen Obama put his money where is mouth is, so to speak. I HAVEN'T SEEN Mr. Obama make good on any of his campaign promises. Does that mean he hasn't? No. Does that mean he has a chance in hell of being reelected? No. Because, I'm not the only voter in the USA who "hasn't seen" any evidence of him doing the job he was elected to do. In all honesty, I'm relieved Obama hasn't done a lot more damage. His well publicized talk before his election regarding his intentions toward Cuba only proved his ignorance regarding the history behind the reasons why Cuba and the USA have not been better neighbors. Perhaps, you're also not old enough or well-read enough to grasp the complexities of historic political relationships between countries.

        Before you blast other people for their comments, it would help your case if you actually READ the comments you're blasting. Instead, you just prove to the global community that your reading comprehension is lower than the standard acceptable for 5th grade.

        September 14, 2011 at 6:08 am |
      • striker

        Mrs M,

        So you're saying parrot's goal was really to prove how ignorant he is more than to make a political point by using facts. Well, that's different. From the looks of your post, you and Parrot are competing for first place. lol

        September 14, 2011 at 7:10 am |
    • TheRuggedgent

      A good article here

      September 14, 2011 at 3:56 am | Reply
  13. Abu

    It is a bad move to send a loud mouth politician to negotiate. They should have sent somebody from the Vatican. Catholicism is a big thing in Cuba, and they will show respect if the request come from the Vatican.

    September 14, 2011 at 2:35 am | Reply
    • jay in florida

      White phosphorus and Uranium depleted shells are better negotiation agents than Catholicism. It is the universal language of all dictatorships, and the only language they respect and understand well.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:55 am | Reply
    • hawaiiduude

      He was there with his racist agenda to make internet available to a tribe of people who don't mix culturally and consider themselves above gentiles.

      Lock him up and throw away the keys for the traitor!

      September 14, 2011 at 3:04 am | Reply
    • Lula

      ABU it looks like you really think the marcist, communist ungovernment of Cuba is going to listen to the Pope? only if they have something to gain!

      September 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  14. Paul

    Perplexed?? What did you expect? Cuba, like it or not, is a sovereign country ... they do not need to kiss the a$$ of the USA. Again, like it or not ... their message is: first you show respect, then we kiss your a$$, may be.
    I don't blame them ... sure, they are not exactly a friendly regime .. Bush wasn't either, just ask the 300'000 dead Iraqi civilians... so do not complain. All of the above said, ... the people in Cuba would be a lot better off if the leadership was not being such snobs ... but then again, you get what you deserve. If the arabs managed to kick their leader's a$$es ... why not thew Cubans

    September 14, 2011 at 1:59 am | Reply

      My GOD, you the biggest moron tonight! Please... MAKE SOME SENSE!

      September 14, 2011 at 2:32 am | Reply
      • Che-3

        To "DEMOCRAT UNTIL OBAMA" you have an IQ the shoe size of a village Midget. How is that? You're primitive backward I might add. Did you miss CIVIC classes whilst in 1st grade? Seek some education for you're a disgrace to America and its educational system. Whew! You’re academically and intellectually backward for sure. You missed that Yellow School bus in your trailer park home. Punk, seek some mental help. It's backward idiots like you that makes Americans looks sooooooo bad to the world when it comes to IQ ratings against the 2-yr. old living in a tent in Kabul. Have you ever thought of joining the Taliban? Or you just an raised as an idiotic toothless punk?

        September 14, 2011 at 6:34 am |
    • Che-3

      Thank you Paul for pointing that to illiterate American idiots with Sarah Palin intellect and those with criminal mindset and me, me, me, me, American primitive mentality. Heck, everyone is proud of their country.

      September 14, 2011 at 6:20 am | Reply
  15. Scott

    Alan Gross was arrested on Dec. 3, 2009, at the Havana airport for providing internet satellite communication equipment to the anti-Castro groups based on the island. He is in jail for a reason. Sound familiar ANTI-Gaddaffi groups...

    September 14, 2011 at 1:55 am | Reply
    • realmike

      Yep. According to the NY Times "He had been sent to Cuba as part of a semicovert United States Agency for International Development program "....

      Sorry Mr. Gross but sometimes when playing with fire you do get burnt.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:18 am | Reply
    • Che-3

      Thank You!
      The truth needs to be told to some of these American illiterate idiots with Sarah Palin Intellect. American can't LIE its way out this time of a civilized World of intellectuals. Never again are we going to be lied to. Not what some idiot with a pea brain decided to invade a sovereign country simply because his father or family hates that leader. Never start a war for the decision to end it won't be yours to dictate. Advanced technologies doesn't win wars.

      September 14, 2011 at 6:43 am | Reply
      • Patrick

        Again you eunuch. You disgrace the name of Che. In fact advanced technology always wins wars in the long run. Tin horn "intellectual". You are a clown. A fey harlequin by profession no doubt. Leave the thinking to those with the horse power. Moron.

        September 14, 2011 at 7:35 am |
      • MS. Of NY

        @Patrick – Moron, you don't use horsepower to measure mind power. For that you use IQ – Intelligence Quotient. Unless ur brain is located in ur biceps and triceps.

        September 14, 2011 at 8:12 am |
      • Patrick

        @MS NY. I am an EE working on robotics. We use the term freely ton refer to the ability to do real headwork. IQ denotes your ability to take an arbitrary test. But thanks for the input. Now piss off and go get an egg cream.

        September 14, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  16. OldCactus

    Richardson left the same way he arrived, perplexed. In fact he has been perplexed since I first read about him many years ago. Being a democrat is about as honorable as being a muslim terrorist.

    September 14, 2011 at 1:50 am | Reply
    • OldCactus

      I'll second that.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • Hana

      OMG you are a moron! oh! and let's not forget about Christians fundamentalist terrorists...yes, you got those too.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:07 am | Reply
    • asdf

      Nah just another member of America's worst generation baby boomers spouting greed and divisiveness as usual.

      September 14, 2011 at 2:22 am | Reply

      You got it!

      September 14, 2011 at 2:33 am | Reply
      • Wait a second...'re saying "you got it" to the fact that you were as honorable as a Muslim terrorist until Obama came along?

        September 14, 2011 at 3:14 am |
    • Patrick

      Ask any intelligent, well read and old enough to remember Latino. Fidel took a shit on Cuba. They (the leaders). Don't have to play ball withnthe USA. They got theirs and screw their people. Gadaffi Duck andnhis high living relatives know that tune. So did Sadam's court and family. Rape your own people and blame the US for everything. Just like any repressive regime, their stash on pure coke, ready prostitutes, and expensive booze will be found oncebthey are kicked out. Read your history Che wannabe.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:17 am | Reply
  17. Will

    "Gross says he was trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet and was not a threat to the government."

    Yeah, to hell with the "goyim", right? Internet access for the "chosen people" but not the Christian untermenschen.

    To hell with Mr. Gross

    September 14, 2011 at 1:48 am | Reply
    • hawaiiduude

      good one!

      September 14, 2011 at 3:05 am | Reply
  18. Charly Brains

    Can we attack CUBA now? If we attack Irak and Afghanistan which are far away why not CUBA?

    September 14, 2011 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • Hetor

      Attack Cuba for what. As far as I know Cubans aren't a threat to the US. If by any chance the US ends up attacking Cuba, all hell is going to break loose in Latin America.

      September 14, 2011 at 3:40 am | Reply
  19. bob oh

    SPY!!! They need an old american to illegaly connet them to the internet. Is this a Mel Brooks film? Did they lock hin in a cell with a donkey? Thats what the left-wing wnats for the US. Are we not lucky? TAX THe INTERNET!

    September 14, 2011 at 1:20 am | Reply
  20. no habla

    Who cares? Cuba does nothing for America other than make a great tropical city into a cess pool of non english speaking people. Once we finish the walling off of Mexico, start to wall off Cuba..

    September 14, 2011 at 1:09 am | Reply
  21. ummm....yeah right!

    So they invited him and told him they wanted to talk and that he could even see Gross. But when he got there he was given the cold shoulder and not allowed to see Gross! Gross is dead and they don't know what to do now so they just decided to be cold and non receptive. Plain and simple. Remember, they invited him and it was supposedly a very warm invitation, why the 360? Think about it.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • john

      the 360? You mean the 180.

      September 14, 2011 at 1:29 am | Reply
      • Seagull Tango

        It is a 360, they're just halfway through the turn - or at least that's what we hope.

        September 14, 2011 at 2:08 am |
  22. B17

    Well, it's just gross that this didn't work out. Why just Gross, Richardson? Do the rest of Cuba's detainees not interest you?
    Sorry for Gross, not sorry for you Richardson. A different emissary should have gone – a former president, Al Sharpton, or even the very reverend Jackson.

    September 14, 2011 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Bleh, neither of them have a security clearance, hence would not be PERMITTED to go. They'd have to LITTLE information.
      THEY would end up championing the cause of the Cuban 5, who committed an act of war. Even IF possibly justified, which would NOT be permitted your silly suggestions.
      So, we'd be open to have airliners raining down around our ears, even IF for a GOOD reason, it would be BAD for US, largely through ignorance and a continuance of an idiotic policy of virtual war upon a nation that had done us no REAL harm.

      September 14, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • Frida

      You must work for the comedy channel?? Or, is it SNL?? Sharpton & Jackson-you're kidding, right?
      Why not send dumb & dumber ? Good lord, talk about setting back any hope of restoration of goodwill between Cuba & the US. What a joke!

      September 14, 2011 at 12:47 am | Reply
      • Patrick

        Well said Rita.

        September 14, 2011 at 7:43 am |
  23. dan.

    The most feasible retaliatory response the United States can perform is closing the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone. Nothing would infuriate, and terrify the Castro regime more than for them to witness a territory of free enterprise and democratic values prop up on communist soil. MAKE GUANTANAMO BAY A DEMOCRATIC FREE TRADE ZONE

    September 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Sorry, Cuba. We KNOW that the lease is non-transferrible. Hence, depart, it's null and void.
      Nice try though.
      Perhaps we should expand it a bit in personnel... All volunteers from Miami.
      Just for your annoying us all with lunacy and attempts to subvert OUR government AFTER committing an admitted by your department, act of war.
      Want sage advice? Admit it to the UN, while you invite envoys from the US and admit it, based on self defense. TOTALLY covered under UN and even US doctrine. Can't be a cassus belli then. πŸ™‚
      Trying to help, I PREFER normalized relations to the lunacy that's been in place a bit longer than I've been alive.
      Then, there won't be ONE winner, but TWO. As in BOTH. Normalized relations, incremented over time. πŸ˜€
      Or continue being stupid and risk open warfare, which you WOULD lose. We can throw more bodies at it than you can, not to mention high tech that you can't counter.
      Not good for you, not good for us, stupid path to walk.
      Take the HIGH road for once, rather than the amateurish low road.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Reply
      • dan.

