US asks Cuba to release jailed contractor

2012-12-04 13:00
Adela Dworin, the vice-president of the Hebrew Community of Cuba, David Prinstein, and US State Department contractor Alan Gross in December 2011 at the hospital in Havana where he is confined. (Hebrew Community of Cuba/ AFP)

Adela Dworin, the vice-president of the Hebrew Community of Cuba, David Prinstein, and US State Department contractor Alan Gross in December 2011 at the hospital in Havana where he is confined. (Hebrew Community of Cuba/ AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Washington - The United States government repeated its demand for the Cuban government to allow the "humanitarian" release of US contractor Alan Gross, who remained imprisoned on Tuesday's third anniversary of his arrest on the island.

US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said that "Alan Gross will begin his fourth year of unjustified imprisonment" on Tuesday in Cuba.

"We continue to ask the Cuban government to grant Alan Gross' request to travel to the United States to visit his 90-year-old mother, Evelyn Gross, who is gravely ill. This is a humanitarian issue," Toner said.

Gross, aged 63, a US citizen, was arrested in December 2009, and a court sentenced him in 2011 to 15 years in prison, after he was convicted of spying.

"The Cuban government should release Alan Gross and return him to his family, where he belongs," Toner said, reiterating long-standing US demands on the issue.

Deteriorating health

Gross worked for a firm that was under contract with the US State Department. He was convicted in Cuba of espionage for distributing satellite internet equipment on the island, where such devices are banned, though they abound in other countries.

The US government has staunchly denied the charges and has insisted since Gross' arrest that he should be released for humanitarian reasons. Gross says that the equipment was intended for the use of Cuban Jews.

Gross' case is believed to have put a brake on timid efforts by the government of US President Barack Obama to improve ties with Havana. Such moves included easing restrictions for Cuban-Americans on sending remittances and on travelling to the island.

The contractor's family has alleged the deterioration over the last three years of Gross' health. Cuban authorities deny he is in ill health and last week said that they had ruled out that he could be suffering cancer.

"Since his arrest, Mr Gross has lost more than 100 pounds and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, and other health problems. His family is anxious to evaluate whether he is receiving appropriate medical treatment, something that can best be determined by having a doctor of his own choosing examine him," the US State Department said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    barack obama  |  cuba  |  us  |  espionage
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.