Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support to pay for more powerful servers. Thank you.
Recent Comments

    Cuban, US doctors at odds over jailed American’s health

    Cuban, US doctors at odds over jailed American's

    Published November 27, 2012

    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON – The Cuban government said Wednesday that a test shows an

    American imprisoned in Cuba doesn't have cancer, countering a previous

    statement by a US doctor that a mass on his shoulder should be assumed

    to be cancerous unless proven harmless.

    Both sides have spent the past several months going back and forth about

    the health of Alan , who has been in in Cuba for nearly

    three years. Gross, 63, has had a mass on his shoulder since May.

    Overweight when he was , he has also lost more than 100 pounds

    since being in prison. Gross' lawyer and family want to be able to

    choose a doctor to examine him. The Cuban government has said his health

    is fine.

    Cuban officials said in a statement Wednesday that Cuban and American

    officials met Monday to discuss Gross' health. During the meeting

    officials discussed in part an Oct. 24 biopsy that confirmed that a lump

    on Gross' right shoulder is not cancerous, the one-page statement from

    Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The statement said the test

    "could not be performed before due to Mr. Gross' refusal" and that

    Gross' wife, a resident of the District of Columbia, was given the test

    results during a meeting in Washington on Monday.

    The Cuban medical team treating Gross said "the general health condition

    of Mr. Gross is normal" though he is being treated for "chronic

    illnesses that are typical of his age."

    A radiologist from Maryland who reviewed tests performed on Gross in

    Cuba before the biopsy had said they were inadequate and suggested both

    an MRI and possibly a biopsy. On Wednesday the same doctor, Alan A.

    Cohen, concluded in a letter released to reporters that the results of

    the biopsy were "hopeful but not definitive." He repeated his suggestion

    of an MRI and suggested a biopsy using a larger needle.

    One of Gross' U.S. lawyers, Jared Genser, also questioned the results of

    the biopsy and repeated requests that Gross be allowed to choose a

    doctor to examine him. Genser questioned the public release of medical

    records without Gross' consent.

    Gross has been in prison in Cuba since late 2009. He was working as a

    U.S. government subcontractor when he was arrested, and his case has

    become a source of tension in U.S.-Cuba relations.

    A New York rabbi who saw Gross on Tuesday also said the growth was not

    cancerous. Rabbi Elie Abadie, who is a doctor, told The Associated Press

    in an interview that he had examined Gross and received a lengthy

    briefing on his health. Gross' lawyer said the value of Abadie's

    assessment is limited because he is a gastroenterologist. But, he said,

    if the Cuban government is now allowing American doctors to examine

    Gross they will have an oncologist apply for a visa to see him.

    "We urge the Cuban government to allow this to happen promptly so we can

    put questions about Mr. Gross's health to rest," Genser said in a statement.

    Next week will mark three years since Gross was arrested.