|Timothy Tracy/ news.yahoo.com|
On top of the tutorial list was -- how to take American hostages.
The Castros have experience in this.
Since December 2009, the Castro brothers have held hostage an American development worker, Alan P. Gross, for helping the island's Jewish community connect to the Internet.
In exchange for Gross, the Castros have demanded the release of five Cuban spies convicted by U.S. federal courts for, among other crimes, conspiracy to commit murder and penetrating U.S. military facilities.
Terrorism is defined in U.S. law as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
Thus, the arrest and arbitrary imprisonment of Alan P. Gross is clearly an act of terrorism.
While -- to its credit -- the U.S. has refused to be coerced into releasing these five Cuban spies, it has also refused to hold the Castro regime accountable for this hostage-taking.
Instead, it eased sanctions towards the Castro regime in January 2011, authorizing non-humanitarian trips by Americans to Cuba (so called "people-to-people" travel) -- a boon for the regime's tourism industry (at a time when European travelers have been steadily declining).
Taking careful note was the Maduro government in Venezuela, which this week decided to take an American hostage of its own (see below).
It will now try to coerce the U.S. into recognizing Maduro's questionable election.
Plus (it figures), if that doesn't work, what's the worse than could happen?
Judging by Gross's detention in Cuba -- nothing.
According to AP:
A 35-year-old filmmaker from California has been arrested by Venezuelan authorities who are accusing him of fomenting post-election violence on behalf of the U.S. government.
President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday that he personally ordered Timothy Tracy's arrest on suspicion of "creating violence in the cities of this country." Venezuela's interior minister said Tracy was working for U.S. intelligence, paying right-wing youth groups to hold violent demonstrations in order to destabilize the country after Maduro's narrow election win last week.
Friends and family of Tracy told The Associated Press that he had been in Venezuela since last year making a documentary about the country.