Posted: July 26, 2021 in: Pain-2-Power, Person of the Week


Alan Gross is this week’s Pain-2-Power Person of the Week.  Mr. Gross was arrested in Cuba in 2009 and charged with importing banned technology in order to create secret Internet services for Cuba’s Jewish community.  He spent five years in jail in Cuba.  He emigrated to Israel in 2017, but divides his time between there and the United States.

Acts of courage like that of Alan Gross, who was apparently willing to take a tremendous risk in order to promote the cause of freedom, are part and parcel of the Pain-2-Power Prescription.  Helping the truth to win isn’t without cost or pain, but it is the path to power—for the person who leads the way and those who follow.

I don’t know how many Cubans used any Internet services Mr. Gross allegedly provided, but the protests for freedom in Cuba would seem to testify to more information reaching the island.  And knowledge is power.

The United States and twenty other countries have now called on Cuba to stop mass arrests of protesters who have taken to the streets in an unprecedented display of defiance, despite police crackdowns and a shutdown of the Internet.  The protesters want what Alan Gross and other heroes have long wanted for them:  An end to the 62-year-old dictatorship that has stripped Cubans of their human rights.

Mr. Gross recently spoke out in defense of the protesters.  See, five years in prison didn’t shut him up.  See, you have to be careful trying to silence heroic people.  They don’t take well to it.

The United States should welcome Cubans fleeing tyranny, rather than warning them that they will be turned away at our shores.  Might that invitation cause some diplomatic pain, as we stand for the truth.  Sure.  But power always follows a willingness to experience pain, when that willingness is for the best of reasons.

I have no idea what Alan Gross experienced in prison in Cuba for five years.  Being locked up and kept from loved ones would be enough, but I suspect he suffered far more than even that.  He was imprisoned because he was identified as one who would not cower to an oppressive regime.  He was imprisoned because he wanted to make a difference in this world—bringing light to darkness.  And that’s why he’s this week’s Pain-2-Power Person of the Week.

Dr. Keith Ablow

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