HAVANA TIMES — Evelyn Gross, mother of Alan Gross, the US agent detained four and a half years ago in Cuba, died today at age 92, “without her dream of seeing her son again before passing on,” informed the family.
Evelyn Gross died in Plano (Texas) after a long battle with lung cancer, noted the family in a statement, reported dpa news.
Cuban authorities had repeatedly refused to allow Alan Gross permission to leave the island and visit his sick mother before she died.
“This is a devastating blow to Alan and our family,” said Judy Gross, Alan’s wife who explained that he and his mother were very close. “Before his arrest, they spoke twice a day by phone,” she added.
“I worry that Alan may now lose hope to return home someday and do something drastic,” said his wife, who urged President Barack Obama to do everything in his power to ensure the immediate return of her husband to the USA.
The US government today urged Havana to grant permission for humanitarian reasons to allow Gross, detained for four and a half years ago in Cuba, to return home to the United States so he can be with his family in mourning the death of his mother.
Alan Gross, 65, was arrested in December 2009 in Havana after bringing sophisticated telecommunications equipment to the island prohibited by the authorities. A court sentenced him to 15 years in prison on charges of encouraging “acts against the integrity” of the state.
Gross, a well-paid employee for Development Alternatives Inc., a sub-contractor for USAID, denies the charges and said that the equipment was only designed to facilitate Internet access to the Jewish community in Cuba.
Gross carried out a hunger strike for nine days in April of this year which he ended at the request of his now deceased mother.