Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Nelson, at invite of dissidents, considers Cuba visit

    Nelson, at invite of dissidents, considers Cuba visit
    Mark K. Matthews
    4:48 p.m. EDT, June 26, 2013

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said for the first time
    Wednesday that he would consider a visit to Cuba — but only if the trip
    would help both island dissidents and a U.S. contractor who has been
    held in custody there since 2009.

    “If I were to go to Cuba, I would want to see [U.S. contractor] Alan
    Gross and do what I can to get him home,” Nelson said in a statement.
    “It would be on a humanitarian mission to visit with pro-democracy
    groups and opposition figures.”

    Nelson’s comments were sparked by a Wednesday meeting with two Cuban
    dissidents: Guillermo “Coco” Farinas and Elizardo Sanchez. Earlier this
    month, Nelson also met with Gross’ wife to help bring attention to his

    Cuba has sentenced Gross to 15 years in prison for what it described as
    subversive activities related to his distribution of satellite Internet
    equipment to Jewish groups on the island. The U.S. State Department
    repeatedly has called for his release, noting a few months ago that he
    has “lost more than 100 pounds” since his confinement.

    Source: “Nelson: Cuba visit possible, free Alan Gross –” –,0,