        Completely normalizing relations is only going to deepen the pockets of the island's jailers. It may sound appealing to end the Embargo with one big swoop and be done with it. Establishing a Free Trade Zone allows people to initiate direct trade with ordinary Cubans, and not to the Cuban govt. Of course, the Castro regime would never allow such a bold plan to occur, but the moral of the story is it places the Castro regime in a severe diplomatic hole. It will be forced to admit that they are the ones who do not want to seek reform take place on the island. This is why I support the idea, and I believe it should be strongly considered

        September 14, 2011 at 12:02 am |
      • Wzrd1

        Dan, as it did to the PRC? Who have gone increasingly MORE capitalist? As Russia did?
        No, the increasing wealth will work to undermine foolish autocrats and find the most important thing in life: BALANCE.

        September 14, 2011 at 12:14 am |
    • Patrick

      Yeah baby! Give those punks a black eye.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:19 am | Reply
  24. Talkin' Murcan

    How dare the Cubans imprison someone on spurious charges?!?

    In a completely unrelated note, I wonder if Richardson stopped by Guantanamo Bay to say hello..?

    September 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      As a matter of fact, he did. He was told something about Kus Ummac or other.
      He departed as a gentleman, rather than as one wanting to wrap their butts around their ears.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • Mahhn

      You nailed it.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  25. blisterfree

    Why on earth do we put up with Cuba, when we clearly don't have to?

    September 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Oh? What is YOUR solution? Vote them off the island?

      September 13, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
      • Garrapata.Red


        September 14, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • BJT

      Why on earth do we put up with Cuba, when we clearly don't have to?......Um.. It's THEIR COUNTRY they can do whatever they want. And what do you have in mind ??????? Start a 3rd war with a soverign nation????? If you dont like it dont go there! As for me i've been to Cuba many times and LOVE IT, but then I dont have a small "america only" view on the world, I think you should do a little reading up on why Cuba and the U.S. dont play well and you may find your hands to be a tad bit dirty.....just beacause your American it doesn't make you right.

      September 14, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        Me? I'd normalize relations and get a buttload of people in Miami mad, too bad, there is an ENTIRE NATION, not one city.
        Idiocy is playing the current, ancient, cold war game.
        As an ancient, I KNOW foolish ancient. I played that game in the military during the hottest parts of the cold war, buried a bunch of buddies during it.
        Let's clean up THIS mess, then move on. We can't afford to play stupid games on either side, these days.

        September 14, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  26. chileno

    So after 3 years of Obama trying to cozy up to our enemies (e.g. Iran, Cuba), we find that our enemies still hate us... How odd, wasn't it all supposed to be Bush's fault, and wasn't Obama going to fix all that with his lofty speeches...? Say it isn't so!

    September 13, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • nawz

      And they bought it. Hook, line and sinker. Lolz.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • Craig

      Bottom line he had no business bringing sattelite dishes to a country that is HELLO CUBA what was he expecting. The last thing they want is for their people to see what it is like on the outside

      September 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Reply
    • erich2112x

      You're obsessed with politics. Take a break,

      September 13, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Say it isn't so! Your mommy and daddy diapered the wrong stuff and called it a baby!
      Playing political games in the lowest common denominator, then going even lower.
      Meanwhile, an old fart is sitting in a prison cell for doing his damned job. Cuba wants to try to trade spies caught in an ACT OF WAR for a poor sap doing what he was paid to do.
      Now, if Cuba plays my advice, they'll have SOME honor and leverage to play the "game" RIGHT.
      Otherwise, it WILL eventually turn into something extremely unfortunate.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Reply
      • chileno

        Playing political games is not the lowest common denominator. That prize goes to ad hominem, which you so brilliantly display, diaper boy. Love how the Left will blame Bush for everything, yet quickly get hot under the collar when someone points out a deficiency in thei Messiah's policies...

        September 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        chileno, I blame morons for being morons when they're far more capable. I've long said that Carter was one of the WORST presidents around, but one of the BEST diplomats. He missed his calling, initially.
        What is GWB good for, other than a door prop?
        Reagan was actually wise beyond his capability in his second term. Bush senior hung a 180 on Reagan's dreams of an engineer and scientist economy, instead seeking the service economy, which is doomed to fail, as I predicted back then.
        For in the end, all service each other?! Not going to make a profit, hence would be a degenerative economy, as it's proved to be.

        September 14, 2011 at 12:18 am |
  27. chileno

    I've always wondered how some liberals, who claim to defend the rights of "the little guy," can admire a Cuban regime so repressive it would imprison someone for setting up a satellite dish...

    September 13, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Reply
    • nawz

      Because most of them, like their Republican counterparts, merely believe what they do based on their feelings. There's no reason for it, except perhaps that their opposition supports it, so they don't.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • emano

      I'm an Independent, so I watch Dems and Repubs... I never heard a Democrat, nor a Republican say they ADMIRE the Cuban regime...

      September 13, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Reply
      • nawz

        Err, Democrats say, quite often, that the U.S. has "no right" to tell Cuba what it can and can't do, that the U.S. needs to stop "impoverishing" the Cuban people by restricting trade, that Cuba has a right to do as it wishes, etc.

        September 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
      • chileno

        Emano, please note I said "liberal." Perhaps you're too young to remember Jesse Jackson flying into Havanna and proclaiming "long live Castro"... But you surely must recall Benicio Del Toro dedicating, with great affection, the film "Che" to the murderer Che himself. Besides him, there are countless left-leaning musicians, movie stars, novelists, who have expressed admiration for Fidel and his revolution. Danny glover? Sean Penn? Michael Moore?

        September 13, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • antoine

      I think the problem is he was setting them up illegally. I think I should be able to smoke pot and pay beautiful women to sleep with me. But both are illegal in texas. They are infringing on my rights to decide what I consume. Its a clear path of logic from here isn't it? 3 options... go to where its legal, accept that its not where I am currently and don't do it, or work to legally change it. The previous common sense doesn't make me an enemy of democracy or the US either. Just an enemy of hyprocrisy and double standards. If u get caught doing illegal things u pay.

      September 14, 2011 at 12:22 am | Reply
      • Iron Balls

        Best post of the entire thread!

        September 14, 2011 at 1:45 am |
  28. Not Cub-Ano

    What was he thinking? Cuba is Cuba and the Castros Rats like Ghadafi and Chavez... but they didn't need to obey him. He is somebody here in the US, not in Cuba. The only rat been listened to here in US was the narco midget president Calderon. So, stop dreaming Richardson and realize that if you don't offer the Castros DINERO, mucho dinero you ain't getting even a piece of caca.

    September 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  29. chileno

    Only in a nation with a totalitarian regime, would "installing satellite dishes" to connect to the internet be considered a near treasonous crime. So much for being a worker's paradise...

    September 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
    • polopi

      you're dumb or naive or both if you actually believe that he was only installing satellite dishes

      September 14, 2011 at 12:15 am | Reply
  30. Scott

    Just send special forces to grab him. Time to stop fiddling around. The two hikers in Iran should be freed similarly.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • Not Cub-Ano

      only after paying a million dollars

      September 13, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        A million is FAR, FAR, FAR cheaper than a SOCOM operation. ESPECIALLY Iran, but even for Cuba.
        Special Operations of ANY sort automatically are far more expensive.
        Hence, that diplomacy thing FIRST.

        September 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Iron Balls

      Going to Cuba with the intent to install communications to the outside world just sounds like a bad idea. Why should we be on the hook for his bad judgment? Same for the hikers. And their story is even more fishy. "We didn't know we were in Iran. We thought we were in Iraq! Cuz it's safe for civilian sightseers."

      September 14, 2011 at 1:48 am | Reply
  31. F. Daniel Gray

    Reciprocation anyone? Has the US even invited someone from Havana to visit the "Cuban five", in jail here. Imagine the response had such a person said the five were "hostages?" The "Pastors for Peace" made their 22nd visit to Cuba this year, and took, among other materials,computers, Nathan Gross could have gone with them. What was the government to think, other than this is some US cowboy antic? Uhh, starving? Life is not easy there, but they are a long way from starving. A recent UN report says hey export about 2 billion a year in manufactured goods and agricultural products. They have also entered into a consortium with Gazprom (Russia), CNPC (China), Petrobras (Brazil), PDVSA (Venezuela), and others to drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. A platform, Scarabeo 9, built under contract by Italy and China, is due to arrive this year. At a minimum it will make Cuba energy independent, and eventually a net exporter. Most likely sending the US blockade into the dustbin of history.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Reply
    • chileno

      The fact they export food means nothing. Under the communist system, the population could starving, yet the government controlled farms could still be exporting food to keep up the appearance of prosperity. When famine hit North Korea in the 1990's, the government didn't ask for foreign aid (it would have been bad publicity), but rather had an internal media campaign extolling the virtues of eating only 2 meals a day, stating 3 meals was "excessive." BTW, I still remember images of poor Cubans after hurricane Mitch looking through wood scraps after the storm, trying to get the nails out of them to reuse them to rebuild their homes... and BTW, finding oil is great for the Cuban gov't, not necessarily for the people -see what has happened in Nigeria, for an example of what some call "the oil curse"...

      September 13, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Reply
      • Jo

        You really do not know about Cuba!! Have you been there??

        September 14, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • Steve

      The CIA and the Imperialist elements of the US government is still pissed of because Castro kicked out Batista without CIA permission.. What better way to do it than punishing the Cuban people. Because the Castro brothers don't suffer.
      A blockade is international banditry by the 10,000 pound gorilla similar to hijacking. Only the US and Israel are doing it.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Cuba disavows knowledge of them and their operation. Rightfully so, as it would be an act of war.
      Now, if Cuba were to ask an official or pseudo-official delegation to consult AND at the same time announced (at the time of the delegation's arrival or start of conference), the mission and the REASONS, complete with classified information, any objection turns to ashes.
      THEN, Cuba would have OFFICIAL recognition, by de facto MEETING. And double leverage.
      Damned amateurs.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Reply

      The difference is the Cuban 5 are accused of spying for Cuba and Gross is accused of providing acess to the internet and the outside world, thats it. In Cuba a dissident is anyone who does not agree completly with the govt party lines.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      PTKELLY, the difference is, spies are NORMALLY in on diplomatic passports, as part of the mission. NOT illegal aliens, which already is a cassus belli, add to it the effort to both frame US citizens for their efforts AND to knock down civil air transport, it IS cassus belli, an ACT OF WAR.
      So, they do the NORMAL thing and disavow. Except here, where their information warfare division decided to play that game AND admit to it, from CUBAN IP's.
      Now, if they play the self defense angle and release the information PROVING self defense, they'd win in the UN and globally. Even in the US. For THEN, THEY would have cassus belli, not the US, who provided it.

      September 13, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  32. Brian

    Richardson needs to study history. Our support of people like Batista and Myer Lansky is what got us where we are now with Cuba.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • chileno

      So you're justifying Cuban intransigence because of US support of Batista...? Over 50 years ago...? you know, that almost sounds as ludicrous as justifying the blockade because of what Castro did... over 50 years ago...

