Alan Gross’ wife and Washington’s Jewish community are calling on President Obama to prioritize securing his release from a Cuban jail and will attend a demonstration at Lafayette Park outside the White House at noon next Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of his imprisonment.
Judy Gross and officials from the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington will be joined by leaders from other religions and local elected officials.
Gross, a subcontractor for the State Department on a mission to hook up Cuba’s small Jewish community to the Internet, was arrested in December 2009 as he was leaving Cuba. He is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state.”
At the rally, Judy Gross will read an excerpt of her most recent letter from her husband, who wrote in an excerpt of the letter the family provided to JTA, “It is clear that only the president of the United States has the power to bring me home.”
“On behalf of my family and myself, on behalf of every American who might ever find himself or herself in trouble abroad – I ask President Obama to direct his administration to take meaningful, proactive steps to secure my immediate release.”
Judy Gross told JTA in an interview that her husband, 64, is depressed and is in chronic pain from arthritis. “The best thing to do is contact the White House,” she said she’d tell people at the rally.
The Cuban government has indicated that it wants the United States to allow the return of Cuba five spies currently in prison or on probation in the United States.