Since American development worker Alan Gross was unjustly imprisoned by the Castro regime on December 3rd, 2009, the Obama Administration has sought diplomatic engagement (in 2010) and easing sanctions (in 2011) as means to secure his release.
(See "Cuba's American Hostage" in The Wall Street Journal).
Neither have been successful.
The one thing the Administration hasn't tried is tightening sanctions.
This would likely secure Gross's release.
Don't believe us?
Here's a test case:
The Castro regime is currently threatening to cut off travel to Cuba during the holidays, unless the U.S. government secures banking services for its diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Knowing the U.S. government can't compel private banks to provide service to anyone -- let alone to a foreign dictatorship -- what the Castro regime really seeks is to coerce the U.S. into further easing sanctions, namely removing it from the "state-sponsors of terrorism" list.
Presuming the Obama Administration won't allow itself to be coerced, the Castro regime will soon blink.
How? As observed in a good story in today's Miami Herald (Reuters should take note):
"Tom Popper, whose New York-based Insight Cuba Company arranges people-to-people trips, said he expects any concerns over how his clients will pay for their visas will be fixed in a few days — likely by having them pay in Havana rather than in Washington."
Bottom line: These trips are key to the economic subsistence of the Castro dictatorship.
Thus, it cannot afford to cut them off.
It's like when Venezuela's government threatens to cut off oil sales to the U.S. It would never do so, as these sales represent over 80% of its income.
Want to secure Alan Gross's release?
Squeeze the Castro regime's key travel income and send an unequivocal message that taking Americans hostage is unacceptable.
Watch the Castro's blink.
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12/01 - 12/08
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