Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    USA Wants Cuba to Release Alan Gross on Its Terms

    USA Wants Cuba to Release Alan Gross on Its Terms
    December 3, 2014

    HAVANA TIMES — The US government has once again asked Cuba to
    “immediately” release the US agent Alan Gross, coinciding with the fifth
    anniversary of his detention in Havana.

    “His release remains a top priority for the United States,” US State
    Department spokesperson Marie Harf told a press conference.

    The spokeswoman said that the imprisonment of Gross “represents a
    significant impediment to a more constructive bilateral relationship”
    between Washington and Havana.

    Gross, 65, was arrested on December 3, 2009 in Havana after bringing to
    the island sophisticated telecommunications equipment prohibited by the
    Cuban authorities. A court later sentenced him to 15 years in prison for
    promoting “acts against the integrity” of the state.

    The Maryland resident was working as a highly paid subcontractor for the
    US development agency USAID. He denies the charges and says he was only
    on a humanitarian mission to provide Internet access to the small Jewish
    community in Cuba. He had made several previous trips to the island.
    (See the real mission of Alan Gross in Cuba).

    The government of Raul Castro has repeatedly expressed its willingness
    to consider a prisoner exchange with Washington. Havana would release
    Gross in exchange for three Cubans (of the Cuban Five) who have already
    spent more than 16 years in prison for espionage in the United States.

    The Cuban Five were convicted in 2001 by a federal court in Miami for
    espionage. Two of them were already released and three remain in prison.

    The five agents were members of the “Wasp Network”, a clandestine
    network of Cuban intelligence in the United States. The Castro
    government maintains that their mission was to prevent attacks on the
    island by radical Cuban exiles settled mainly in Florida.

    So far, Washington has given no sign that it is willing to make the
    swap, something also advocated in November in a New York Times editorial.

    The US government sees no equivalence between the two cases, noting that
    the three Cubans imprisoned in the United States are convicted of
    espionage, while Gross was only an aid worker who wanted to bring
    internet to the island, said Monday a State Department source who
    requested anonymity.

    Source: USA Wants Cuba to Release Alan Gross on Its Terms – Havana
    Times.org – http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=107707