      September 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Reply
      • martin


        September 14, 2011 at 7:11 am |
    • Wzrd1

      Brian, Richardson needs study nothing. He's old enough to REMEMBER history as it happened. I happen to respect my elders, unlike you and your generation. The difference between he and I is, I'll accept fear over respect after I beat you down at 50, he wouldn't try. He's a contractor, doing his damned job and out to dry, as no diplomatic efforts, such as they are, have been even REMOTELY successful, only being greeted with snubs.
      I DO know the history, even the highly classified versions, which will NEVER be related, as I'd RIGHTFULLY go to prison.
      There are no saints present at the table, but plenty of sinners. The LATEST sin was that of Cuba. One, for the Cuban 5, espoused by their information warfare folks here. Logs and linguistic/societal patterns match 100%.
      Want the Cuban 5, folks? Admit to your sin out of "necessity of national defense". And take a few small lumps, which you're used to anyway. Then, perhaps the US would admit a few things in private and communication channels are open.
      Just a friendly hint from a normally friendly person.
      Yes, I've killed in war, but I never held malice until it was personally earned by DEED in my presence. I did what I had to do, what was required of me to do. I'm retired now, so I can speak somewhat more freely.
      And try to give some sage advice.
      And one request, please, please, please, fix the quality of your cigars. They've declined horribly over MY adult lifetime. πŸ™

      September 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  33. doregroj

    this article doesnt make sense. It says the key to improving relations between Cuba and the U.S., is the release of Alan Gross. How can that be the key? It implies that if they release this one man, then relations are immediately improved. What if they release this one man and then get another one..? Cuba is run by one man, Fidel Castro, who is still telling his little brother Raul what to do. Raul hardly even speaks in public. This one man, Fidel, does not want relations with the U.S.. he does not want the embargo lifted, he is happy the way things are. Most people forget that he is arguably the richest man in the world. He owns all of Cuba, its riches, its bank accounts, which he probably has in Swiss banks to protect his family, once time catches up with him and get thrown out of Cuba, ala Mobarack from Egypt and ala Ghadaffi .

    September 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Reply
    • ComSenseWiz

      Never forget that Cuba is a POS failed country no sane American would ever immigrate to while most there can not wait to get out. Their system lost and we won. Case closed.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Fidel is barely able to run his toilet paper, these days. I'll not reveal my source, as I don't relish the thought of prison.
      Raul isn't really that creative, fire filled of speech and has the charisma of a rock. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy, but, in politics, he'd be eaten alive. So, he does what he's always done well, delegate . Something that I actually RESPECT! Rather than REALLY screw things up, he delegates to the experts in such fields, such as they are in some.
      Education is spot on and improving nicely.
      Medical is quite good. Good enough for a certain Chavez to get cancer treatment from.
      Cigars are a sore point for this ancient smoker though. πŸ™
      I'll give credit where credit is due. Even to an enemy, which gained the respect of said enemy.
      The Taliban and Al Qaeda knew me as a man of great honor, respecting their most notable things (taking care of families of the fallen) and my criticism cut far deeper. I admitted our faults, which disarmed their attacks of us to the elders we'd both speak to. It came down to who had the greater and deeper character. My replacement was trained by me and is QUITE excellent, a man of TRUE honor in ALL "worlds".
      For he who fights against a concept is doomed. πŸ™‚

      September 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  34. V

    The most feasible, and symbolic retaliatory response the United States can perform is closing the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone. Nothing would infuriate, and terrify the Castro regime more than for them to witness a territory of free enterprise and democratic values prop up on communist soil. MAKE GUANTANAMO BAY A DEMOCRATIC FREE TRADE ZONE

    September 13, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Reply
    • madcow11

      As nutty as it sounds on the surface, what you say has a lot of sense to it, V.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • chileno

      Won't happen, though the idea does have merit... Guantanmo could become Cuba's Hong Kong! πŸ˜€

      September 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      No merit. The lease is non-transferable. That is ANCIENT news and the lease is available online.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Reply
      • the dude

        Actually this idea could work. Fidel Castro has always declared that the treaty restricting Guantanamo Bay to "no other purpose" than refueling naval ships are invalid. Who cares what the Communist government thinks. They are the nation's jailers, and Fidel Castro had no problem nationalizing billions of US assets in Cuba. I say go for it.

        September 13, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        No merit, as the lessee would have ALL to lose, the lessor would have ALL to gain.

        September 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Garrapata.Red

      Cool.....let's move South Beach to Guantanamo. Can't go to Mexico for Spring Break anymore without risk of getting beheaded. Time to Get Mo' in Guantanamo!!!!

      September 14, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
  35. Ed

    Nice, I love to read this kind of stuff. It really warms my heart to read comments from fools. You all seem to have less then a 3rd grade education (high school here in the good ole US of A) and your understanding of Cuba is just as childish. Last I checked, the Cubans had health care and education, something you bohunks will fight to the death to keep from happening here. You've screwed yourselves and you'll fight to the death to keep yourselves poor, poisoned and ignorant. Osama won and you let it happen. By the way, Cuba didn't attack us, just in case your meds allow you a lucid moment. If you feel so strongly about "Tyrants", go bomb Saudi Arabia. Oh yeah, I forgot , they actually DID provide the bad guys. I guess your pick up truck is more important then truth, right bubba? The rest of you can vote for one of the two heads of the dragon. Fools, you're getting exactly what you asked for.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Reply
    • madcow11

      Ed, before you get up too high on your soapbox, do you even remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? I do. We kept that island isolated for a reason. Not so important now, to be sure, and maybe we shouldn't anymore. But remember, although they may have health and education, it is one terribly bankrupt country. Would you really want to live there?

      September 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      First, madcow, I'd not mind it. I'd pick my espanol up quickly enough.

      Ed, MY education isn't suffering. I was a baby when the Cuban missile crisis happened, but I had PLENTY of chance to read up on it. On both SIPR and JWICS. I'll obviously NOT relate what I learned, but there were no saints on either side at all, but the greatest sinner was Cuba from PREVIOUS times.
      Just where IS that gold from the banks that were account backing for US companies? It seems to have disappeared once inFidel took power.
      And I'm JUST nasty enough to call him to that to his face. Then wave him on to say HIS insults. πŸ˜‰
      Probably end up coaching him for both of our fun. It's the old soldier in me there...
      THAT said, Cuban cigars are NO WHERE NEAR what they WERE. They've steadily declined in quality. I now prefer Honduran, though it seems we're a bit mad at them lately...
      THAT all said, Fidel is out of power and not long for this world. Just as well, he needs a rest.
      And hence, the US policy of Fidel in power, not gonna talk is really no longer in effect.
      As for the Cubans in Miami, screw them and the horse they rowed into town on.
      But, I still arrive at one point my parents repeatedly drilled into me, many decades ago: There is right and there is wrong.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
  36. nick

    love watching the cubans suffer

    hope they starve

    September 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Forlorn hope, moron. Learn about the island, THEN open your mouth up and see if you still like the taste of foot.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      I feel the suffering pouring from your trouble words ...You must have had a terrible childhood of neglect to hate so much ...

      You moron!

      September 13, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Peter, did you work in Qatar for a bit?

      September 14, 2011 at 12:08 am | Reply
  37. The Dude

    Why would they? We have attacked their way of life for decades. End the sanctions on Cuba. It is pathetic they have been in place this long. A real disgrace.

    the Cubans in Miami can go efff themselves.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Reply
    • goodluck

      Your expecting rational behavior from the US. Acceptance of and responsibility for failed missions. Hahahaha. lick their boots or else!

      September 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
    • your mom

      Eff you and Eff Cuba

      September 13, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      I'll agree conditionally. I agree with the first parts in principle. I always have, stupid dispute, now that the USSR is toast.
      THAT said, Cuba needs to act respectful of DIPLOMACY. Such as when Carter, the most useless president in generations, but a statesman of excellence failed. THEN requested Richardson, just to flip him off, diplomatically speaking.
      Perhaps the US government should send me on a pseudo-official mission there.
      I'm an old soldier, over 27 years of military service to this nation. I'm the farthest thing in the universe from being a diplomat. I speak plainly and frankly.
      It worked well in the mountains of Afghanistan. It worked well with Bedouin. State HATED me, but it worked. πŸ™‚
      We'll either have trade re-established and the man headed home OR we'll be at war by the end of the week.
      As no RATIONAL people with something to lose WANTS war, we'll have peace and trade.
      Who knows? Maybe Cuban cigars will become a thing of excellence again!
      Because, to be honest, I've tried Cuban cigars when I was abroad (the US is the ONLY nation to respect that embargo). I prefer Honduran to the current Cuban cigars! The tobacco selection es muy horrible, or as the French say, est merde.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Cuba has not had sanctions from the rest of the world, and yet their economy is a mess. Cuba blames the US, the Cubans in Miami, even Santa Claus ... Socialism, Communism ... it just doesn't work. Except that it was a nice way for the Castro brothers to control power. Nice to be kings.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        Peter, we'll suffice it to say that I've read documents where Fidel and Raul admitted misadministration and mismanagement, but wanted to address it. It's just that they were abject failures, as communism and socialism are proved failed systems.
        HUMANS ALL want more by their neighbor, it's how the SPECIES survived during the harshest of times and environments.
        If *I* have more than my neighbor, my wife and kids have a better chance of seeing the GOOD season...
        Socialism and communism works great though, for certain insects, such as ants, wasps and bees.

        September 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
  38. PhilG.

    Well,THAT was a wasted trip,we paid for.

    Just add the bill to the deficit.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Reply
    • madcow11

      He made a noble attempt at trying, Phil. Give the man credit.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • Chaos

      Its not a taxpayer funded trip you idiot.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • Just an observer

      The article stated Richardson made the trip as a private citizen – meaning, he paid out of his own pocket. At least you showed your compassion toward a man wrongly jailed by a corrupt regime....

      September 13, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • J

      Private trip – illiterate douche.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  39. Ricky Ricardo

    Time to close the doors on Cuba and their people Cubans should be sent back to Castro -land. The whole Cuba thing is a waste of time, Let the Cockroaches bake just like Chavez in Venezuela. In fact we should not give visas to any MLB players and managers. Let them go back and be with their loved country, Kick then out of US period. Cubans, and Venez-ies. Spanish Rats all of them. Right Lucy??.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Reply
    • madcow11

      Did you take some sort of "ignorant pill" to sound that stupid, Ricky?

      September 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Huh? ANY "Cubans" in the US now are US citizens, hence they can't be deported, only exiled, which is unconst i tutional.
      Oh, I know! I'm being PC because I insist that our nation OBEY THEIR OWN LAWS. How EVIL of me!

      September 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  40. steward

    "Gross says he was trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet and was not a threat to the government."

