US Calls on Cuba to Release Jailed American Contractor
Posted Friday, June 15th, 2012 at 5:25 am
The U.S. State Department is calling on Cuba to immediately release
imprisoned American contractor Alan Gross, saying his health has
worsened and that he can no longer walk.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says Gross, who was
arrested more than two-and-a-half years ago, has lost 45 kilograms in
detention and is no longer able to walk because of degenerative arthritis.
Gross was arrested in Havana in December 2009 and later sentenced to 15
years in prison on charges of crimes against the state. Gross – who had
been working for a private firm contracted by the U.S. Agency for
International Development – was accused of distributing Internet
equipment and satellite phones to Cuban dissident groups. Gross said he
was trying to provide Internet service to members of Cuba's small Jewish
Gross has appealed to the Cuban government to return to the United
States and visit his seriously ill mother.