Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Senators call for Alan Gross’ release from Cuban jail

    Senators call for Alan Gross' release from Cuban jail

    December 4, 2012

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two U.S. senators are calling on Cuba to immediately

    and unconditionally release Jewish-American contractor Alan Gross from a

    military hospital there.

    Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced a

    resolution on Monday, the third anniversary of Gross' arrest for crimes

    against the state, that also urges the Cuban government to look into

    Gross' medical problems. It has 29 co-sponsors.

    "Year after year, the Cuban government continues to demonstrate why

    bilateral relations between our two countries remain frozen," Cardin

    said. "Alan Gross should no longer be forced to suffer the consequences

    of political gamesmanship. Enough is enough. Alan should be immediately

    and unconditionally released so he can return home for medical treatment

    and to support his family. The health and humanitarian needs of he and

    his family are paramount." he said.

    Moran added, "The Senate's passage of this resolution will send a loud

    and clear message to Cuba: it is past time for Alan Gross to come home."

    Gross, 63, was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison following his

    2009 arrest for allegedly bringing satellite phones and computer

    equipment to members of Cuba's Jewish community while working as a

    contractor for the U.S. Agency on International Development.

    Also Monday, the State Department marked the third anniversary of Gross'

    imprisonment by calling again for his release.

    "Since his arrest, Mr. Gross has lost more than 100 pounds and suffers

    from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, and other

    health problems," spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. "His family

    is anxious to evaluate whether he is receiving appropriate medical

    treatment, something that can best be determined by having a doctor of

    his own choosing examine him.

    "We continue to ask the Cuban Government to grant Alan Gross's request

    to travel to the United States to visit his 90-year-old mother, Evelyn

    Gross, who is gravely ill. This is a humanitarian issue. The Cuban

    government should release Alan Gross and return him to his family, where

    he belongs."

    In a recent meeting with a Cuba specialist from a non-profit research

    center in Washington, Gross asked that the United States negotiate for

    his release and a dialogue with no preconditions be held between the two

    governments, NBC News reported.