Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Clinton cautious on US contractor jailed in Cuba

    Clinton cautious on US contractor jailed in Cuba

    WASHINGTON — The is seeking to avoid moves that could
    jeopardize a US contractor from being released from Cuba after receiving
    a 15-year sentence, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was
    quoted as saying Sunday.

    "We are working closely with Alan 's attorneys… We don't want to
    take any actions or say anything that will undermine the chances for
    this man to come home to his family," Clinton said, according to a
    transcript of a Spanish-language Telemundo interview.

    Cuba on March 12 found Gross responsible for "acts against the
    independence or territorial integrity" of the country, saying he was
    covertly distributing laptops and cellular phones on the island.

    Calling the 15-year sentence "deplorable," Clinton insisted Gross was in
    the Cuba "to help people literally connect with the rest of the world,"
    according to the transcript.

    The contractor, who was in late 2009, has already "served a
    very long time for doing what was not in any way criminal, in our view,"
    the top US diplomat said.

    "He should be released, and at the very least, on humanitarian terms. He
    should be sent home to his family, and I'm hoping that the Cuban
    government will do that."

    Cuba's verdict further strained the communist-ruled nation's
    long-strained ties with the United States, as Washington decried the
    jailing as "another injustice" and called for his immediate release.

    Gross, 61, was working under contract for the US State Department when
    he was arrested for distributing the electronic devices to members of
    the island's small Jewish community.