Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    U.S. ‘In Conversations’ About Releasing American From Cuban Prison, Obama Says

    U.S. ‘In Conversations’ About Releasing American From Cuban Prison,
    Obama Says
    Dec 10, 2014, 10:56 AM ET
    By JIM AVILA and SERENA MARSHALL
    Senior National Correspondent

    President Obama for the first time publicly acknowledged the U.S. is
    negotiating with Cuba for the release of American contractor Alan Gross
    through a “variety of channels.”

    In an interview with Jorge Ramos for Fusion — a sister network to ABC
    News – Obama said, “We’ve been in conversations about how we can get
    Alan Gross home for quite some time.”

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    Gross is being held on espionage charges in Havana for the past five
    years, and sources who have visited with Gross recently told ABC News
    his health has vastly deteriorated.

    He has lost all but one of his front teeth, can barely walk because of
    hip damage, and is blind in one eye.

    “We continue to be concerned about him. We think that he shouldn’t have
    been held in the first place,” Obama told Ramos. “With respect to Cuba
    generally, I’ve made very clear that the policies that we have in making
    remittances easier for Cuban families, and making it easier for families
    to travel, have been helpful to people inside Cuba… But the Cuban
    government still needs to make significant changes.”

    Last week Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the detention of Gross has
    been a barrier to more constructive talks with the island nation.

    “The Cuban government’s release of Alan on humanitarian grounds would
    remove an impediment to more constructive relations between the United
    States and Cuba,” he said.

    Sources have told ABC News previously that the Obama administration
    takes seriously promises by Gross to not spend another year in the Cuban
    military hospital and to begin a possible death inducing hunger strike
    by the end of this year, and is looking for a solution with the Cuban
    government.

    Source: U.S. ‘In Conversations’ About Releasing American From Cuban
    Prison, Obama Says – ABC News –
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-conversations-releasing-american-cuban-prison-obama/story?id=27499427