Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    U.S. contractor to mark two years in Cuba prison

    U.S. contractor to mark two years in Cuba prison
    Agence France-Presse December 2, 2011 11:05 AM

    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro
    (R) meet in Havana March 30, 2011. The United States should end its
    trade embargo on Cuba to mend ties, Carter said on Wednesday, but he
    also urged Havana to do more, such as freeing jailed U.S. aid contractor
    Alan Gross.

    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Cuban leader Fidel Castro
    (R) meet in Havana March 30, 2011. The United States should end its
    trade embargo on Cuba to mend ties, Carter said on Wednesday, but he
    also urged Havana to do more, such as freeing jailed U.S. aid contractor
    Alan Gross.

    HAVANA - U.S. contractor Alan Gross on Saturday marks two years behind
    bars in Cuba on state security charges with no prospects in sight for
    his release despite numerous appeals on humanitarian grounds.

    The 62-year-old Gross was arrested December 3, 2009, for delivering
    laptops and communications equipment to Cuba's small Jewish community
    under a State Department contract.

    In March, he was found guilty of "acts against the independence or
    territorial integrity" of Cuba, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

    Gross was visited this week by Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of
    the US National Council of Churches, who also met with President Raul
    Castro to press the case for a humanitarian release for the US citizen.

    Kinnamon, who met the detainee for two hours, said he had lost weight
    and expressed concern over the health of Gross, who is confined in a
    military hospital in Havana.

    The plea was the latest following appeals from US President Barack
    Obama, former president Jimmy Carter, Gross's family members and others.

    A group of 19 US senators on Thursday expressed similar concerns.

    "After two years in a Cuban prison, Mr. Gross and his family have paid
    an enormous personal price," the Democratic and Republican lawmakers
    said in a letter to the head of the Cuban interests section in
    Washington, Jorge Bolano.

    "Mr. Gross has lost 100 pounds and suffers from numerous medical
    conditions," they wrote. "Mr. Gross's daughter and mother are both
    fighting cancer, and his wife is struggling to make ends meet."

    http://www.canada.com/news/contractor+mark+years+Cuba+prison/5801974/story.html