New York Times: A Prisoner Swap With Cuba

Source:  New York Times
alan gross - demonstration

Nearly five years ago, authorities in Cuba arrested an American government subcontractor, Alan Gross, who was working on a secretive program to expand Internet access on the island. At a time when a growing number of officials in Washington and Havana are eager to start normalizing relations, Mr. Gross’s continued imprisonment has become the chief obstacle to a diplomatic breakthrough.

There is only one plausible way to remove Mr. Gross from an already complicated equation. The Obama administration should swap him for three convicted Cuban spies who have served more than 16 years in federal prison.

Officials at the White House are understandably anxious about the political fallout of a deal with Havana, given the criticism they faced in May after five Taliban prisoners were exchanged for an American soldier kidnapped in Afghanistan. The American government, sensibly, is averse to negotiating with terrorists or governments that hold United States citizens for ransom or political leverage. But in exceptional circumstances, it makes sense to do so. The Alan Gross case meets that criteria.

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Chile: 40 years on from Pinochet’s coup, impunity must end

dictator pinochet

Chilean General Augusto Pinochet took power in a coup d’etat in Chile on 11 September 1973.
Source:  Amnesty International

Thousands of torture survivors and relatives of those disappeared during General Augusto Pinochet’s brutal regime are still being denied truth, justice and reparation, Amnesty International said today on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the day he seized power.
In a petition signed by thousands of activists, the organization is calling on the Chilean authorities to put an end to all obstacles protecting the perpetrators of human rights violations in the country.

“It is not acceptable that 40 years after the military coup the search for justice, truth and reparation in Chile continues to be hampered. An amnesty law continues to shield human rights violators from prosecution, there are still long delays in judicial proceedings and sentences fail to reflect the severity of the crimes committed,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Director at the Americas Programme, Amnesty International.

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41 years of solitary confinement: Amnesty International launches a new online action campaign for Albert Woodfox

Albert WoodfoxAlbert Woodfox has spent nearly 41 years in solitary confinement in a US prison under conditions that are cruel, inhuman and degrading. In 1972, he and two others were convicted of murdering a guard at Angola prison. The “Angola 3″ were sentenced to life imprisonment – although no physical evidence linked them to the crime and serious legal flaws came to light.

Today Amnesty International launched an online campaign asking Louisiana Attorney General James Caldwell to not appeal the District Court‘s ruling to either release or retry Albert Woodfox.

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14-plus Years of Injustice

Reblogged from RealCuba’s blog

October 4, 2012
by Saul Landau

Five Cubans fighting terrorism in South Florida have served 14 years of prison, more than Continue reading