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.