Alan Gross: Castro's prisoner
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    Castros have no power nor relevance to Cuba’s future – Alan Gross

    Alan Gross: Castros have no power nor relevance to Cuba’s future
    Published January 23, 2016 EFE
    By Lucia Leal

    U.S. citizen Alan Gross believes the Castro brothers no longer hold the
    reins of power in Cuba, nor are they relevant to the island’s future,
    and he would like to visit again the country where he was imprisoned for
    five years as “a pawn, a prisoner of two governments” at daggers drawn
    for decades.

    In an interview with EFE, the U.S. contractor, whose incarceration in
    Cuba was a stumbling block to any reconciliation of the two countries,
    said the Cuban government is “fractured in different factions trying
    desperately to hang onto their piece of a disintegrating pie.”

    “The Castros are no longer (really) in power. They’re not relevant to
    the future of Cuba,” Gross, 66, said at the Washington apartment where
    he has lived since shortly after his liberation on Dec. 17, 2014, the
    same day the diplomatic thaw between the United States and Cuba was
    announced.

    Cuba’s ex-President Fidel Castro, he said, “isn’t a young man, his time
    is limited and his days are over.”

    “He belongs to the past. Cuba can’t allow itself to live in the past,
    and everyone knows it,” said Gross, for whom President Raul Castro “does
    not have complete control, as his brother did.”

    Gross, an electronics specialist contracted by the U.S. to install
    devices that would allow access to the Internet for a small Jewish
    community in Cuba, was arrested in 2009 and sentenced in 2011 to 15
    years in prison for what the Cuban government described as “actions
    against the territorial integrity of the state.”

    “I didn’t go to Cuba to do intelligence work. I went to Cuba to improve
    the way people connected with the Internet, as 3 billion people do every
    day,” Gross said.

    Though he never saw his work in Cuba as a risky business, he said that
    the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, which
    contracted him, “definitely” knew that the mission they assigned him was
    illegal on the island.

    Gross, a fervent defender of the process of bilateral rapprochement,
    radiates positive energy and does not appear bitter about what happened,
    convinced that it is better “to concentrate on the next five years than
    on the last five.”

    He is also convinced that the United States will “inevitably” lift the
    embargo on the island, because “most Americans want it” and “at this
    point in time, it’s really insignificant” and doesn’t do anything to
    stop Cuba from trading with the world. EFE

    Source: Alan Gross: Castros have no power nor relevance to Cuba’s future
    | Fox News Latino –
    latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2016/01/23/alan-gross-castros-have-no-power-nor-relevance-to-cuba-future/