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Senators Introduce Resolution on 3rd Anniversary of Alan Gross’ Arrest in Havana
December 4, 2012
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today renewed their call for Cuba to immediately and unconditionally release Marylander Alan Gross from his imprisonment. The Senators were joined by Judy Gross, wife of Alan Gross, at a press conference today in the U.S. Capitol to mark the 3rd anniversary of his arrest in Havana.
"Today I have a message for Mr. Castro down in Cuba, let Alan Gross go! Let him go today, let him go now," Senator Mikulski said. "For three years he and his family have suffered from these bogus charges and a sham trial. And for three years the Cuban government has ignored basic human rights and has shown they are not serious about building a relationship with the United States. I want Alan and Judy Gross to know that they are not in this fight alone. I will continue to do all I can so Alan can come home to Maryland and his family."
"Year after year, the Cuban Government continues to demonstrate why bilateral relations between our two countries remain frozen," Senator Cardin said. "Alan Gross should no longer be forced to suffer the consequences of political gamesmanship. Enough is enough. Alan should be immediately and unconditionally released so he can return home for medical treatment and to support his family. The health and humanitarian needs of he and his family are paramount,"
"The Senate's passage of this resolution will send a loud and clear message to Cuba: it is past time for Alan Gross to come home," Senator Moran said. "For more than a decade, I have worked to open Cuban markets to American agriculture. This year, however, I stepped back from these efforts because the Cuban government has a responsibility to cooperate with the United States on the unjust detention of Alan Gross. The path to improved America-Cuba relations has always been difficult, but it is that much more difficult and unlikely until Cuba releases Alan Gross."
Senator Mikulski joined with Senators Cardin and Moran along with 28 of their bipartisan Senate colleagues to introduce a resolution on the 3rd anniversary of Alan Gross' arrest, which was Monday, December 3. The resolution calls for his immediate and unconditional release and urges the Cuban government to address Mr. Gross' medical issues. This would mark the first time Congress has taken the step of passing a resolution condemning Mr. Gross' arrest and calling for his release.
Alan Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009, and after a two-day trial, was given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for facilitating communications between Cuba's Jewish community and the rest of the world. Mr. Gross was in Cuba working as a sub-contractor for the United States Agency for International Development, helping a small, peaceful, non-dissident community. He was doing the type of work he had done his whole career in international development – helping others in need.
A 63-year-old husband and father, Mr. Gross has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, as well as other health problems. The Cuban Government has denied requests by Mr. Gross for an independent medical examination by a doctor of his choosing. Members of his family have also faced serious illnesses during this time.