Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Locals protest alleged US-Cuba deal for prisoner

    Locals protest alleged US-Cuba deal for prisoner
    Posted: Today at 6:30 am EDT

    DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) — News of a secret deal between the United States
    and Cuba has prompted the loved ones from a Cuban exile group to call a
    news conference in order to voice their concerns.

    The mothers and a daughter of the four Brothers to the Rescue pilots
    shot down more than 10 years ago, came forward to demand answers from
    the Obama administration, Thursday morning.

    They are reacting to chatter out of Cuba that there could be a deal in
    the works involving the release of a man convicted in the murder of four
    men with the humanitarian aid group Brothers to the Rescue, back in
    1996. Gerardo Hernandez is serving a double life sentence after he was
    found guilty of conspiring to kill these pilots.

    Hernandez has also been accused of spying for the Cuban government and
    trying to infiltrate the Miami-based Brothers to the Rescue
    organization. Back on Feb. 24, 1996, the four men were on a humanitarian
    mission looking out for rafters in the Florida Straits, in international
    airspace.

    Cuban MiGs shot down two of those Brothers to the Rescue planes, killing
    the four men. Now, according to reports out of Cuba, has
    said that Hernandez could be released from the US prison and returned to
    Cuba.

    The deal is reportedly tied to the reported release of Alan , a
    Maryland native, who currently sits in a jail in Cuba for allegedly
    spying for the US. Gross was in Cuba on a mission to help Cuban jews
    when the Cuban government took him into custody.

    The family members said Gross is being used as a pawn. Marlene Alejandre
    Tiana, the daughter of one of the pilots killed said, "I don't think
    that the lives of anyone is negotiable. This is the only person we have
    in jail right now related to the crime, and the spies were spying on
    this country, and there's absolutely no reason why they should be
    negotiated for anyone else."

    U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) Miami, was also there. "It is
    outrageous that anyone would consider the exchange of a convicted Cuban
    spy and murderer of American citizens for the release of a wrongfully
    imprisoned US citizen," she said. "It is a disgrace to the memory of
    Carlos Costa, Armando Alejandre, Mario de la Pena and Pablo Morales."

    The family members have sent letters to President Obama, Secretary of
    State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder asking them to
    stop the supposed release of Hernandez. However, reports of the
    purported exchange remain conjecture, as it is based on rumors out of
    Cuba, and no US official has said the government is in negotiations with
    Cuba."

    http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21002598254938/