President Obama’s annual State of the Union address aired Tuesday night. It’s customary for the president, the first lady and congresspeople to invite guests to the address, and Florida viewers may have recognize a few names and faces. The guests ran the gamut from former political prisoners to activists.
ALAN AND JUDY GROSS
The president invited aid contractor and recently freed Cuban political prisoner Alan Gross and his wife, Judy, to Tuesday evening’s address.
Today marks five years since U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross was jailed in Cuba on controversial spying charges. Gross's wife is warning he may not survive another year -- and says the family is “at the end.”
Gross, 65, is serving a 15-year sentence for bringing what Cuban officials called illegal communications equipment into the communist island. Gross was more likely arrested as retaliation for the U.S. 2001 conviction of five Cuban spies. Three are still in U.S. prisons, and the Cuban government wants them freed as a condition for freeing Gross.
There’s an old saying among Mexican officials when dealing with the United States: Always tell the gringos yes, but never tell them when.
That dance is the result of two centuries of tortured bilateral relations marked by U.S. insensitivity and Mexican hypersensitivity. And it’s most likely what’s playing out now as Washington and Mexico City haggle over the fate of a former U.S. Marine, Andrew Tahmooressi.