    By definition, in a Communist country, religious people are dissidents – religion is the opiate of the masses. In a Communist country, connecting the Jewish community to the Internet *is* connecting dissidents to the Internet. Under Communist philosophy... Gross has admitted what he's been accused of. Too bad he didn't bother reading up on Communism before placing himself under the jurisdiction of a Communist government, but that was his choice.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Funny how many Russian Orthodox churches remain today and never WERE closed in Russia.
      Funny how many temples are still open in the PRC.
      Funny how few boys are molested by priests in Cuba.
      But, I digress... πŸ˜‰

      September 13, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Reply
      • Tex Gritter

        All Russian churches were contolled by the Communists, all Christian churches are hated and contolled in the "people's republic" of China, and not all Christian leaders abuse children, contrary to what your masters in lame-stream media try to project.

        September 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Tex, I was being over simplistic and a bit of a prick.
        I was RAISED Roman Catholic, as an adult we parted ways on a few fundamental differences.
        But, as a child, I remember wanting to be an altar boy and my profoundly, Roman Catholic Sicilian father objected to it in a way I have NEVER witnessed before or since, but would not explain why.
        But, I've connected the dots, as my mother related the penalty in REAL LIFE for excommunication. One that is non-existent overall today. ISOLATION AND STARVATION, as nobody would trade with you.
        In Roman Catholic lands, a real threat until REAL recent times. The US was the disarming body by default of first amendment IN SPITE of religious warfare in the streets initially, the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT sent troops in to restore order and respect for the LAW.

        September 13, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  41. alcspi


    September 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  42. kenny

    Maybe we should put a physical blockade around Cuba so no one else can get in. It should clear up the problem. Cuba seems to be putting Americans in prison that go there so if we build a wall around the country to keep Americans out then Cuba will no longer be able to put them in prison.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • Joshua Ludd

      Or maybe if we stop blocading the country over something that happened 50 years ago...

      September 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Reply
      • madcow11

        What you say, Joshua, has a lot of validity. Much of the reason that the Soviet Union broke down was not just due to its bankrupt economic system, but to the fact that people were communicating more with us in the West and could see that what they had was terrible. (I speak based on what my Russian wife says.) By breaking down the isolation, we were able to encourage the demise of the corrupt system. Perhaps that could apply here as well. And their regime knows that, which is why they put that guy in prison for opening up the channels of communication with the Internet.

        September 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I have an idea! Have the US State Department send ME as an emissary to Cuba to discuss this matter and a few other matters.
      We'll either have an agreement and THIS will be cleared up or we'll be at war by the end of the week.
      I'll admit it, I'm as diplomatic as a 12 gauge shotgun. And as brutally honest, even to my own detriment if I'm wrong.
      I propose that I negotiate with a general. Soldiers know how to cut through the diplomatic BS and speak plainly.
      I'm quite certain that, as an OFFICIAL representative of sorts, I'd return with a plane full of lousy cigars (quality has REALLY fallen off over the years) and one newly PNG'd contractor.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  43. pimpson

    It's time for the good people of Cuba to lift off 50 years of communist oppression. It's time for the Castro's to meet a noose. It's time for a COUP D'ETAT!!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  44. Agnim

    US should stop being the stubborn, global bully and DO A SWAP!
    Release the Cubans, & release the Iranians that were "kidnapped off the street", in exchange for the US spies.
    It is naive & arrogant to believe that US can call other national spies, and they won't return the favor by labeling Americans in their space as spies. At least the Cubans & Iranians did not kidnap the Americans off some foreign street; the Americans actually, inexplicably and foolishly (if they claim not to be spies) presented themselves to the Cubans & Iranians .

    September 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      OK, when Cuba admits that they're agents sent into the US to murder US citizens and destroy US citizen owned aircraft, we'll consider releasing them.
      After the war is over.
      Since, sending agents into another nation to kill said host nation's citizens IS AN ACT OF WAR.
      STILL want to play, sonny? I am QUITE familiar with international law and cassus belli.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  45. Robert

    Puck all the Cubans. They are worthless pieces of excrement.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • madcow11

      Don't talk like such an idiot, Robert. Most Cuban people are decent folks just trying to get by. They've had a rough time with a tyrant over them for so long they don't even know how to break the chains. Please don't talk stupid like that. It just makes us Americans look crazy to the world.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm | Reply
      • Greatest Nation

        I agree about cubans having it rough but I think Cuba makes itself look crazy to the world just fine..I personally am sick of the worlds opinion of America...we Americans do a lot for the world when tragedy strikes but nobody wants to recognize that..they only want to point the finger.

        September 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I would NEVER say that. Not even if I were part of a task force at war killing their military.
      I'm not a fool and blame the PEOPLE for their idiots in government, any more than I blame my own nation for OUR elected idiots.
      But, I'm REALLY glad that WE can call our elected idiots idiots. πŸ˜€

      September 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        I second that, we do have idiots running our Government, starting with our President ... You see that Cuban Government, that is what is called freedom of expression. Wzrd1 and I don't have any fear of going to jail for 15 years because we said that. Unlike in your free country, where someone goes to jail for 15 years for selling phones ... Because you cowards have enslaved your people so you can have a miserable life of control over others ...

        Let the Cuban people be free, free!

        Darn, this cheap Costa Rican cigars. I want free Cuban Cigars!

        September 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
      • Tex Gritter

        Amen to that, Wizard! Glad we can still call our elected idiots, "IDIOTS".

        September 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
      • Greatest Nation

        I third that

        September 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Peter, I've LONG said that ANYONE wanting to be the president of the USA is an idiot.
        Who ELSE would try to keep 350 MILLION people happy?!
        That is a notion DOOMED to failure. Even WORSE, today.
        Indeed, I see a civil war brewing, in a nuclear armed nation, within a generation and a half at worst, more likely sooner, by the numbers...

        September 14, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • David

      How can we expect others to be decent and humane when we're so casually disdainful? American exceptionalism? If you think so, how about behaving so.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  46. bubba gump

    Obama is a great leader
    Casey is innocent
    Bottled water comes from mountain springs

    September 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • sharky

      *laughing* Priceless

      September 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      I'll add one, comrade:
      Cuban cigars are still good.

      Not. I'll stick with Honduran. Even IF our nation isn't getting along last week or something.
      Cuban cigars don't taste very good any longer. πŸ™

      September 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        The new cigars from Cuba and their new taste are as a result from a request from Bill Clinton lol

        September 13, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Peter, I'd LIKE that taste. Tried it with my wife, when we were newlyweds, a few decades ago. πŸ™‚
        Cubans today taste half stale, half poorly chosen tobacco. πŸ™
        BEFORE, the choice of tobacco was KING, aging QUEEN. QUALITY was EMPEROR.
        I FAR prefer EMPEROR in quality in ANYTHING, even my OWN work. Work for excellence or don't bother, it's an embarrassment.

        September 14, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  47. mark

    Free the Cuban 5 who who jailed for fighting against terrorism (Cuban exiles who engaged in terror and sabotage against Cuban nationals and were protected by the US), Before 9/11 you had Cuban exiles blowing up a Cuban passenger plane and protected by the US despite that. The Cuban 5 came here to infiltrate those groups and warn Cuba of impending attacks. They were spies who were against OUR terrorists.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • A. Vance

      Finally someone with enough intelligence to see the real issue here. American support for anti Cuban terrorists.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      The Cuban 5 were illegal aliens planning to murder, by destruction of an aircraft, persons that were US citizens.
      They also attempted to conceal their identity through identity theft, hence frame OTHER US citizens.
      Had they entered under diplomatic papers, I'd give them the benefit of being spies.
      But, when agents enter a foreign nation for the express purpose of destroying assets belonging to said nation (an airplane, even IF it's privately owned by a company) AND murder her citizens, that is an ACT OF WAR.
      So, if the good people of Cuba wish to admit officially to that mission, then we'll accept that they are spies to be traded, with a warring party and will react accordingly.
      Afghanistan would look like a game show.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      You do realize that your 5 so called servants are criminals since they were not diplomats when they committed their crimes. And as others have said, that is an act of war.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  48. bubba gump

    This heres Bubba, i love it when a third world country tells US to go have sex with our selves. espically when we have a fourth world "skinnie" dictator in the white house

    September 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      I think you're right, it's partially also a power struggle within the Cuban Government. Perestroika may very well be taking hold in Cuba. I'm sure there are plenty of aspiring dictators with Voodo Dulls at the ready hoping for the death of the Castro brothers.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  49. Bill Duke

    Oh, they know why they are being held. They know the crimes they have committed very well.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Reply
    • Bart Brown

      Bill Duke gurgled

      "Oh, they know why they are being held. They know the crimes they have committed very well"

      So every single prisoner at Gitmo has committed some crime against the United States, without exception?And you know this from your vast experience in WHAT department at Wal-Mart?

      The basis of the legal system the English-speaking - and most other - countries is governed by was first codified in the year 1215. Among the primary tenets of that legal system is that individuals have the right to know what crime they're being accused of. Another, closely intertwined, tenet of the law that applies everywhere in America except the patch of gravel we're squatting on in Cuba is the right of Habeas Corpus. I'm sure your vast knowledge of the legal system includes knowing the meaning of Habeas Corpus as it applies to the laws of the Constitution of the United States of America, but for those who may have missed grade school that day, a writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate requiring that a prisoner be brought before the court to determine whether the government has the right to continue detaining them. How many of the people in Gitmo have been charged in a court of law, even military law? How many have been given legal counsel? How manyof these people have been brought before a judge to determine if the US government has the right to hold them? Your line of thinking seems to align perfectly with the stunning wisdom of Cheney and his puppet, Bush43: if they're Muslim, they're guilty of something - give us another 10 or 20 years and we'll think up some charges. Crawl back under your rock.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        Erm, Habeas Corpus does not extend to prisoners of war. And honestly, they SHOULD be treated as prisoners of war, to reflect the new reality we're in, rather than acting like the fascists.
        I'm REALLY glad that my uncles that fought in WWII are dead, they'd be BEYOND enraged to fight a war against fascists, only to see our nation behave like a fascist nation.

        September 13, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
      • Peter

        you're on a roll ... whenever the heat on your Government goes up, well, redirect, redirect

        September 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
  50. John

    Call HALO kidnap & rescue people. Time for serious extracdtion. Just as good go find some influential Cubans in Miami and put them in jail. Then you can do an exchange. Better still Nuke the Island.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Nah, HIHO for a preparation and intel team, then low level entry, with any special aircraft necessary to ensure safe entry and egress. Then, a carrier task force or two to ensure no pursuit once departed.
      50 men on the ground total, another 150 for various support and reserve functions, the hardware assets and the will to raise some merry hell.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  51. Bart Brown

    Too bad he's not perplexed by the people being held on that same island, in the American dungeon at Gitmo, with no rights, no idea why they're being held - except that they're Muslims, the "Japs" of the 21st Century - no idea when, or IF, they'll ever see their homes or families again. I suppose they should count themselves lucky Cheney didn't have them "renditioned" to his close personal and political friend Moammar Qaddafi, to be tortured and murdered. I voted for Obama in the faint hope that the no-due-process excesses of the Cheney regime might be changed. To say I have been deeply disappointed would be understatement on a cosmic scale.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Reply
    • Robert

      Not even close to what is really going on. Get educated.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Reply
    • madcow11

      Bart, don't you realize why we have been so anti-Castro for so many years? It is because he is a tyrant that has tortured and executed his own citizens for years and has bankrupted his country with his socialist ideas. Why don't you get that?

