HAVANA TIMES — Alan Gross, the US agent serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba, called off his week-long hunger strike on Friday, reported dpa news.
The highly paid contractor, who was caught in the act of breaking Cuban laws while working for a secret USAID “democracy building” project, said he will make “new protests” to denounce his situation and Washington’s lack of effort to secure his release.
“I’m suspending my fast-protest today, although there will be more protests in the future,” Gross said in a statement sent by phone to his lawyer Scott Gilbert in the U.S.
The 64-year-old communications equipment expert said he decided to discontinue the hunger strike that began on April 3 at the request of his family, especially his mother.
Hired by Development Alternatives Inc., a major US government contractor in countries including Iraq and Afghanistan, Gross was arrested in 2009 while trying to enter the island with sophisticated communications equipment prohibited on the island.
In 2011 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes “against the integrity” of the Cuban state, accused of promoting “subversion”, something that he and the US government vehemently reject.
On April 3 he informed his lawyer that he had stopped eating indefinitely to protest the “falsehoods, deception and inaction of both governments” in his case and the “lack of any reasonable or valid attempt to resolve this shameful situation” by the Obama administration. He urged the president to get personally involved to secure his release.