Alan Gross is but the latest victim of the never-ending chess game with the Castros’ regime [“An American hostage in Havana,” editorial, Aug. 13].

We are a nation of immigrants. Many of us have personal experiences that motivate our disdain for brutal dictators and tyrannical governments. Nevertheless, today, we are allies of World War II enemies and trade partners with Vietnam. The Berlin Wall is down; we have a reasonable working relationship with formerly communist Russia. Communist China’s investment in Treasury securities funds much of the U.S. government. But since the early 1960s, U.S. policy toward Cuba has been mired by the views and power of Cuban Americans who were given special immigration status and a fast track to citizenship after fleeing Cuba.  

Ending the tit-for-tat relationship between the United States and the Castros is essential to working with other governments in the Western Hemisphere and avoiding incidents such as what happened to hostage Alan Gross.

James Schlotfeldt, Washington

The writer was a staff member of the Organization of American States from 1968 to 1981 and from 1983 to 1995.

●President Richard M. Nixon once suggested that it’s legal if the president does it. In supporting convicted criminal Alan Gross, The Post has expanded on Nixon’s philosophy, believing it’s legal if it’s done under a U.S. government contract. Mr. Gross, the recipient of a lucrative government contract, lied to get a Cuban tourist visa and lied again on his customs forms to smuggle satellite equipment, illegal in Cuba, into that country.

Since the purpose of the U.S. Agency for International Development program that brought him to Cuba was to undermine the Cuban government, the Cubans quite correctly convicted him of attempting to do just that. Fifteen years seems a modest sentence compared to what the U.S. courts would give anyone who lied to smuggle equipment into this country to evade government monitoring.

Gary M. Greenbaum, Fairfax