      September 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply
      • Just an observer

        Madcow11, I wouldn't pay this guy any mind. He can claim outrage over the persecution of all those poor innocents being held in gitmo and wax on about how the US antagonizes Cuba all he wants..... from the comfort of his own couch. Send him to a communist country for any amount of time and he'll get his wake up call.

        September 13, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Craig

      Maybe they should start doing more in their own country to stop terrorism beside just lip service...I don't feel bad for them at all over in Gitmo...Most of them have done absolutely nothing to stop the assault on our country that has been going on for years..Maybe they should fight for freedom and get rid of the scourge themselves than we wont have to try and do it for them.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Well, again, you fail. Let's review, shall we?
      The ones released were innocent. The ones held were caught FIRING at US soldiers, save the one kid that threw a grenade that killed a US soldier. Nice folks, perhaps we should arm them and push them through the fence!
      Any who were given a rendition were returned. Sorry for your epic fail. I don't approve of torture, but it's done and over with. And a presidential order was given to cease and desist. Disobey it and you're in DEEP poop.
      Your comrades in the information directorate should REALLY try to keep you up to date!

      September 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Good attempt at redirecting the conversation away from the issues with Cuba ...
      All the Raul Castro needs to do is give a speech where he apologizes for the misery and suffering he and his brother have caused to millions of his citizens ... Then, Raul should have the decency to resign and allow free elections ... just stop the suffering.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  52. Richard

    If we started to talk to other countries and not bully them then maybe we would not have these problems. And we may not have to spend trillions for wars we cause. The last time our freedom was truly threatened was when Japan/Germany declared war against us. We cause so many problem and we pay for them later. I think having a strong military is a good idea but not at the expense of all of us. Our country seems to run on the defense industry only. This is my opinion so if you don't like remember this. Free Speech is what this country is all about. Have a nice day.

    September 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • madcow11

      Richard, it is hard not to appear arrogant to the world when you are the main superpower and other countries don't have the backbone to defend themselves and look to us to do it for them. GWB set a bad image for us overseas, but having power means responsibilities. As for never being threatened since WW2, You forget the entire Cold War, don't you? That was a very real threat that almost cost us everything (think: Cuban missile crisis). You need to go back and study your history.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      Yes Richard, but that would require our "elected leaders" to have some common sense. Unfortunately, Washington DC seems to be lacking this, these days.

      I was hopeful we'd see someone strong, and honest, to oppose Obama in 2012, but so far I am most unimpressed by what I've seen from the Republicans/TP.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      YOU ARE RIGHT, richie! Why don't you go tell my cousin's family that to their faces. One Michael F. Stabile.
      First, how do you want your remains disposed of?
      He died on the 84th floor of the south tower, attacked by men from a nation we've not threatened, intimidated and only helped when they were invaded.
      Perhaps *I* should run for president. THEN, Cuba would KNOW what a REAL threat is. Because, I'm the farthest thing in the universe from a diplomat. I was a soldier for far too long.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Reply
    • Subparboy

      Richard, I agree that free speech is important....I also know that 2,987 people lost that right 10 years ago. As far as I'm concerned THAT was the last time our "freedom was truly threatened". And I have no problem with detaining anyone suspected of aiding, abetting, harboring or even sympathizing with those that perpetrated such dispicable acts.

      September 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  53. Arran Webb

    SECURITY CLEARANCE and clearly high security information – and GRAPHICS? CNN is looking a lot like a video game. I need a life and should stop reading CNN online.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      You should, because CNN doesn't even have clearance to read FOUO.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  54. hunky dory

    The US needs to change its ways. It has to stop treating the rest of the world with their holier than thou attitude. They have supplied money and weapons to the bad guys in south america, pakistan, and so many other places. Now their deeds are coming back home to roost in all kinds of ways. I just hope that they americans become more humble and understand that at this rate they are just bringing destruction to themselves. If they really believe in God, they should understand that if God exists He/She would be fair to all, and not tolerate the american misdeeds. I really like the americans by and large, and I hope they change their attitude for their own good and that of the rest of the world.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • up1652

      All nations act in their own self interest. Including yours.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Without the US in World War II, Hitler would have been running the world. That may not have been good ... Without the US, during the late 20th century, Russia would have taken over. We know how well Russia treated their own people in the 20th century. I think we have lucky!

      September 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        ... I think we have been lucky πŸ™‚ ... but, as things look now, let's hope the Chinese are good at running this blue marble in space.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
      • sam

        Russia was solely responsible for defeating nazi germany, howwever anyone feels about josef stalin and the soviet regime. Get informed before you soil yourself in public.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        sammy, you REALLY need to learn history. My uncles were part of the invasion force of Berlin. Russia came in from one side, we came in from the other.
        Without the US hammering German airfields, the Russians wouldn't have stood a chance in hell that an ice cube does.
        The slag that remained of Russian tanks and their crews would've been recycled for the German war machine.
        And Uncle Joe sure chose good friends at first, like Appy Adolf. Who Barbarosa'd him.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
      • Just an observer

        Really, Sam? Russia defeated Nazi Germany? Let me guess.... you also think recycling is a PR stunt made up by the democrats and the holocaust was a hoax. Am I right???

        September 13, 2011 at 10:15 pm |
    • adfsgahaerty

      I see the delusional communist atheists are here yet again. hey there little guy.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Bleh, this is just the very short age of cleaning up the mess left from the cold war. Nothing more than a bit of mopping the floor and taking out the trash.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  55. Fidel Castro

    First: hate America. second: Hate America. third: Hate America. Cuba's policy for the last 52 years and counting. Gross will
    not be free in order to set an example. remember Castro have been ruling the island and good part of the Americas while Obama was still in his father balls back in Kenya. Why you all pinkos think there are 2 million cubans in america and 10 million trying to leave Cuba, the most wonderful place in earth.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Fidel, how are you doing dude?. Hey, there is a rumor on the Internet that your buddy in Venezuela is the reason you are suffering from Intestinal problems. You were poison egg head ... It seems your friend Chavesz wanted to take you out so he would become the big shot in the Socialist movement in the Americas ...

      But seriously, Gross will probably be kept in prison and used in the future to help Cuban-US relations once the Castro brothers are gone ... the new dictator in Cuba will use him and others to get money from us, etc.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      "remember Castro have been ruling the island and good part of the Americas...", erm, inFidel, I hate to break it to you, but your 2×4 island hasn't been ruling anything but itself for two generations, to be GENEROUS.
      Indeed, RUSSIA really ruled that 2×4 island more than inFidel did.
      Just a tool. A tool now rusting on a shelf, unused since your master passed away. Unused and forgotten.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  56. Don H.

    Should have sent Bill Clinton...

    September 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Actually, Bill Clinton volunteered to go, but Hillary put a stop to that, especially after she saw Bill Clinton looking at brochures of Club Med in Cuba. Cuban women are hot!

      September 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        ROFLMAO! Honestly though, I doubt that Willie's Winkie works any longer. πŸ˜‰
        But, I DO agree, Cuban women are QUITE hot! Wouldn't mind having a few of my own, not that I'd be likely to find any stupid enough to put up with my butt!
        Hmmm, my wife agrees. :/

        September 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
      • Peter


        September 13, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  57. Aned

    It's obvious that the Cuban government want a prisoner exchange; as the US did with the Russian spies a few months ago.
    But, why is CNN hiding this fact?

    September 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Russian spies, in the nation legally. US spies, in the nation legally. Cuban spies, in the nation illegally and breaking law after law AND planning violence, which is NOT DONE IN SPYCRAFT, SAVE IN TIME OF WAR.
      Are you and your Cuban government handlers admitting to an act of war? For, spies planning to execute an attack IS AN ACT OF WAR.
      Foolish to do with a nation 90 miles away and with quite a bit of excess military capacity since the cold war ended.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  58. MATTY13

    His crime? He is "accused him of importing satellite equipment to connect dissidents to the Internet." Oh my God! What a crime. Off with his head!

    September 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply
    • Blue

      Off with his head or whatever other punishment that SOVEREIGN country chooses.
      No one forced this idiot to go to Cuba.

      Americans are so pathetic. Let's kill us some Mexicans using the death penalty. That's just A-OK. Not an international issue at all. Where was Richardson then? Where was he when Americans were slaughtering a Mexican?

      Doesn't matter I guess. Just another brown guy killed in the "greatest country in the world".

      But god forbid those commie Cubans for enforcing their own laws. God forbid they should annoy a former governor of the USofA.

      You people need to get your heads straight. Not everyone loves you. Get it?

      September 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        No one in the US goes to jail for 15 years because they sell phones to someone else ... do you see the difference between Cuba and the US? ...

        It's always interesting to see the selective enforcement of laws by the Cuban Government. There is no rule of law in that country, except the law of keeping people enslaved, hungry and without hope.

        If as someone else in this forum has indicated, you happen to be one of those from an IP address in Cuba, writing propaganda for your Goverment, my question to you is this: Don't you want your kids to have a better future? ... Don't you want your kids to be free?

        September 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
      • Just an observer

        Are you really comparing the case where a Mexican man received the death penalty after admitting to the rape, torture and murder of a 16-year old girl – to a 15 year imprisonment of a man who was getting some Cuban Jews on the internet? Let's not forget that Humberto Leal never revealed his Mexican citizenship at the time of his arrest, and his defense team never raised the consular access issue at or before the trial! So basically, a technicality *should* have gotten this convicted, admitted child rapist and murder a new trial, but instead he got sentenced to death. Does the fact that an international representation law was overlooked really excuse this mans actions? Does this situation even compare to the crime committed by Gross? Don't worry buddy, based on your world view, I'm sure no one really likes you either.

        September 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  59. Gene Brady

    Gross must be CIA or something. Why doesn't anyone go get that poor innocent girl held in Italy. You want to know why???? She's just an American citizen like the American girl that The Isaeli Army an over wth a TANK... another noody, another American citizen.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      The little girl in Italy, who was accused of murder 1... Who had a trial and an appeal and the money for top notch lawyers that her parent's can't afford is coming like manna from the skies. You're right, she's abandoned.
      The girl the Israelis ran over with a tank, IN THE WRONG AREA, where SHE WAS NOT PERMITTED TO BE BY LAW.
      Ah, no difference at all.
      With all the support I've seen here from my fellow citizens, I've sent a declination letter for that government contracting position. Don't want to be abandoned by my honorless countrymen.
      We NEVER LEFT A MAN BEHIND in my unit.
      You motherlovers make a habit of it.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Reply

    I believe the most feasible, and symbolic retaliatory response the United States can perform is closing the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone. Nothing would infuriate, and terrify the Castro regime more than for them to witness a territory of free enterprise and democratic values prop up on communist soil. MAKE GUANTANAMO BAY A DEMOCRATIC FREE TRADE ZONE.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Reply
    • kurtinco

      Excellent idea. This is the way to go in Cuba, not another nitwit intervention scheme like coup engineering or military operations.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
    • Dave(A.K.A. Homebrew)

      Great Idea,
      will there be cuban cigars for sale there???

