Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    U.S. lawmakers demand Cuba free Alan Gross

    U.S. lawmakers demand Cuba free Alan

    Published December 04, 2012


    The imprisonment in Cuba of U.S. contractor Alan Gross is an obstacle to

    better relations between Havana and Washington, senators said Tuesday,

    demanding the Maryland man's immediate and unconditional release.

    The 's wife, Judy Gross, was joined by Sens. Ben Cardin and

    Barbara Mikulski – both Democrats from Maryland – and Jerry Moran, a

    Kansas Republican, at a press conference.

    "Mr. Castro, a message from the U.S. Senate: let Alan Gross go, let him

    go today, let him go now," Mikulski said, addressing Cuban President


    "Mr. Castro, you are illegally holding him on a trumped up charge

    against his own will to the devastation of his ," she said.

    "I'm one who since July of 2000 have been engaged in trying to create

    greater opportunities for American agriculture, farmers and ranchers to

    deal with Cuba and have the opportunity to sell our products," Moran said.

    "I'm no longer willing to pursue this further engagement until Alan

    Gross is released," the Republican added.

    Cardin stressed that Gross' detention is preventing any progress in

    bilateral relations.

    "We are all looking forward to a better relation bet Cuba and the us …

    and we all hope that Cuba will do the right thing," he said.

    Now 63, Gross was detained in Havana three years ago in possession of

    satellite communications equipment he said he was planning to distribute

    among Cuba's Jewish community.

    Havana says he was illegally aiding dissidents and inciting subversion

    on the Communist-ruled island. Last August, Cuba's highest court upheld

    the 15-year jail sentence imposed on Gross five months earlier.

    "We have to start on a clean slate, meaning let's forget about the five

    (Cuban intelligence officers held in the United States), let's forget

    about what's happened in the past, let's just sit down and talk," Judy

    Gross said Tuesday in comments to Efe.

    Cuba says the five intelligence officers were sent to Florida in the

    wake of several terror bombings in Havana allegedly masterminded by

    anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA operative.

    The five were in 1998 and convicted three years later by a

    federal jury in Miami.

    One of the spies is free on probation, but must remain on U.S. soil. The

    others are still behind bars. EFE