U.S. Personalities Express Support for Prisoner Exchange Suggested by Editorial in the New York Times

3058-exchange1[1]Havana, Nov 8.- Renowned U.S. lawyers and researchers sent letters to the editorial board of the New York Times, expressing their strong support for a recent article in the influential U.S. newspaper, suggesting a prisoner exchange between the United States and Cuba.The letter writers are Art Heitzer, from Milwaukee, who is the chairman of the Cuba Subcommittee of the National Lawyers Guild, William M. Leogrande and Peter Kornbluh, co-authors of the book.

“Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana.”

In his message, Heitzer points out that although the Times editorial presented a reasonable resolution to a major obstacle in normalizing United States relations with Cuba, it did not mention some key facts. He then refers to the seven-month long Miami trial and the prosecution’s failure to submit any evidence that the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters had obtained any classified U.S. information.

“Rather, the Cuban version, that their primary mission was to monitor and prevent terrorism planned by exiles in Miami against Cuba, is supported by the evidence,” said the U.S. legal expert.

Meanwhile, Leogrande and Kornbluh called attention to the fact that the Times’ persuasive argument for exchanging a USAID subcontractor, Alan Gross, for the three Cubans: Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Herández and Ramón Labañino is missing one crucial component, which they call ‘the historical precedence for such a prisoner exchange.’

In that regard, they recall two examples of prisoner exchanges between the United States and Cuba in 1963 and then in 1979, which they termed as ‘particularly relevant’. (RHC).

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