Upon learning that former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson arrived in Havana today to plea for the release of American hostage Alan Gross, Congressman Rivera renewed his demands for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Gross
Alan Gross is an American USAID worker who was arrested by Cuban authorities in December 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for providing phones, internet, and other telecommunication equipment to Cuba's Jewish Community.
"Governor Richardson's visit to Cuba is nothing short of kowtowing to one of the world's most ruthless dictatorships. The fact that the Cuban government invited Governor Richardson, and that the Obama administration has been in contact with the governor demonstrates the Obama administration's focus on appeasing the Castro brothers rather than winning the release of an American hostage," Congressman Rivera said.
"Bill Richardson and the Obama administration should send a clear message to the Castro dictatorship: Release Alan Gross immediately and unconditionally. Otherwise, the Obama administration should suspend all licensing of trade, travel, and remittances to Cuba and impose a genuine embargo on the island," Rivera added.
"Efforts at appeasement and kowtowing to the Cuban regime only sends a message of weakness to terrorist dictators like the Castro brothers. President Obama must make the Castro dictatorship know that unless Alan Gross is released immediately and unconditionally, serious consequences will follow, including suspension of trade, travel, and remittance activity to the island. "