Alan Gross Suicidal in Cuba, says Wife, Lawyer

Alan Gross (c) with his lawyer and wife at his Havana prison.

HAVANA TIMES — The wife and lawyer for Alan Gross said today they fear the former US AID sub- contractor (agent) in Cuba plans to take a “drastic” measure and put an “end to his life” after nearly five years confinement on the island.

“I’m extremely worried that Alan will do something drastic now that his mother is dead,” said Judy Gross said in a statement after visiting her husband in prison in Havana.

Gross is serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba. His mother died last week due to cancer. The family publicly lamented that the woman could not see her son before she died and asked in vain that Gross be granted permission to attend her funeral.

Gross, 65, was arrested in December 2009 after trying to bring into Cuba sophisticated telecommunications equipment prohibited on the island. He was later tried and sentenced to prison for crimes against national security.

Havana accuses him carrying out plans of USAID to support the illegal opposition of the island. The United States denies that end, saying he was only doing humanitarian work and calls for his release.

“I’m extremely worried that Alan is increasingly desperate,” one of his lawyers, Scott Gilbert, said in a statement today. “Both governments (of Cuba and the United States) should know that Alan plans to end his life as a way to end this agony,” he said.

Gross began in April on a hunger strike to demand an agreement between Washington and Havana to bring about his release. He ending the strike after his mother pleaded with him to do so.

Judy Gross once again asked President Barack Obama to do everything possible to secure Alan’s release.

“If we can redeem five members of the Taliban to bring home an American soldier, I’m sure we can find a way to bring home an American citizen in a Cuban prison,” she said.

The government of Raul Castro has repeatedly offered the White House negotiations for a possible swap of Gross for three spies imprisoned island in the United States since 1998, similar to what Washington recently carried out with the Afghan Taliban.

The Obama administration thus far refuses to link the two cases.

24 thoughts on “Alan Gross Suicidal in Cuba, says Wife, Lawyer

  • BNP Paribas had a choice. Do business with Sudan, Iran and Cuba or do business with the US. They tried to do both and now they will pay the penalty for making a bad decision. How Americans choose to conduct our foreign policy with another country is the business of Americans. Hence, BI-lateral. The involvement of others in that policy is a choice. America was thrilled to get out of our highly-competitive Group F. Our goalie played world-class. Soccer is like sport #5 or #6 priority for Americans. Besides, we shouldn’t win everything all the time. Haters like you would really lose your mind.

  • Don’t be disingenuous, Mosses. There isn’t bilateral
    business when there is a Global Super Power involved, ask some execs. from BNP
    Paribas bank. I pads; I heard that Samsung manufacture a decent placebo. Breaking
    bad is a tough act to follow, but Italy kept producing excellent art long after
    the Roman Empire went down. Good luck next world cup.

  • Yes, Mrs. Gross is emotional and desperate. US policy should not be based on either of these motivations. International support of US policy is necessary in some cases, helpful most of the time but when it comes to bilateral relations with Cuba, what the French or the Namibians think is irrelevant. They will continue to buy iPads and watch “Breaking Bad” despite their disagreement with US/Cuban policy. Finally, as a Christian, I am hardly “casual” about the death of an American or any human being for that matter. I am a realist however. Succumbing to tyranny is not a requirement to my Christian faith.

  • Not true. Check out this CNN poll from earlier this year. Just Google “CNN poll Castro”. Castro is the most living disliked world leader and second to Hitler for all time.

  • So Mr. Armchair warrior Mosses, now Ms. Gross, is making the
    same argument that I did in other thread.

    I guest she is to emotional involved to be reasonable and
    see the whole picture, no?

    You said, that Middle America is against Communism and hate
    Castro, I not going to argue that.

    But do consider this: What do you think would be in a global
    survey; lest call it middle earth, or in your Chauvinistic view, rest of the ungrateful
    world; with the following proposition.

    ‘Which regiment poses a threat to your immediate future,

    I give you a hint, it will not be inconclusive.

    I know one thing, if Mr. Gross could read this debate, your position particularly, he would be really
    suicidal. Because there is nothing more despairing that being caught between
    two irrational, obsessive’s forces. I suffer for the moderates of this world, those
    who know that not everything its black and white, and confrontation won’t bring
    any long lasting and truly fair outcome. Thinking in the Ukrainians, Iraqis and Cubans.

