Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    The wife of Alan Gross says he may not survive Cuban jail

    Posted on Wednesday, 09.12.12

    The wife of Alan Gross says he may not survive Cuban jail

    Judy Gross, who recently returned from seeing with her jailed husband in
    Cuba, says he looked worse during her previous visit.
    By Juan O. Tamayo

    The wife of U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross, serving a 15-year
    prison term in Cuba, says she recently visited him in Havana and fears
    "he is not going to survive this terrible ordeal" and urged Raúl Castro
    to free him.

    "I have just returned from visiting Alan in Cuba, and I am devastated by
    his appearance," Judy Gross declared in a brief statement. "Alan's
    health continues to deteriorate. He has lost 105 pounds and developed
    degenerative arthritis and a mass behind his right shoulder blade."

    "While his spirit remains strong, I fear he is not going to survive this
    terrible ordeal. I beg President Castro, as a husband and father
    himself, to put an end to our anguish and let Alan come home to his
    loving family, including his dying mother," she added.

    Gross, 63, of Potomac, Md., was arrested Dec. 3, 2009 in Havana and
    sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of undermining the
    "integrity" of Cuba's national security by delivering sophisticated
    satellite phones to Cuban Jews on behalf of the U.S. government. His
    mother and one of his daughters are battling cancer.

    Cuban laws make it a crime to cooperate with the U.S. Agency for
    International Development's Cuba democracy programs, alleging that they
    amount to thinly varnished efforts to topple the communist system.

    Judy Gross' statement was accompanied by an announcement from her
    husband's new U.S. attorney, international human rights lawyer Jared
    Genser in Washington, that signaled a more aggressive legal and
    publicity campaign to win his release.

    Genser has filed a petition with the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary
    Detention to rule Gross' detention violates Cuba's obligations under the
    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, while the Gross
    family has launched the Web page

    Judy Gross initially kept a relatively low profile as she pushed for her
    husband's freedom, apparently to avoid angering the Cuban government.
    She usually called for his release as a humanitarian gesture, and seldom
    criticized the justice of his incarceration.

    Genser, who said he has been involved in human rights cases in China and
    Myanmar, the former Burma, said Judy Gross hired him about six weeks ago
    because she "decided to go in a different direction."

    "Alan's detention is in flagrant violation of international law," Genser
    said in a statement. The ruling of the Cuban court that convicted Gross
    showed "he did nothing wrong and is merely being punished because of the
    Cuban government's dislike of the U.S. government."

    "Maybe quiet diplomacy made sense at the beginning," he told El Nuevo
    Herald by telephone from Washington, D.C. "But now it's almost three
    years, and we'll take whatever actions are necessary to gain his release."