Wife's Hopes for Imprisoned Gross: no sign of release for USAID worker jailed in Cuba
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Published on Dec 2, 2012
Almost three years after American USAID government contractor, Alan Gross, was convicted to 15 years in prison for crimes against the Cuban state, his wife and supporters are still fighting to secure his release.
Gross was arrested whilst setting up internet access for the country's Jewish community International bodies including the US government say that he has been detained for no valid reason and are demanding his release, in particular after reports that his health was suffering.
Wife of imprisoned Alan Gross, Judy:
"I saw Alan in September. That was the fourth trip, and this was the most shocking to me. It was unbelievable when I saw him. He's skin and bones and hunched over, and he looks like an 80-year-old man. I fault the Cubans, number one. There was no need for this. And, secondly, I fault, a combination of the United States and the firm that he was working for."
However after years of working through diplomatic channels, Gross's wife, Judy, says she is now trying to attract the media attention she believes her husband's case deserves and lacks.
Wife of Imprisoned Alan Gross, Judy:
"From here, where we go is to the President of the United States. The election is over. There are no more distractions, and I go to President Obama and beg him and ask him. He's the only one who can get Alan out of this position. He has it in his power to do this."
Attorney for Alan Gross, Jared Genser:
"But we need them to send an envoy privately, to Cuba, who is viewed as being close to the president and is close to the president, who has the authority to discuss the range of issues in the bilateral relationship and has the capability of looking at the range of things the Cubans want and the range of things the United States wants, and finding a way to bring Alan home, and so that's what we're looking to achieve."
Gross has received high profile attention and visits in the past, including a visit from former-US President Bill Clinton and top New York Rabbi, Elie Abadie, however not enough to achieve his release.
But things may be looking up for the 63-year old father of two. Since adopting a more media-friendly strategy, 44 senators have signed a letter to Cuba's president calling for his release, although only time will tell if this call will be answered in the near future.
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