    One last thing for a Christian, you appear quite casual for
    the life or death of a fellow American. Thank God I ‘am atheist.

  • When America releases photos of “enhanced interrogation techniques” I am pretty sure we can convince Cuba to release photos of the 3 laptops and encryption software Alan Gross had.

  • Mr. Patterson where in all of this is the “personal responsibility” that America loves to espouse.
    Mr Gross has admitted to working for a CIA front in another in the long line of attempts to bring down a Foreign Government.
    Where does His responsibility begin and end.
    Your views are really not in keeping with global and even American opinion.

  • Poll numbers DO NOT support your statements, America does not give a shit about the Castro’s.
    What middle America believes is that the embargo has not worked and that America does business with states that are outright enemies of America on a daily basis.

  • Not only the Republicans would be outraged at Obama if he cut a lousy deal with Castro. The Cuban-American Democrats like Sen. Robert Menendez would oppose such a deal.

  • “The Castros” and the “the government of Cuba” are synonymous. Everyone except you recognizes that Fidel remains influential in government affairs. Why turn on Gross? He is, at worst, an unwitting victim in this. He probably never fully imagined that even a backwater government like the Castros would consider his high-tech gear a threat to national security. Especially after 4 previous visits to Cuba were uneventful. His worst fear was probably having the gear confiscated at the airport and his visit cut short by his being deported . After all, he didn’t smuggle it in. He brought it in without disguise. He was even given a receipt for the gear after it was inspected by Customs! Your inappropriate and tasteless remark about Gross reflects your frustration that your political views are so widely ridiculed or simply ignored. Given your comment about shark fussiness, you can rest assured you’d be safe in the water with them.

  • Your rant against capitalism, Christianity and even the nuclear family really says it all. I know Cuba from my Cuban family and my own experiences during my many trips. No distortions there. Mr. and Mrs. America may not define “communism” the way you do but they know what they don’t want and that is people who think like you making decisions that will affect their lives. That is why people who share your worldview are marginalized and inconsequential to what happens in the US. The only hypocrisy is that someone who feels the way you do still wants to live in a country you seem to hate so much.

  • Cuba has never been important to the U.S. government…nor will it ever be as long as the Cuban government refuses to cowtow to American demands. There lies the rub. Cuba will never cowtow to American demands. A fair and equitable solution, however, has been offered by Raul in this instance. But that’s not good enough for your government. They would rather sacrifice Mr. Gross rather than save him with the stroke of a pen. But I understand. The U.S. government cannot be seen negociating with a country that they continue to include on their list of state sponsors of terrorism.

  • About that last paragraph:
    Does it really say that the thought that the U.S. was trying to undermine the sovereignty of Cuba was ” preposterous” ?
    If so, that statement is preposterous because there are 90 examples of the U.S. government’s attempts to undermine governments and elections listed in William Blum’s “Rogue State: A Guide To The World’s Only Superpower” that prove precisely the opposite.
    To suppose that “communist ” Cuba is somehow an exception to that consistent U.S. foreign policy is on the level of denying anthropogenic climate change and denying that cigarettes cause various forms of death. .

  • Mr and Mrs. Middle America, like you, haven’t the slightest clue as to what communism is or much at all about Fidel except the gross distortions they get from their government and the corporate /complicit corporate media .
    History will indeed absolve Fidel.
    About your other lie: that you are committed to seeing Cuba freed from tyranny ; you love totalitarian systems : capitalism, Christianity , the U.S. (oligarchy) government and the nuclear family structure so how can you possibly be in favor of democratic forms in another country ?
    Care to explain the hypocrisy involved ?

  • Try using the phrase “the government of Cuba ” instead of “the Castros” just so you can maintain at least an image of your posts.
    Everyone else seems to recognize that Fidel has retired from any leadership role.
    I’d say put Gross on a raft and let him paddle to Florida.
    Sharks have to eat too, you know and they aren’t too fussy about the moral character of their dinners. .

  • They know why he won’t. Like his older brother, Raul is a megalomaniacal despot bent on staying in power. This “brass” you speak of are hardly shouting. Cuba is such a low-priority problem that were it not for the Gross issue, they would not be important at all.

