Sec. Clinton Reiterates Call for Cuba to Release Alan Gross
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton recently spoke to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she had the opportunity to answer a question from Committee Chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) regarding American diplomatic efforts to obtain the release of Alan Gross, a Maryland resident who traveled to Cuba on behalf of a development company to provide satellite phone and computer equipment to the country’s Jewish residents and was arrested by Cuban authorities in December 2009. Three months later, he was convicted of “acts against the independence of the territorial integrity of the State.” Alan Gross’s health has been deteriorating, yet the Cuban government has shown no willingness to consider his release. Former Cabinet Secretary and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was in Cuba on a mission to free Alan Gross, but left after being denied permission to even visit with him.
During last week’s hearing, Secretary Clinton said: “Our main objective for the last two years has been to ensure Alan Gross’s unconditional release; so at no point has the U.S. Government been willing to give unilateral concessions to the Castro regime or to ease sanctions as a means to secure Mr. Gross’s release. But I will underscore [that] we think it is a gross violation of his human rights and a humanitarian abuse that he has not been returned to his family. And we would like to see that happen as soon as possible.”
Sign this petition to urge the Cuban government to release Alan Gross on humanitarian grounds.
Photo courtesy of the Gross family and the Associated Press.