Cuba Offers to Negotiate Release of American Alan Gross, Denies Poor Health

September 13, 2012 11:03 am 2 comments

Alan Gross and his wife Judy in Jerusalem. Photo: Gross family.

Cuba’s Foreign Ministry says the country is willing to negotiate the release of Alan Gross, the Jewish-American contract worker who was arrested in 2009 on accusations of spying, while bringing communications equipment to Cuba’s relatively small Jewish community.  Gross, his family, and the United States government say Gross was in Cuba for no other reason than to supply internet access to those who don’t have it.

“Cuba reiterates its willingness to talk with the United States government to find a solution in the case of Mr. Gross and continues to await an answer,” said Josefina Vidal of who heads the Foreign Ministry’s Office of North American Affairs.

The development in one of the most contentious matters between the United States and Cuba at the moment, comes just days after Mr Gross’s wife said her husband’s health is deteriorating rapidly.

“He’s lost 105lb (47.7kg) and has developed degenerative arthritis and a mass behind his right shoulder blade,” Judy Gross said on Tuesday.

“Alan’s detention is in flagrant violation of international law,” his attorney, Jared Genser, said earlier this week. “It was clear from the court judgment he did nothing wrong and is merely being punished because of the Cuban government’s dislike of the U.S. government.”

Vidal claimed that Gross’s health “continue to be normal, and he regularly exercises vigorously.”

Gross is currently serving a 15 year prison sentence after being convicted of “acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the State” in April, 2011.

Senators Patrick Leahy and Richard Shelby met with Cuban President Raul Castro in February and offered to take Gross back with them on a plane to the U.S.

“You can imagine how far that went,” Leahy said.

Senator Leahy met with Gross personally and took pictures to send to Gross’s wife back home.

“He obviously wants to leave. He feels that his health has been endangered,” Leahy said.

2 Comments

  • God’s power and status shall not be mocked. God has no ego. Illuminated man surpresses his ego. The false leaders of Cuba have taken an innocent and degraded him, injured him, denied him liberty; all to glorify their egos

    The Cuban Govt must release and pay Gross compensation.

  • What happens if the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention finds in favor of Cuba?

    Will the US finally take responsibility for Alan Gross’s well paid ($600,000) services as a covert operative?

    Will Judy Gross reorient her understandable and worthy campaign and urge the US to accept Cuba’s offer of negotiations with mutual respect and without preconditions?

    Ignore the spin and read the AP story about Gross’s actual assignment here in his own words
    http://uscubanormalization.blogspot.com/2012/06/alan-gross-from-his-own-reports.html

    Gross and the Cuban Five were arrested and convicted for secretly carrying out the political mission of their governments in violation of long established national laws.

    All six should be released to put behind us a sterile conflict.

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

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