It may have been cut from “Fiddler on the Roof,” but the song “When Messiah Comes,” a rueful ballad about the dashing of hopes, continues to resonate for theater director Michel Hausmann. Growing up in the Jewish community of Caracas, Venezuela, in the 1990s, Hausmann saw how the much-anticipated presidency of Hugo Chavez turned viciously against the Jewish state, as well as against the Jews of his own nation — leading the bulk of the Jewish population to depart for South Florida and Israel.
The United States works actively to thwart spying by Israel on the U.S., just as it does against enemies like Iran, China, Russia and Cuba, according to a secret report published by the Washington Post on Thursday.
Authorities in Cuba are ready to negotiate the status of jailed American Alan Gross, a senior Cuban official said.
"We have made clear to the U.S. government that we are ready to have a negotiation in order to try and find a solution, a humanitarian solution to Mr. Gross' case on a reciprocal basis," Josefina Vidal, the top official in the Cuban Foreign Ministry handling North America, said in an interview on CNN on May 10.
Alan Gross, the American-Jewish aid worker who has been imprisoned in Cuba since 2009, has pled with Cuban President Raul Castro for a two-week U.S. visit to see his sick mother.
Gross’ mother has terminal lung cancer and “her final wish is to be able to see her son once more before her battle with cancer is lost,” wrote Peter J. Kahn, U.S. counsel to Gross, in a letter to the Cuban president. Gross’s daughter also has cancer and Gross himself, 62, is reportedly suffering from several health issues in the Cuban prison.
Alan Gross revelations could hamper campaign for his release.
Ron Kampeas/ JTA
Washington — For the Jews of Cuba, it was the ultimate Internet connection.
The high-tech equipment that U.S. contractor Alan Gross brought with him to Cuba in 2009 to help connect local Jews to the Internet reportedly included a SIM card that makes it almost impossible to track satellite signals and is generally unavailable to civilians, even in the United States.
(JTA) -- Jimmy Carter is scheduled to visit Jewish leaders during a trip to Cuba, leading to speculation that the former U.S. president will ask the Cuban government to release jailed American contractor Alan Gross.
Carter, who is well known for his activism on behalf of human rights, will spend three days in Cuba on a private visit to discuss ways to improve U.S.-Cuba relations, according to reports. He is scheduled to meet with President Raul Castro and other Cuban officials.