      September 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • DoubleW

      Make Guantanimo a Democratic free trade zone? Can you imagine how quickly Cuba would launch a military invasion to obliterate it? They only tolerate Guantanimo now because it is heavily militarized, and as such could impose unacceptable damnage on them. Turning it into a giant Wal-Mart would be completely unacceptable.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Reply
      • V

        That's the beauty of the idea. If the Cuban government were to ever sabotage the Free Trade Zone, then it would demonstrate to the rest of the free world that they have no desire to end the economic embargo or institute democratic reform, and instead continue their stranglehold of power on the island.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Dave, you can get Cuban cigars pretty much ANYWHERE in the world EXCEPT the US.
      I've had them. Not that great any longer.
      I personally prefer Honduran. Even if we're mad at them (or aren't we mad at them this week, I lose track).

      September 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  61. fletc3her

    Apparently Cuba rates somewhere lower than North Korea in terms of international relations.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  62. David Johansen

    Time to send in the big guns – Bill Clinton.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  63. Carlos Rojas

    Castro's henchmen are writing here about the cuban five. They were cuban spies from the get go. They infiltrated the airforce bases in Florida and planned the downing of two civilian planes killing 4 innocent civilians in international waters. Mr. Gross went there with a humanitarian group of his own accord. He killed nobody. You cuban henchmen, you get paid a few pennies to keep yourselves and your country enslaved, starved, and imprisoned. You will never be free of your guilt and shame. You will be the first to die when Cuba is free.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      Absolutely ...

      In addition, as some of you may know, former president Jimmy Carter has been to Cuba a few times ... Note that Mr. Carter tends to visit countries with horrendous human rights ...

      The hope of a decent people is that their future leaders will have the wisdom to govern for the good of their citizens and not with the evil that lurks deep inside the soul of a coward.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Reply
      • kurtinco

        If I an reading you correctly, you are calling President Carter a coward. Where do you get off making such an asinine statement? It takes courage to stare evil in the eye, the kind of courage that comes from the conviction you are doing great humanitarian work. Like the work President Carter has devoted his post-presidential life to doing.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Erm, dude, he never intimated that Carter was a coward. Cowards won't GO to nations with horrendous human rights histories.
        Only the incredibly brave or the contractor will.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
      • Peter

        I have two separate paragraphs ... I did not meant the second paragraph about Jimmy Carter. Carter is a very decent man ... The second paragraph is a statement at my hope for a future leader of Cuba ... Sorry for the confusion.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  64. Brian Gross

    How can anyone trus this moron when he screwed up his own state to a point that everyone in NM hate him.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Very, very few people liked Carter as a president, but everyone loves him as a statesman.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  65. tokyo joe

    Cuba was a friend of Gadaffi do you think they even want to talk to a country that bombed him with 17,000+bombs killing 3,000 civilians they were suppose to be protecting??

    September 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      It is always an interesting thing to see the friends that dictators make!

      September 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Reply
      • tokyo joe

        they are socialist governments and stick together...we took the libyan government out and now they are going to be governed by the sharia law.....worse than Gadaffi ever could have been

        September 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Do they want that same nation, which didn't even NOTICE the loss of 17000+ bombs angry? ESPECIALLY as we'd not really need to use a fleet, as it's in the local neighborhood?

      September 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  66. Kent Bowen

    You buy this: Gross says he was trying to help connect the Jewish community to the Internet and was not a threat to the government.

    And, I have some swamp land in SW Florida you might want. Could probably launch some Fourth of July fireworks toward Cuba from the swamp land (if you can find a dry spot).

    September 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      I got some swamp land in Florida as well! πŸ™‚

      September 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
  67. Brandon C.

    Not that I agree with their sentiment nor position, I can see why Cuba would see this as a problem. They have 'security' on their leg of the www to control what gets in and out. Just like everyone else does. We wouldn't like it if Castro sent his agents here to the country to lend covert communications equipment to a group of jihadists, if only from the perspective that our security forces wouldn't be able to monitor their communications reliably. Why should we think it's any better for us to do to them?

    September 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      The reason is simply that we're Americans and we stand for things ... This is not the US from the 1900s when we did what we have to do to become a super power. But, in this 21st century, we do still stand for basic human rights ... Don't you think that a 15 year sentence for selling phones is just wrong?

      September 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Reply
      • hunky dory

        Do you stand for human rights? How about the rights of the people who have been killed with weapons provided by the US over the decades? This includes support to the mujahids and the people who committed crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, India and elsewhere with money and weapons supplied by the US to Pakistan. You reap what you sow.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
      • up1652

        Hunky Dory you seriously don't think the US is the only nation to sell weapons abroad do you ? Just about every industrial nation does it. Especially the Chinese and the Koreans. Get real.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Interesting, as one CAN sell satellite communications gear, with zero restrictions, going to/from anywhere.
      And the US has ZERO control or influence on the internet, per STATUTE. The government WISHES it did, but it doesn't.
      Indeed, I have encryption equal or better to US government encryption. As I was one of the ones setting up US government encryption, I know of what I speak. I know quite a few citizens here who also have the same or very similar encryption. No laws against it. No restrictions.
      But then, we keep our government in line. Failing standard methods, the second amendment was designed to ensure the government remains in line.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  68. S1N

    Here's an idea. You have a large, well-equipped military force. They have a small island.

    You have a massive Navy with the ability to level entire cities. They have a small island.

    You have a ground force (not including deployed troops) who could eliminate all formal military resistance in a matter of days. They have a small island.

    This is not Iraq/Afghanistan. They do not have a large al Qaeda presence. Force Cuba to submit to U.S. demands, then let them rebuild from the ashes without our help.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • Erik

      Awesome, imperialism! Nobody's ever attempted that in Cuba before!

      September 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Reply
    • San Jose Jay

      Yeah... I'm sure Venezuela and Russia would LOVE us to attack Cuba... gives them a perfect opportunity to persuade the Cuban officials to allow "Security Forces" from the respective countries to be given a place to set up a close by base of operations against the USA.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
      • UsVsThem

        @ San Jose Jay, that would not happen because we would take over the island of cuba and set up a puppet regime controlled by the US goverment. We wouldn't allow a repeat of the Cuban Missle Crisis!

        September 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
      • kurtinco

        That will never happen. The Soviets attempted it once before and nearly triggered a nuclear incident. Russia will not be foolish enough to try that again. Venezuela might try, but they would be met by a force with which they could never contend.

        At any rate, military intervention in Cuba is definitely a really stupid idea.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Kurinco, there IS always an extraction team. We DO have operators trained to do JUST such a task.
        If we're in a REALLY bad mood, we eliminate the guards and leave the cell doors ajar on departure...

        September 13, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Kent Bowen

      OK, Dick Cheney, we get your point...

      September 13, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  69. Haruka

    Maybe he should learn Spanish.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • Kent Bowen


      September 13, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Reply
  70. Daveil

    I always thought Richardson was perplexed as well as confused and befuddled when it came to foreign affairs.

    September 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • TruthSpeaks


      Freedom and democracy for ALL !!

      dont give me that BS nonsense democracy is ruled by the mob not the people.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • Jeff of Peoria

      Then MR DAVEIL, you don't know him. He has always been successful on these types of jaunts. Name a country and he has pulled an American out of it. He's pulled people out of N Korea twice. Not sure what type of Govenor he was in New Mexico but at foreigb affairs he knew what he was doing.

      Do your homework first before you trash a good guy

      September 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Reply
      • Kent Bowen

        I name...Sierra Leone...

        September 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
      • fletc3her

        Bill Richardson did deal with the problems in Sierra Leone when he was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations during the Clinton administration. It isn't part of his more freelance work, but he is presumably not unfamiliar with the country.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
    • Michael Petch

      Maybe Richardson thought Cuba was an American State? πŸ˜‰

      September 13, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  71. us1776

    Freedom and democracy for ALL !!


    September 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • Kent Bowen

      Vive la France...

      And, what's with this "Publicar" crap?

      September 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
      • Wzrd1

        Publicar has been there for close to a year that I've noticed. Probably a lousy Indian subcontractor programming job.

        As for democracy, the world hasn't seen one of those since Athens fell in ancient Greece. Since then, it's been a representational democracy. Consider this: Athens was voting to RAISE AN ARMY while BEING INVADED, hence was sacked.
        Pearl Harbor was bombed and we were at war in a day.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  72. here's an idea...

    I believe the most feasible, and symbolic retaliatory response the United States can perform is closing the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone. Nothing would infuriate the Castro brothers more than for them to witness a territory of free enterprise and democratic values prop up on communist soil. MAKE GUANTANAMO BAY A DEMOCRATIC FREE TRADE ZONE.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • Jeff of Peoria

      I think this is a great idea. I don't wwant any of those current GITMO creeps around here though.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
      • here's an idea...


        September 13, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
    • Marsx

      Your idea isn't viable. Where would the USA government place the suspected terrorists still in Guantamo at USA military bases? And we have to keep in mind that Guantano Bay is not a USA property either. Some obscure treaty gave USA right of use, but not full rights over the bay. It's unfortunate that Cuba doesn't want to release Mr Gross, but remember Castro may still be upset over more than 100 attempts to assesinate him through CIA efforts. One may ask if we tried that on Castro why we never tried every other communist leaders too; like Mao and any others from the Soviet satelites and from Russia too?

      September 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
      • Marco

        I have to respectfully disagree with your opinion. Fidel Castro has always declared the treaty restricting Guantanamo Bay to "no other purpose" than refueling naval ships are invalid. Also, because Fidel Castro took power in Cuba by force, and refused to hold legitimate elections after the revolution makes him an illegitimate leader in principle. So who cares what the Communist government thinks. They are the nation's jailers. I think this is an excellent plan that our nation should strongly consider. Besides we would be saving billions in operations costs by closing GITMO.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        To be really blunt, Fidel nationalized US company properties, which already rather alienated him to our country. The golden rule and all, he who has the gold makes the rules...
        THEN, repeated insults to the US, up to and including agreeing to host thermonuclear missiles on Cuban soil, which destabilized the cold war. Of course, the GOOD thing was that US missiles in Turkey that were SUPPOSED to be removed, DID get removed and certain senior officers paid for willfully disobeying a lawful order of their commander in chief.

        Marco, if Fidel didn't respect that treaty agreement, why is GITMO still there and doing QUITE well? Trust me, the US has plenty of bases where the prisoners could be stashed away safely. Diego comes to mind... There are quite a few other sites as well. To include Antarctica.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  73. bailoutsos

    "he was invited by the Cuban government to talk about U.S.-Cuban relations" -- Then got the cold shoulder? What a crock of chit.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  74. Peter

    I don't understand why Mr. Richardson would be surprised or perplexed by the actions of the Cuban Government. I'm a Cuban American. It's not a surprise to me. In Cuba, you have a country ran by a group of people, most of which should be in nursing homes instead of running a country. With ideals that not only never worked, but are so out of touch with what is going on in the rest of the world that it is painful to watch ...

