No deal for Cuban spiesOUR OPINION: There is no parallel between Alan Gross and Cuba’s espionage agentsBy The Miami Herald Editorial
It was reassuring last week to hear from a ranking official of the State Department that there is no plan in the works, and none foreseen, to engage in a spy swap with Cuba that would involve trading U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross for five Cuban spies convicted in Miami.
Four of them are still serving time and another is serving a three-year parole somewhere in the United States. The Obama administration official, speaking anonymously but clearly reflecting administration policy, said such a trade would be unacceptable.
No deal: That should continue to be the standard reply from Washington to Havana whenever the topic comes up.
Trading spies for hostages is a bad policy under any circumstances, especially when dealing with a cynical and corrupt regime like the one in Cuba.
Last week, Mr. Gross, 63 and in deteriorating health, completed three years in a miserable Cuban jail, denied basic services and needed medical attention because the Cuban government is trying to use him as bait to get their spies back to Havana. The Cuban government and its sympathizers say Cuba is merely seeking some sort of “humanitarian” exchange as part of this deal, but no one should be fooled by such spurious reasoning.
As the State Department official rightly pointed out: “There is no parallel between the two cases.”
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