But the circumstances of their trial in the heated atmosphere of post-Elian Gonzalez Miami were questionable — an appeals court, later overturned, vacated their convictions on the ground they could not receive a fair trial — and their sentences were uncommonly long. If Israel can release murderers to obtain the return of its citizens, can’t the U.S. government discuss leniency for some of the remaining five?
The State Department, I am reliably told, supports such talks. The White House has balked. The most obvious explanation is that it would infuriate powerful Cuban-American lawmakers, most prominently New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is adamantly opposed to any such negotiations.
Like I said, Gross hasn’t been abandoned, just prioritized. Not much comfort for his family, or for him.
Ruth Marcus’ email address is email@example.com.