    Unfortunately, the Cuban people are the ones to suffer. There is no hope for anyone in that country. Those 70+ year old in power have no desire to make changes now, not just before their demise.

    Very sad indeed!

    September 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • TruthSpeaks

      @Peter so Peter as an american cuban did you know that democracy is ruled by the mob?

      September 13, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Reply
      • Peter

        As you know, the US is not a democracy, but a republic as in "... and to the republic for which it stands". Big difference ... Democracies are indeed mobs of people making rules. Our founders knew about that which is why we elect representatives to right the laws ...

        But, please note the following. Most in this forum are free to write all kinds of opinions and even criticize the status quo ... Try that in a Dictatorial and Communist regime, e.g. Cuba ... Actually, probably not all in this forum are writing their opinions from the US ... I wonder if some are sitting in some Government office in Cuba?

        September 13, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Well, Peter, from my parsing of the logs here, there are 4 Cuban IP's logging comments under different names. There are two obfuscated IP's that I really don't feel like tracing. The rest are US and Canadian, overall.
        Not that I work for that company, but it's nice to know people who know how to get data for one. πŸ™‚

        September 13, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
      • Peter

        It makes sense ... It would be nice if the forum printed the country of origin next to a name so we would know what to make of someone's comments.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  75. Antonio J. Valdes

    This is not surprise at al.
    Mr. Richardson should know that the U.S. is holding in prison five Cubans for more of the same reason.
    Release them and the Cubans will reciprocate.
    The rest is wishful and deceiving thinking

    September 13, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • Simon Leitch

      I agree with you that this might be the case, but it is very odd that the Cubans will not even go through the motions of the meeting. It would have been a perfect way for both sides to save face and back down, so I suspect there is more to it than the prisoner exchange from the Cuban side.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      So, HE entered Cuba illegally and was stealing Cuban citizens identity? Screw your Cuban masters. Put 4 carrier groups, ready to launch and don't let anything in or out of Cuba until he's released. Not even aircraft.
      Since Cuba doesn't want to play by well established diplomatic rules, treat them like the thugs and rascals that they are.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  76. jose

    what about the families of the Cuban Five? USA showing once again its hypocrisy...
    What's next? Support the new Sharia based constitution of Libya? Ooops... USA is doing it right now...

    September 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      The Cuban 5, illegally in the US, committing multiple counts of identity theft. Those alone get prison.
      A US government contractor, following his contracted instructions and duties is abandoned by his nation.
      Way to suck, USSA!
      We USED to have honor and leave no man behind.
      Now, we abandon all who do anything for us!
      I'm declining that position as a contractor, I don't want to risk being abandoned.

      September 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  77. John

    Let's see here: An American goes to Cuba and breaks their law or laws. Is tried and found guilty.
    I don't see the point of Carter or Richardson's visit.
    Do you?

    Can we as Americans visit foreign countries and brake their laws ? Can they brake our laws? Do Americans get immunity for everything they do wrong in a foreign country?

    What is the point of Richardson's visit other than his quest for celebrity exposure? political gain?

    September 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • UhYeaOk

      How do you know he broke the laws? Because a communist government that doesn't give a person a fair chance in court said so? Get your head out of your butt idiot.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
      • jose

        lol... one more who never read a entire newspaper. He had all his rights respected was fairly judge as a criminal. By the way, the Iraq terrorists give a fair court for Saddam Hussein, the ex-great friend of Bush family. I wonder why entire world ask for freedom of Cuban Five... maybe because it was not a fair court....

        September 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Jose, let's review. 5 Cubans illegally in the US. 5 Cubans committing multiple counts of identity theft.
        1 US government contractor doing his job, arrested and sent to prison.
        I'm not a diplomat. I'd put 4 carrier task force groups around Cuba and ensure nothing in or out, even by air, until our man is back.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
      • BigWally

        How do we know he broke the law?
        Well, he was working for a firm to promote democracy into a communist country. That is pretty illegal in Cuba. You need to remove your own head from your butt. If you go to Cuba or any other country, then you must follow their rules. Or else you must pay the consequences. I really hope Alan is freed soon, but he knew what he was doing.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        Thanks Wally! I now know that the USSA will not support me if I take that contractors job that I was offered.
        So, I'll decline. Let them find a less skilled sucker to get abandoned abroad by our government, since the fascists have taken over and leave all men behind.
        WE were trained to leave NO man behind. But then, back then, we and the nation had honor and didn't abandon our men.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
    • T

      Excellent questions all.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      One breaks the law; one brakes a car.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      A US Government contractor is contracted to connect communications system and does his job, then is arrested for doing his job.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  78. bailoutsos

    "Richardson is traveling as a private citizen" --- He should be arrested just like any other private citizen that has traveled to Cuba.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • heliocracy

      Wow, is everything that black-and-white to you? Let me guess...Republican?

      September 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
      • bailoutsos

        No. It is just that Americans held a sailing regatta that went through Cuban waters and promoters were arrested. They were private citizens.

        September 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
      • Busted

        Wow SOS, thank you for wearing the republican colors and showing your complete ignorance. If this confuses you, go back and read the article again

        September 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
      • Wzrd1

        So, SOS's message to all potential US government contractors is, DON'T DO IT OR DIE ABROAD FOR DOING YOUR JOB. THE USSA WILL ABANDON YOU.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  79. T

    If he was truly working in the best interest of Cuban Jews, why isn't the Israeli government involved? Why are we involved? Is he a representative of the U.S. or of the Jewish people? If he was Catholic, should Richardson advocate more or less vigorously for his release? To whom does he pledge his allegiance? Some clarification would be nice, rhetorically speaking, of course.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • djwazu

      The government answer to you is = Were trying not to hear that and shtdafckup lol

      September 13, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • Busted

      Thank you, is anyone else sick and tired of the foreign and domestic BS we have to put up w/because of Israel? How many more times will they spy on us until we say enough?

      September 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
      • apathysam

        Really? How on earth is this Israel's fault? Because there were Jews involved?

        September 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm |
  80. Shawn Irwin

    There is nothing to be perplexed about. If you want answers, all you have to do is google "the cuban five".

    September 13, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • UhYeaOk

      Yea, google has all the answers...

      September 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  81. Dan

    I believe the most feasible, and symbolic retaliatory response the United States can perform is closing the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone. Nothing would infuriate the Castro brothers more than for them to witness a territory of free enterprise and democratic values prop up on communist soil. MAKE GUANTANAMO BAY A FREE TRADE ZONE.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Reply
    • Mr Wolf

      Unfortunately, the long-term lease we have with Cuba that allows us to use that part of Cuba is for military purposes. The lease agreement doesn't allow standard civilian development or transfer of use of the land to either American or Cuban civilians.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        I have to respectfully disagree with your opinion. Fidel Castro has always declared that the treaty restricting Guantanamo Bay to "no other purpose" than refueling naval ships are invalid. On a side note, because Fidel Castro took power in Cuba by force, and refused to hold legitimate elections after the revolution makes him an illegitimate leader. Who cares what the Communist government thinks. They are the nation's jailers.

        September 13, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • solomon

      Not really a great idea. The U.S. has treated Cuba lworse than they treat terrorist countries, and for what? Before Castro, Havana was used as an American casino and brothel, and since then the U.S> has punished Cuba. While I feel for Mr. Gross.....WHAT was he thinking, bring communication eq. to the island in the 1st place?? He HAD to know that it was a terrible idea.....another American, showing NO respect for this island!

      September 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
      • UhYeaOk

        Hmmm...yea, I guess them having nuclear missiles aimed at us was perfectly ok with you eh? I guess the fact that the cuban people don't have freedom of expression, freedom to move about freely, freedom to vote for a second party. People like you never cease to amaze me.....

        September 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
      • ccastine

        it was a stupid idea, though i think its more accurate to say he had no respect for the cuban government, but plenty for its people. he was trying to do something positive under a negative government. cuba should probably let him go, and we should take our military base off cuba because we really don't need it right now.

        September 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm |
      • Busted

        @Yeah – this is the problem w/republicans you can't argue a position based on reality and fact. My goodness, when will the tin hats come off?

        September 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
      • martin

        In all this comments,, not one have mentioned,, the case that WE made this Castro regime,,, remember after he took ower Habana and Batista left he closed the American PLAYGROUND the casinos and brothels,,, that was the only thing he was closing and he came to USA Washington to ask Eisenhower for help to rebuild Cuba,,, and was denide because,, he was accused of closing AMERICAN BUSINESS,,,, THE BROTHELS AND THE CASINOS,,, who was the owner of it?? the AMERICAN MAFFIA,,,, so thats why we denide him help??,,, and he had to go to Russia to get the help,, if you dont beleive it GOOGLE it all,,, its all and a lot moore if needed,

        September 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  82. Mark

    I believe the most feasible, and symbolic retaliatory response the United States can perform is closing the prisons in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, and return the territory operated by the United States, to Cuba, not to the Castros, but to the Cuban exiles. Transform Guantanamo Bay, Cuba into a Democratic Free Trade Zone. Nothing would infuriate the Castro brothers more than for them to witness a territory of free enterprise and democratic values prop up on communist soil. MAKE GUANTANAMO BAY A FREE TRADE ZONE.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • djwazu

      It wouldn't be right because it's Cuban territory and I don't think they're even accepting payment for that land anymore! But it's an interesting proposition, still wouldn't be right.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  83. Paul M, Boston, MA.

    Mr. Richardson's mistake was not to realize what Cuba's game really is. If he had said that he was visiting Cuba with "gifts" (aka: the possibility of freeing the five communist dummies serving long sentences in the USA for spying) then he probably would have enjoyed more official attention. Mr. Gross is the bargain chip. Unfortunately Cuba is preparing itself for the demise of its recently unseen ailing dictator and has no time, energy or imagination to multi-tasking his final days.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Boskoo

      Leaving perplexed ????? I can assure you that he arrived there in the exact same condition. It's been with him for years.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Reply
    • Erik

      Working to foil terrorist plots is not the work of "dummies"

      September 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • Busted

      @Paul – thank you for you genius, but if anyone understands foreign policy it is not some dude in his mothers basement.

      September 13, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  84. KeninTexas

    "Richardson, ,,,,, was given the cold shoulder by the Cuban government" and ".Former President Jimmy Carter ,,,,, tried to secure the aid worker's release But he went home empty-handed. " ,,,,,, That explains it all right there. The Cubans know what we all know in the US. These two clowns are complete jerks and who would want to have anything to do with them. What jerks they both are.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Interesting, as Carter is as good a statesman as he was lousy as a president. He's accomplished more in statecraft than anyone in the state department has on multiple missions.
      His mistake this time was that he didn't bring Powell along with him. Together, they REALLY manage to get things done.
      But, it seems that a certain political party is busy trying to re-write the history books, changing things to not reflect facts and events, but wet dreams.
      Perhaps we should send Palin and Bachmann to negotiate. With luck, Cuba will keep THEM!

