U.S. Senators Meet Castro to Free American Jew Alan Gross From Cuba
Alan Gross was arrested in December of 2009 by Cuban authorities and was consequently convicted for “crimes against the state” in 2011. Sentenced to 15 years in prison, Gross, who is American and Jewish, was on a USAID (United States Agency for International Development) sponsored trip to Cuba when he was arrested at Havana International Airport for bringing satellite and other communication equipment into the country.
On Thursday, two United States Senators traveled to Cuba to push for Gross’s release. Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama met with Cuban President Raul Castro, offering to take Gross back with them on a plane to the U.S.
“You can imagine how far that went,” Leahy said. “We have a long way to go” to win Gross’s release.
Leahy met with Gross, who has lost 100 pounds since being imprisoned, and took pictures to send to Gross’s wife back in the U.S. According to the Associated Press, the Senators are not very optimistic about Gross being released in the near future.
“He obviously wants to leave. He feels that his health has been endangered,” Senator Leahy said.