Defenders of Cuban Socialism and Latin Americaphiles this morning are anxiously scanning news reports for solid details on the stunning news that Cuba's release of US spy Alan Gross today was part of a deal between the US and Cuba that includes talks on full diplomatic relations and the release of the final three of the "Cuban Five" held in US prisons.
The "Cuban Five" are five Cubans who were arrested as spies in the US.
The Cuban government denies they were spies and says they were in the US
gathering information on Miami anti-Castro groups. The Cuban Five's release has been called for worldwide.
Two had already served their sentences and been released.
The news is sure to infuriate rabidly anti-Castro
Cuban Americans in Miami, often referred to as the Miami mafia, who are
descended of the plantation owners and whore mongers who were exiled
from Cuba after the 1959 revolution. They have been involved in
everything from the Bay of Pigs fiasco to spying on Cuba in their
private airplanes to originating a host of economic sabotage plots
against Cuba, but their political strength, which was once critical in Florida electoral calculations, is seen as waning as younger generations of Cuban Americans favor closer ties with Cuba.
Venezuelan-American attorney and Socialist activist Eva Golinger has tweeted that "Latin American unity" is behind the developments because it has caused the US to change course. In this she is referring to things like the Latin American trade bloc MERCOSUR, which just opened its annual conference and is admitting more members all the time, and UNASEUR, a Latin-America-only organization that has made the US-dominated Organization of American States irrelevant. Both are projects initiated by former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose election in 1999 was the first in a wave of Leftists being elected in Latin America.
With mention being made in AP cables of full diplomatic relations being established and a US Embassy opening in Havana, it's hard to imagine the 60-year old illegal US blockade of Cuba surviving much longer.
TeleSur has said it will televise a speech by Cuban President Raul Castro later this morning.
Note on USAID: In media accounts it is said Gross was working for the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has nothing to do with development but is an arm of the State Department that works closely with the CIA and is used to funnel money to opposition groups in countries where the US is trying to overthrow the government, such as Venezuela, where the US has spent more than $100 in USAID money in the past 12 years in trying to overthrow that country's openly and fairly elected Socialist government and re-install a US-friendly oligarchy.