Saturday, March 5, 2011

Start in Havana trial of U.S. contractor Alan Gross

Cuba celebrated on Friday the U.S. trial of Alan Gross, for whom the prosecutor requested 20 years in prison for crimes against the Cuban state and whose case has become a new episode of friction in the long confrontation maintaining Havana and Washington. Fifteen months after his arrest, the U.S. contractor will sit on the sidelines of the People's Provincial Tribunal of Havana, charged with "acts against the independence or territorial integrity" of the country by distributing technological equipment Jewish communities on the island.

His wife, Judy Gross, walking and came to court accompanied by two other people who might be the legal representatives of the Gross family, which has not been officially confirmed. Also attended the People's Provincial Court consular representatives of the Interests Section of the United States in Havana (SINA), and a delegate of the Jewish community in Cuba to act as witness, among others.

None of them made statements to reporters from foreign media that have gathered outside the court where the hearing took place behind closed doors. The secrecy surrounding the trial against Gross is absolute, and the correspondents were not being provided any information. Alan Gross, 61, is a subcontractor of the U.S.

Agency for International Development (USAID) and the company works for Development Alternatives (DAI), based in Maryland, which is engaged in development work in other countries. He was arrested on December 3, 2009 for distributing satellite communication equipment to a Jewish community, according to Cuba illegally and to encourage subversion in Cuba.

President Raul Castro, a few days after the arrest, considered this case as an example of the U.S. "keeps intact the instruments of their policy of aggression" toward the island. On several occasions, directly or indirectly, the United States has demanded the immediate release of Gross argues that what he did is a crime and that Cuba has worked against all obligations on human rights by holding him prisoner for over a year without charge.

The reaction of condemnation from Washington on this case was made particularly evident when it became known, in early February, the petition of 20 years in prison. Even the White House issued a statement denouncing "the injustice suffered by a man who was helping to increase the free flow of information to and among the Cuban people." The 'Gross case' not only has joined the long list of tensions which mark a half century of enmity between Cuba and the United States, but progress has slowed possible after signs of 'thaw' that occurred with the arrival of Barack Obama the presidency, such as the removal of some restrictions on travel and remittances to the island.

Among others, the secretary of state for Latin America, Arturo Valenzuela, said repeatedly that a lack of will to free Cuba Gross has complicated the dialogue with the authorities of the island. Washington has called Cuba a fair trial for Gross, whose family members may attend the hearing, and U.S.

consular representatives and lawyers for the family of the contractor. The crimes of which Gross is accused are set out in Article 91 of the Cuban penal code which states that "in the interest of a foreign state, commits an act with the aim of undermining the independence of the Cuban state or integrity of its territory, shall be punished by imprisonment of ten to twenty years or death.

" This is an article which also were arrested and convicted several Cuban dissidents of the Group of 75. Since last week met the trial date, the Cuban Government has not returned to issue more details about the case.

No comments:

Post a Comment