Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Family of American held in Cuba pleads for his freedom

    Family of American held in Cuba pleads for his freedom

    Washington (AFP) – The family of a US contractor jailed in Cuba urged
    President Barack Obama to bring him home, saying they feared for his
    life as he began a sixth year in prison.

    The plea from the wife of Alan Gross came on Wednesday, on the fifth
    anniversary of his December 3, 2009 arrest in Havana, and as the US
    State Department warned his continued imprisonment was a major obstacle
    to improving frosty ties.

    Gross, 65, was convicted in 2011 of “acts against the independence or
    territorial integrity of the state” for allegedly distributing
    communications equipment while working for the aid agency USAID.

    “Enough is enough. My husband has paid a terrible price for serving his
    country and community,” said Judy Gross, in a statement released to mark
    the poignant anniversary.

    “Alan is resolved that he will not endure another year imprisoned in
    Cuba, and I am afraid that we are at the end,” she said.

    Gross revealed that her husband had said farewell to his family in July
    and had refused to see them since.

    Judy Gross, the wife of imprisioned US citizen Alan Gross, who has been
    held in a Cuban prison for 4 …
    “After five years of literally wasting away, Alan is done. It is time
    for President Obama to bring Alan back to the United States now;
    otherwise it will be too late,” she wrote.

    Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters that his
    release remained a “top priority” for the US.

    “His continued incarceration represents a significant impediment to a
    more constructive bilateral relationship,” she said, adding Washington
    renewed its “call for the Cuban government to release Alan Gross
    immediately.”

    Washington has long called on Havana to release Gross, and voiced
    growing concern about his health, amid reports he has lost about 100
    pounds (45 kilos).

    Harf stressed the US had used every “diplomatic channel to press for his
    release publicly and privately, and we will continue to do so.”

    Havana has suggested it could release Gross if Washington were to free
    the remaining “Cuban Five” intelligence agents, who were convicted in a
    1998 US spy case — a prospect Washington has roundly rejected.

    The United States and Cuba have not had full diplomatic relations since
    1961. In 1962, Washington imposed an economic embargo on the island, the
    only Communist-run country in the Americas.

    Source: Family of American held in Cuba pleads for his freedom – Yahoo
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