Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    American jailed in Cuba to get checkup by U.S. doctor

    American jailed in Cuba to get checkup by U.S. doctor
    By Patrick Oppmann, CNN
    June 5, 2013 — Updated 2017 GMT (0417 HKT)

    Havana, Cuba (CNN) — A U.S. State Department contractor jailed in Cuba
    will be allowed to receive a medical exam from a U.S. doctor, a Cuban
    government official told CNN Wednesday.

    The family of Alan Gross, 64, for months had asked that they be
    permitted to send a doctor to examine the Maryland native who is serving
    a 15-year sentence for bringing to Cuba banned communications equipment
    as part of a U.S. government-funded program to promote democracy on the

    Gross’ family said that he has lost more than 100 pounds since his
    incarceration in 2009 and that a mass on his shoulder may be cancerous.

    The Cuban government countered that Gross receives medical care from
    Cuban doctors at the prison hospital where he is being held and that he
    is in good condition for a man his age.

    Jared Gensler, an attorney for Gross, declined to comment on the Cuban
    government’s allowing Gross to receive a visit from a U.S. physician or
    when the visit would take place.

    The change in course comes as Cuba has intensified its campaign to
    secure the release of Cuban intelligence agents serving lengthy prison
    sentences in the United States.

    Cuban officials argue that the men infiltrated hard-line Cuban-exile
    groups to prevent terrorist attacks on the island.

    But U.S. prosecutors called the men spies, and they were convicted in 2001.

    Four of the agents remain in U.S. federal prison. The fifth man, Rene
    Gonzalez, returned to Cuba last month after serving 14 years in prison
    and on supervised release.

    Gonzalez, who was born in Chicago, renounced his U.S. citizenship last
    month as part of a deal that allowed him to return to the island and not
    serve a final year of supervised release in the U.S.

    Cuba will continue to push for the four other agents’ release, Gonzalez
    said in a news conference in Havana Wednesday.

    “We have hope that if the American people know about the case, the
    facts, they will put pressure on the White House for a solution,”
    Gonzalez said.

    Last year, Cuban officials said they wanted to negotiate the jailed
    agents’ case along with Gross’.

    “The ball’s in their court,” said Johana Tablada, subdirector of the
    department that oversees U.S. affairs at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry. “We
    are waiting on the U.S. government’s response.”

    But U.S. officials have rejected calls for a prisoner swap, instead
    arguing that Gross did not spy during his visits to Cuba and should be
    released immediately.

    “Hopefully, a solution can be found that is mutually beneficial,” said
    Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the
    Peoples, a Cuban organization working to secure the agents’ freedom.
    “All the families involved have suffered greatly.”