Bill Richardson Visits Havana, Possibly to Push for Release of Jailed American

Categories: La Habana
Bill_Richardson.jpg
Roger Goun via Wikimedia Commons
Former New Mexico Gov. and UN ambassador Bill Richardson is in Havana on secret biz.
​Well, it took 13 months, but we were right: a top-level US diplomat is visiting Cuba.

And although former New Mexico governor and UN Ambassador Bill Richardson is no Hillary Clinton, he's a proven negotiator who just might be able to talk Cuban dictator Fidel Castro out of holding onto American subcontractor Alan Gross until Megan Fox wins an Oscar.

Richardson refused to explain his sojourn to Havana when spotted smoking a stogie and sipping a drink at the Hotel Nacional."I don't have any comment," Richardson told the Associated Press. "Perhaps at the end of my stay."

But there are few things that could have brought him to Havana, presumably at the request of the Cuban government. Top of the short list is USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who was jailed in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for distributing satellite communications on the island.

Cuba has effectively labeled Gross a spy, but he has denied it, calling himself a "trusting fool."

"I was duped. I was used. And my family and I have paid dearly for this," Gross told a Cuban court.

Calls for his release have intensified as his mother and adult daughter have come down with cancer. Gross, meanwhile, has lost over 100 pounds while in prison, according to family members who have visited him.

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