  • Then nothing will happen…and your government brass can continue to keep shouting from the top of their ivory tower… “Why won’t Raul do our bidding?”

  • Terry, you are delusional. I have no doubt that you would blame Obama for Gross’ unnecessary demise, but Mr. and Mrs. Middle America hate Fidel Castro and hate communists. You are the exception in your extremists views. Obama’s “cajones” are well-tested. He ordered the assassination of Bin Laden, for chrissakes! How is it meeting “half-way” when Raul compromises nothing. He takes an American hostage for an offense that should have been resolved with confiscating the alleged high-tech equipment that posed the ‘threat’ to national security and deporting Mr. Gross. A sentence of 15 years is outrageous. Raul intended to use Gross in a trade from moment of Gross’ arrest. It is Obama that would be seen as capitulating to a tinpot dictatorship. Look at the shitstorm Obama is facing for dealing with a regional extremist group like the Taliban. Imagine the conniptions the Republicans would have if Obama took it in the shorts from the Castros. I, like my government, am committed to seeing Cuba free from tyranny. Period.

  • If Allan Gross dies in Cuba, whether it be at his own hand or from natural causes, Obama will be directly responsible for having delayed his release. Allan Gross could be on his way home tomorrow if the Obama administration would meet Raul half-way and release the the 3 remaining Cuban 5 simultaniously. But Obama doesn’t have the cajones to do what makes sense for all concerned. And Raul won’t be bullied into accepting anything less than the fair and equitable exchange that he has offered as a solution. Allan Gross is not a hostage. That’s pure fantasy and a copout meant only to promote the continued stagnation of this situation to the detriment of Mr. Gross and his family. The Castros won’t have allowed Allan Gross to die in prison…your government is committed to insuring that happens. And frankly, so are you.

  • Somewhat of a half hearted attempt at a hunger strike. If he’s so determined, why not let him get on with it? No one is going to force feed him.

  • The Gross’ are understandably desperate for Mr. Gross to come home. Imagine if he makes good on this suicidal threat? Even Fox News will not blame Obama for not capitulating to the Castros hostage-taking demands. On the other hand, the Castros will have allowed their only bargaining chit to die. The death of Mr. Gross will deal a fatal blow to any residual goodwill that may exists between the Castro dictatorship and the US. There is NO WAY Obama can make concessions to the Castros on any other issue if the Castros allow Gross to die. The Castros underestimated Obama’s resolve and took Gross hostage assuming Obama would be forced to negotiate for his release. Looks like they could not have been more wrong.

  • By offering the swap of Gross for the three Cuban spies, Raul Castro reveals himself as nothing more than a criminal gangster. Obama refuses to link the two cases because there is no legal basis to link the two cases.

  • “Havana accuses him……..The U.S. government denies…..”
    Tell me, did I accidentally click on Fox News where both sides of arguments with clear moral distinctions are always treated equally and the WE decide where the truth lies ?.
    It is unforgiveable for any journalist to so present such circumstances.
    The report must relate what USAID is all about and what they usually do in countries the USG opposes in order to know if Gross was likely acting legally or morally.
    You cannot report on Hitler and say that he made the trains run on time and controlled inflation and is also accused of genocide and… …you decide if he’s a bad guy or a good guy based on that even-handed approach .

  • Interesting that the Castro “government” has never released photo of the “equipment” that Alan Gross brought into Cuba. He also visited Cuba 5 times before being “caught”! We all know that the Castros know who comes in and out and Mr. Gross came under his own name! It was reported that Gross had a receipt for the equipment that he brought in on his last trip. I have the text but the link is no longer working! Does anyone have similar information that they can share?

    SAN DIEGO CHANNEL 10 : With American In Cuban Prison, Wife Hopes For Clemency- Alan Gross Convicted Of Trying To Subvert Cuban Gov’t – From Jill Dougherty,CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

    The equipment is illegal in Cuba without government permission, but a source close to the case told CNN that “at trial, the defense presented a receipt from Cuban Customs to demonstrate the Cubans were both aware of and approved what Alan brought in.”

    “The Cuban government did not charge Alan with bringing illegal equipment,” says the source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “The charge and conviction were on crimes against the state, in other words, activity to undermine the sovereignty of Cuba, which is simply preposterous.”

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