Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Harder Line on Cuba in Alan Gross Push

    Harder Line on Cuba in Alan Push

    After Election, Is Havana Confrontation Best Policy?

    By Paul Berger

    Published November 19, 2012, issue of November 23, 2012.

    The campaign to free Alan Gross, a Jewish contract worker jailed in Cuba

    for almost three years, has dramatically ramped up since President

    Obama's reelection.

    But experts warn that the latest salvos in the battle to free Gross, led

    by his wife, Judy, and a prominent lawyer, are scattershot

    and potentially counterproductive.

    "There is not a single, self-respecting, knowledgeable Cuba expert who

    thinks this new strategy is comprehensive or has a snowball's chance of

    working," said Fulton Armstrong, a former national intelligence officer

    for Latin America at the CIA.

    "This is a very fluid moment," added Julia Sweig, a Latin America

    specialist for the Council on Foreign Relations. "It is a moment when

    the Obama administration should well be getting in a room and

    negotiating the terms of [Gross's] release. I would hate to see any of

    this public pressure diminish or hurt that environment."

    The Gross family, led by lawyer Peter Kahn, started turning up the heat

    on the administration and on the Cuban government at the beginning of

    this year, taking to newspapers and television to blast both sides for

    using Gross as a pawn in U.S.-Cuba brinksmanship.

    Since the presidential election, on November 6, the campaign has become

    even fiercer.

    On November 11, Jared Genser, a human rights lawyer, and Judy Gross,

    staged a protest in Florida outside of a concert by the National

    Symphony Orchestra of Cuba. The same day, they released a letter from

    more than 500 rabbis to Cuban leader , calling for Alan's

    release on humanitarian grounds and they reported Cuba to the United

    Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture claiming that an insufficient

    amount of medical attention they said was being given to Alan

    constituted torture.