HAVANA TIMES – On Wednesday morning the government of Cuba expressed concern about the situation presented by the hunger strike started last week by Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor jailed in Cuba since December 2009.
The following is a HT translation of the official statement which invited the US government to work together with Cuba to settle the case.
Statement by Josefina Vidal Ferriero, head of the USA Desk at the Cuban Foreign Ministry
We received with concern the press release issued on the morning of April 8, in Washington, which states that “Alan Gross, a USAID subcontractor jailed in Cuba for the last four years and four months, began a hunger strike last week.”
The Cuban government reiterates its willingness to seek, in conjunction with the US government, a solution to the case of Mr. Gross, acceptable to both parties, that addresses Cuba’s humanitarian concerns related to the three Cubans (of the Cuban Five) that continue unjustly imprisoned in the US for over 15 years.
Mr. Gross has received decent and dignified treatment. Since his arrest, he is being held in a hospital, not because his health situation requires it, but because there he is provided specialized medical care from the highly qualified staff.
Alan Gross is in good physical condition and his health is normal and stable. His chronic conditions, ailments normal for his age, are under control, for which he receives medical treatment. He has been visited by his wife and lawyer, with whom he also maintains systematic telephone and electronic communications, as well as with other relatives and friends. He receives monthly consular access to US diplomats and visiting political and religious figures.
Mr. Gross was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced for violating Cuban laws, for carrying out a subversive program funded by the US government, by establishing illegal and covert communications systems using non-commercial technology.