By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Communists are ecstatic. “The Cuban Five Are Free” is a statement from the U.S. support network for the Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. for various crimes, including participating in a murder conspiracy.
Obama essentially released the three remaining Cuban spies in exchange for American Alan Gross, who had been held hostage by the Cuban regime for over five years. Gross was a foreign aid worker imprisoned by the Castro regime for trying to help ordinary Cubans communicate with the outside world. President Obama confirmed the role of Pope Francis, a vocal critic of Western-style capitalism, in the deal.
Once again, we are treated to a display of secret and deceptive government by the Obama administration, in this case designed to bolster an anti-American regime. The announcement was made after Congress adjourned for the legislative session.
Among its other crimes against the American people, the Castro regime sponsored terrorism on American soil carried out by such groups as the Weather Underground and the Puerto Rican FALN. Testimony confirms that the Weather Underground murdered San Francisco Police Sergeant Brian V. McDonnell on February 16, 1970. The FALN claimed responsibility for over 140 bombings, including the infamous January 24, 1975, lunchtime attack on Fraunces Tavern in New York City which killed four innocent people.
Puerto Rican FALN terrorist William Morales and Black Liberation Army cop-killer Joanne Chesimard are currently being protected by the Cuban regime.
Humberto Fontova, author of the book, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro, tells Accuracy in Media (AIM) that the deal confirms that Gross was a hostage all along. “He was quite simply a hostage,” said Fontova. “That was the word that the media tried to avoid. He was a hostage. The Castro regime grabbed Gross as a hostage, and it worked like a charm.”
The New York Times had endorsed such a deal in a November 2, 2014, editorial, “A Prisoner Swap With Cuba.”
The deal also proves that Obama’s officials had been lying all along. Marc Caputo of the Miami Herald reported back in June that “The Obama administration says it is not negotiating for the release of Alan Gross, the U.S. government contractor arrested in Cuba in 2009 on alleged spy charges.”
The Miami Herald quoted Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as saying back in June that she didn’t think the administration was being honest about negotiating with the communist regime. “I seriously believe the administration is considering a swap,” Rep. Ros-Lehtinen said. “The administration has shown itself not to be faithful to the law and is not to be trusted.”
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen was correct.
I wrote about the proposed deal in my column, “Obama May Free Cuban Spies and Terrorists.”
We noted that before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan was Obama’s solicitor general and submitted a legal brief in the “Cuban Five” case. She noted in the brief that members of the “Cuban five” were affiliated with the Cuban intelligence service and the “Wasp Network,” whose purpose included penetrating U.S. military facilities and transmitting information about the facilities’ operations and layout to Cuba, and infiltrating Cuban-American groups.
One of the “Cuban five,” Gerardo Hernandez, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the deaths of four people, members of Brothers to the Rescue. The four were shot out of the air in international waters by Cuban MiGs after the spy alerted Cuba to their plans.
Through this deal, Obama is equating murder and spying against the U.S. with Alan Gross trying to bring Internet freedom to the Cuban people.
What’s more, Obama says he will review whether Cuba should remain on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. He’s deliberately ignoring the fact that Chesimard, a convicted cop-killer and member of the Black Liberation Army, escaped from prison and fled to Cuba with the help of the Weather Underground. Also known as Assata Shakur, she was involved in the “execution style” murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster.
Joe Connor, who lost his father in the Fraunces Tavern FALN bomb blast in New York City, is angry that Obama didn’t insist that Cuba send the two terrorists, Chesimard and Morales, back to the U.S. to face justice. As the deal stands, the U.S. gets back one unidentified intelligence “agent,” in addition to Gross, in exchange for three Cuban spies—one of them convicted of murder.
“We need to make a condition of any relations with Cuba the return of all fugitives from American justice,” Connor said. “At the top of that list needs to be Chesimard and Morales.”
In our May 3, 2013, column, “How Obama Obstructs Justice in the Search for a Communist Terrorist,” we noted, “If the FBI wants to find Joanne Chesimard, who has just been added to the ‘Most Wanted Terrorists List,’ it could begin by wiretapping President Obama’s friends, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and other members of the Weather Underground.” Ayers and Dohrn helped sponsor Obama’s political career in Chicago, after he was mentored in Marxism by Communist Party operative Frank Marshall Davis in Hawaii.
If Obama had been devoted to freedom for the Cuban people, he would have sought regime change in Cuba. Obama could also have used his policy of “humanitarian intervention” to protect the courageous dissidents in Cuba, who are beaten up and tortured by the secret police of the regime. But Obama has decided to pursue a policy of keeping the Castro brothers in power and simply talks about possible changes in Cuba.
If we had a U.S. President devoted to freedom in the world, Morales and Chesimard could have been snatched in Cuba and brought back to face justice in the U.S. “All that it would take is an order from the President of the United States,” we noted in one column. Of course, Obama is not interested in bringing them to justice. It will be up to Congress to demand answers from the administration about why there were no demands for the return of these terrorist fugitives.
Another area of inquiry has to be the secret negotiations. It may be the case that Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder was in on the deal. When he was deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration, Holder was involved in pardons for members of the FALN and the Weather Underground.
In covering the deal, our media are conveniently ignoring the fact that, during the Cold War, Cuba hosted Soviet nuclear missiles targeting the U.S. Former CIA officer Brian Latell’s book, Castro’s Secrets, includes the revelation that Fidel Castro knew that Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-declared Marxist and Castro sympathizer, was going to kill President Kennedy.
CIA defector Philip Agee died in Havana after doing terrible damage to our intelligence efforts. The FBI file on Agee shows that Agee was a Cuban DGI and Soviet KGB operative.
Fontova tells AIM that Obama has already done a lot to bolster the Castro regime, by facilitating travel to the communist island and enabling Cubans in the U.S. to send money back to their relatives. The latter, he said, amounts to about $4 billion a year—more than what the Soviets provided on a yearly basis to the regime.
Still, he says some aspects of the Cuban embargo are written into law. “The votes are not there” to lift the embargo entirely, he said.
But he said Obama will do everything possible to undermine what’s left of the embargo through more executive orders.
Under Obama’s plan, Castro will be able to open a full-blown embassy in Washington, D.C., which will function as a major base of spying operations, in addition to its United Nations mission. The so-called Cuban Interests Section currently operates as Castro’s embassy in the nation’s capital and as a front for the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI.
In the past, as AIM has discussed on several occasions, Cuban agents operating out of the Cuban Interests Section have been actively manipulating members of the U.S. press and working with U.S.-based communist groups to influence U.S. policy toward Cuba. This kind of espionage will accelerate as Obama’s pro-Castro policy goes forward.