(JNS.org) Nearly half the U.S. Senate came together in a bipartisan letter led by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) that urges Cuban President Raul Castro to release Jewish-American contractor Alan Gross on humanitarian grounds.
Gross has been imprisoned in Cuba since December 2009 after he was sentenced to a 15-year term for bringing communications devices to the country’s Jewish community. At the time of his arrest, Gross was working for a U.S. firm called Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) to promote democracy, but Cuba convicted him of “crimes against the state.”
“Until Alan [Gross] is released and returns home, we will let the world know how Cuba is violating the rights of an individual American citizen,” Sen. Cardin said in a press release.
“After three years of unjustly imprisoning American citizen Alan Gross, my colleagues and I are hopeful that the Cuban government will take action and grant his release,” Sen. Moran said in the release.
The letter, signed by 44 senators, said that Gross is suffering from a number of debilitating medical conditions, including severe weight loss and degenerative arthritis. It also said that he is suffering mental anguish because of separation from his family and their health issues—his elderly mother and daughter are both battling cancer.