Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    ‘He will not endure another year,’ says wife of American imprisoned in Cuba

    ‘He will not endure another year,’ says wife of American imprisoned in Cuba
    By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
    December 3, 2014 — Updated 0607 GMT (1407 HKT)

    It’s been five years since Cuban authorities arrested Alan Gross
    The former State Department subcontractor is serving a 15-year prison
    sentence
    “After five years of literally wasting away, Alan is done,” his wife says
    The State Department renews its call for Cuban authorities to release Gross
    (CNN) — Judy Gross says she doesn’t know how much longer her husband
    can make it. But she’s scared it won’t be long.
    “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 in a statement
    released Wednesday.
    Her comments come on the five-year anniversary of the day when Cuban
    authorities arrested her husband, Alan Gross, who’d been working as a
    subcontractor the U.S. Agency for International Development.
    Alan Gross, 65, is serving a 15-year sentence for bringing satellite
    communications equipment to Cuba as part of his work as a State
    Department subcontractor. He was convicted in March 2011.
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    engage with Cuba
    “After five years of literally wasting away, Alan is done,” Judy Gross
    said. “It is time for President Obama to bring Alan back to the United
    States now; otherwise it will be too late.”
    The Cuban government has called for a prisoner swap: Gross for three
    imprisoned Cuban intelligence agents serving lengthy federal prison
    sentences in the United States.
    But the U.S. State Department has nixed that idea, saying Gross was an
    aid worker merely trying to help Cuba’s small Jewish community get
    online despite Cuban government restrictions on Internet access.
    Frustrated by the diplomatic impasse, Gross has threatened to kill
    himself if he isn’t freed soon.
    In July, he said goodbye to his wife and daughter and has refused to see
    them again while he’s imprisoned.
    He’s also refused to meet with U.S. diplomats in Havana in protest over
    the slow progress to free him.
    On Wednesday, his family warned that his health is deteriorating. He’s
    lost more than 100 pounds, he can barely walk because of chronic pain
    and he has lost five teeth and much of the sight in his right eye, the
    family’s statement said.
    The State Department renewed calls for his release on Tuesday, decrying
    his “unjustified imprisonment in difficult conditions in Cuba.”
    “It is gravely disappointing, especially in light of its professed goal
    of providing Cubans with Internet access, that the Cuban government has
    not allowed Mr. Gross to return to his family, where he belongs,” the
    State Department said. “We reiterate our call on the Cuban government,
    echoing foreign leaders and even Cuba’s allies, to release Alan Gross
    immediately.”
    Last month, U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake and Tom Udall traveled to Cuba to push
    for the former State Department contractor’s release, calling his
    imprisonment an impediment to improving U.S. relations with the island
    nation.
    Gross was arrested in 2009, accused of smuggling in the banned
    communications equipment.
    U.S. officials said Gross was merely trying to help Cubans bypass the
    island’s stringent restrictions on Internet access. But Cuban
    authorities say Gross was part of a plot to create “a Cuban spring” and
    destabilize the island’s single-party communist government.
    More on detained Americans

    Source: Alan Gross’ wife: ‘He will not endure another year’ – CNN.com –