      September 13, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Reply
      • UhYeaOk

        Just what history books are being rewritten Wzrd1? People like you make those statements as if they are fact yet you couldn't quote a single credible source I am betting. Keep voting for Obummer and we will continue to see this sort of thing, most countries around the world see him for the wimp he is.

        September 13, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      Wzrd1 said "it seems that a certain political party is busy trying to re-write the history books, changing things to not reflect facts and events, but wet dreams." ,,,, Yeah, you're right. The Dems are trying their best to make Carter into something he certainly wasn't, which was a good president. He was a lousy president. If you knew anything about it, which you appear not to, you'd know how bad the economy got while he was president as well as how badly the US got beat up in the world for his pansy foreign policy. Remember the Iranian hostage crisis. That was him you dummy!

      September 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  85. dave

    If Richardson went there as a private citizen how could he spend money?

    September 13, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Erm, money doesn't cease to work just because diplomatic relations are severed. Cuban-Americans send money to Cuba all year long.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  86. Logikflux

    Looks like we are going to get our spies back from Iran instead.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • djwazu

      Ha ha lol right what would happen if we found 2 Iranians hiking close to the border in Mexico or Canada! Ilmfao

      September 13, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  87. Erik

    I am disappointed that this article failed to mention the five Cuban nationals who are being detained in the United States on similar grounds. Perhaps Richardson and Carter should have offered a prisoner swap.

    September 13, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Reply
    • Mr Wolf

      There is nothing "similiar" about these cases. The 5 Cubans are being held not for espionage, but for identify theft, illegal entry into the U.S. for criminal purposes, breaking and entering, providing false information to a federal investigation, etc., etc., etc.. Mr. Gross is in jail because he wsa providing "unauthorized technology." Meaning, he was jailed because he was trying to give people the means to actually find out about the rest of the world without the filtering of the internet by the totalitarian Cuban regime. Let's guy jailed for the equivalent of giving a Bible to a North Korean and 5 guys jailed for basically being a gang of illegal aliens breaking into your house, stealing your personal information and using intimidation tactics to threaten your extended family in Cuba. Since one is a de facto political prisoner and the other 5 are basically jailed for universally recognized criminal behavior, I don't see your claim to these two cases having any kind of equivalency.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • Erik

        The Cuban 5 uncovered a Miami-based terrorist plot against the Cuban people and reported it to both the Cuban government and US authorities. Yes, they were in the US without proper documentation, but I assume many of our anti-terrorist CIA agents enter hostile countries without genuine documentation as well.

        Also, the Internet does not assure access to factual information.

        September 13, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  88. brown

    "Gross, 62, was jailed in December 2009, when he was working as a subcontractor on a U.S. Agency for International Development project aimed at spreading democracy"

    This is PC speak for SPY

    September 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Logikflux


      September 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      No, it's government speak for doing what he was doing, which the Cuban government knows full well of and does not approve of.
      The difference is, Cuban spies DID get caught doing all manner of illegal acts in the US, being in the US illegally too, he was there legally and the Cuban government knew perfectly well what he was doing.
      Just park a few carrier groups just inside their territorial waters to explain our ire at playing games, rather than behaving like a REAL nation and using diplomatic solutions.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  89. Adam

    Thanks for an informative article, CNN, but please copyedit your stories better. The apostrophe used to form the possessive of the name Gross is misused: it should be "Gross's." Traditionally the apostrophe is only used after a final "s" for the names of deities, such as the case of Zeus' lightning or Jesus' disciples. Otherwise the apostrophe always has a suffixed "s" for the possessive, as in Gov. Richardson's visit to secure Mr. Gross's release. Thank you.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • SomethingSomethingDarkSide

      It's not really that inappropriate to use the apostrophe in that way because his name ends with an 's'.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Reply
      • SomethingSomethingDarkSide

        Also it just kind of depends on how you want it pronounced. On that note I would agree to use the 's not the s'.

        For instance this is James' car.
        For instance this is James's car.

        September 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Jules

      How much money have you earned writing. I imagine not much.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • James Ruston

      Either form is acceptable.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • CopyEdit

      The possessive form in the case of a proper noun that ends in S or Z is ALWAYS shown as s' or z'. It doesn't matter if its a "deity" or not.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Reply
      • Adam

        Perhaps you are the copyeditor through whose hands this error passed... I suggest that you see any mainstream grammar textbook. A few sources in the last decade do reflect our changing language by indicating that the form you mention is acceptable, but all which I consider authoritative state that the traditional method is preferred.

        September 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
    • Howard

      that's all you got out of this article . . . correcting a typo . . .gimmee a break !!

      September 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      CNN doesn't read these forums, hence you wasted your time. CNN has a contact us page, where you can send this information and if appropriate, will be corrected.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
      • Adam

        Thanks for the idea...although, perhaps I haven't wasted my time if I've inspired folks to research ways of improving grammar. Incidentally I make my living mainly by writing, and am as glad to have my errors corrected as I am willing to recommend corrections. I encourage those who disagree with my correction to consult a book or guide, or the entertaining Oatmeal source online for guidance. Happy writing...from a non-deity with a last name ending in "s."

        September 13, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
  90. Tyler

    Why don't we bomb these idiots back to the stone age and redo the island as a vacation spot for Americans, I am tired of Cuba spitting in America's face!

    September 13, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Reply
    • brown

      Keep your panties on skippy. Cuba will be returned to the flock in the very near future.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
    • djwazu

      You think that would work? We can't even beat their baseball team! Ilmfao

      September 13, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Reply
    • Wzrd1

      Such a brilliant response to a diplomatic snub! Should we nuke Russia for doing the same thing repeatedly?
      Should we nuke China for doing the same thing?
      Or do we only beat up 2×4 countries?
      Better yet, as you will never get the responsibility to decide anything greater than when to flip a burger, we'll ignore your idiotic suggestion.
      War is not started over diplomatic snubs, if it was, the entire planet would be incessantly at war. Nuclear powers would rapidly go nuclear in response.
      Hence, why idiots are not permitted to lead nations. Or at least not for more than GWB was in office...

      September 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Reply
      • UhYeaOk

        I guess Obama slipped through the idiot litmus test eh Wzrd1?

        September 13, 2011 at 7:36 pm |
      • Mike

        Hey used the term "we", but you didn't exactly ignore the suggestion now did you? Good job.

        September 14, 2011 at 6:02 am |
  91. Jason

    "Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday he is leaving Cuba without any progress"

    Finally! Now he has something in common with Jimmy Carter

    September 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  92. Ct

    I tried for a week, my job is done bye

    September 13, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  93. Dan

    When you play with fire, you might get burned.

    September 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  94. martha m. torres

    It is very sad for Mr. Gross to find himself in a Cuban jail. He was found guilty of delivering unauthorized technology NOT TO THE Cuban Jewish community in Cuba, ,but to people the Cuban gov "considers" hostile people. On the other side of the coin, 5 Cubans are languishing in a US jail. They were found guilty for "spying" on Florida Cubans with hostile attitude towards Cuba, NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE SPYING AGAINST US INTERESTS. They are considered anti terrorists. I don't believe either Mr. Gross nor the Cuban 5 should be in jail for their actions. After 13 a US jail, our governments should be talking "exchange of prisoners," return these men to their families ASAP.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Mr Wolf

      Thank you for your opinion, Ms Torres. Don't forget to say hi from us to your Cuban handlers when you do your weekly report. Signed – The majority of actual Floridians who don't agree with you.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Reply
      • Analbutsecks

        The Cubans on American soil did the same thing the American did on Cuban soil. A prisoner exchange is fair. Just because America has the largest cock in the fight doesn't mean multiple little cocks can't band together and fight the big one. It's time America relaxes its "bomb, pillage and indoctrinate" practices before the rest of the world gets together and says NO. Then you'll be getting up every morning worshiping your new Chinese leaders and when you go to the polls to vote it will be easy. You'll be told who to vote for and then you can leave.

        September 13, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      So, the Cubans on American soil did exactly what HE did, huh? HE entered Cuba illegally? HE committed identity theft? NO?
      Oh, it's the same because putana says so. Stay with what you do for a living, you're better on your back.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
      • Nostradamus

        Cuban spies also came to the United States with legal papers too. The problem is just one. Cubans enjoy in the United States -exclusively- a bunch of privileges as no other foreign community have been given in the history of our Country. Those Cuban privileges come from a discriminatory immigration law called Cuban Adjustment Act, enacted in 1966, that protects Cubans of deportations and giving them automatically the Legal Status, without care if the newcomer is a pedophile, assassine, drug trafficker, or terrorist in Cuba. No other foreign community has this unfair kind of immigration benefits, including juicy cash benefits given exclusively to Cuban refugees.

        September 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
    • Carlos

      The Cubans in jail in the U.S. were not found guilty of spying on Florida Cubans. They were found guilty of spying on the United States of America. Cuban Americans who live in Florida are American citizens, and foreign espionage on any citizen is illegal. The courts treated these spies more harshly than, let's say, French spies because, Cuba is ruled by a totalitarian dictator (Fidel Castro, not Raul) who has based his fifty year reign on promoting fear and hatred of the United States. But the most salient aspect of this story is that free internet access should be enjoyed by all people throughout the world. The fact that Cuba controls access to information and punishes opposing thoughts and speech exemplifies the oppressive nature of the Castro dictatorship. Clearly, Castro does not want good relations with the United States. He does not want the embargo lifted. He wants above all to remain in power. The uprisings in Arab countries scares him to death as was clearly evidenced by his (and Chavez') public support for Gadhaffi. To stay in power, Castro must punish those who would supply a free flow of information to his subjects.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
      • Seagull Tango

        More accurately, Cuban intelligence probably read Richardson's brief from the White House. When they realized that he was NOT going to offer the Cuban Five in exchange for Gross, they gave him the cold-shoulder.

        September 14, 2011 at 2:15 am |
      • Seagull Tango

        Nostradamus, your understanding of international relations is appallingly shallow, nonetheless, sometimes you say things that can be correct.

        Based on what you write, I wonder if you are either a knowing or an unknowing shill for the Cuban propaganda ministry? Tell us, tell us - how much do they pay you to promote the Cuban Intelligence Ministry's carefully developed propaganda campaigns? Or do you do it for ideological reasons?

        September 14, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Nostradamus

      Mrs. Torres, I agree with you 100 %. Americans don't realize that through 54 years, US -Cuba relation agenda has been dictated from Miami, not from DC..... Our lawmakers have worked "hard" putting the rubber stamp everything Cuban lawmakers as Diaz Balart's brothers and Ross Lethinen put on Hill desks...It's time to bring back the US-Cuban Agenda to Washington DC ignoring threats and shouts of DiazBalartses, Mrs . Lethinen, et al.

      September 13, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Reply
      • UhYeaOk

        I hope you and Mrs. Torres never get elected to public office, your as stupid as our current president...

        September 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
      • martin

        well as we made Castro Cuba,,, 52 years ago,,, GOOGLE it and you will find out the truth,,, no need to make up stories

        September 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
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