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August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
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Washington Jews Plan Rally on Alan Gross’ 4th Year In Cuban Prison


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.

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5 Responses to “Washington Jews Plan Rally on Alan Gross’ 4th Year In Cuban Prison”

  1. The White House is the correct focus for a demonstration. The US government sent Alan Gross to covertly undertake a project that it knew violated Cuban law. It is responsible for negotiating his release.

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

  2. The White House is the correct focus for a demonstration. The US government sent Alan Gross to covertly undertake a project that it knew violated Cuban law. It is responsible for negotiating his release.

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

  3. joetwagner@yahoo.com
    May 1, 2013
    Finlay Military Hospital
    Havana, Cuba

    Dear Alan,

    Being obsessed with your situation, I have come to a dead end helping you. To proceed on helping you I would have to give up my U.S. citizenship to avoid violating U.S. Embargo Laws. The Treasury Department will not allow me to throw money your way to make your life more comfortable in Cuba., OFAC letter CT-19110 dated 2/22/12 clearly shows that. By the way, the Treasure Department was too ashamed to mention your name in the letter CT-19110. Looks like our U.S. Government is more inhuman then they portray their Cuban adversary. I believe the U.S. Government is worried that if the Cuban's made your prison interment nice, the U.S. Government would in return, have to make the Cuban 5 prison interment equally nice. As a matter of fact, I get a sense that there are those anti Castro people, who are disappointed that your imprisonment condition isn't more server. Alan I think it is important to inform you that the Obama Administration has sacrificially abandon you to a 15 year prison term because the revengeful Miami Cubans are enjoying your imprisonment for their own anti Castro propaganda purposes. Even I know that all this bullying Cuba, by the State Department, isn't going to get you released. It's just a show, by the State Department, to make you and your wife believe your government is trying to do something for you. If they really wanted to do something for you, President Obama would release the Cuban 5 and bring you home. It's as simple as that. Tell the State Department and President Obama to stop bullying Cuba and release the Cuban 5 so you can come home. Amen?
    You made a huge mistake working for the U.S. Government in this immoral capacity, and you are paying tit for tat because of the immoral long prison terms the Cuban 5 were given by a politically charged Miami Federal Court. Disappointingly, Secretary of State Kerry has adopted Mrs. Clinton's deception of your intentions working in Cuba, and has arrogantly refuse to negotiate or trade the Cuban 5 for your release. Unfortunately, they both have tried to put the Jews in the middle of the American-Cuban conflict, instead of admitting that the 20 million dollars you were being paid from, was set aside annually, to undermine the Cuban Government. I believe, if you do not want to see another 12 years in Finlay Hospital, you should speak up and clear up the U.S. deception of your intentions working in Cuba. From my prospective, your employment in Cuba was geared to the U.S. effort to undermine the Cuban Government, which makes you more guilty then the Cuban 5's endeavor in the U.S.. After all, the Cuban 5 were in the U.S. trying to investigate the source of terrorism in their own country, they were not in the U.S. trying to undermine our U.S. Government. Alan, I am willing to give up my citizenship to legally help you. But I need to see some enlightenment in you. You and your wife need to stop going along with the U.S. effort of bullying the Cubans to release you, it's just rhetoric anyways and will never accomplish nothing. After all, bullying the Cubans hasn't worked for 50 years.
    When will we Americans get tired of killing communist for Jesus? After the failed 10 year Vietnam War, the disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion, the countless U.S. terrorist attacks on Cuba, the 600 and some failed CIA attempts on Fidel's life, the 50 plus years of the failed Cuban Embargo, and the 20 million dollars set aside annually that has failed to undermine the Cuban Government and has given you a 15 year prison sentence, we Americans should have realized, by now, that G-d is against killing communist for Jesus. After all, the radical liberal Rabbi Jesus, who the Christian worship as the Messiah, had very strong economic principles, and could be viewed as the first communist himself. Can anyone deny, if and when there is a Messianic Intervention, that economic justice would be the norm, with more equal distribution of wealth, and no more working poor because greed will be unacceptable. Amen?
    Once you and your wife are over this “kill the communist” rhetoric, your wife can come to Rio de Janeiro to met me and some people who have your best interest in their hearts. Before this, I would first like to meet with you and your wife in Havana to get a feel for your own desires, plus I feel Cuba would be safer physically for us both, because the U.S. is known to harbor anti Castro terrorist, such as Luis Posada Carriles, who would have no reservations of killing me or your wife, if they thought we were pursuing mediation for the two countries to compromise. Think about this Alan. Right now in Miami there are people that would rather kill us then have the Cuban 5 released to bring you home. It is my gut feeling that you, Alan, are the beginning of the end of the Cuban Embargo, because your situation is exposing a true evil terrorist source in Miami.
    Before I can help you, I must be assured that your wife and you have gone beyond and are finished with this anti Castro bullying, because I do not want to put this Jewish Community in the middle of this American-Cuban conflict, though we are going to need some individuals with good moral logic to mediate between the Cubans and the Americans. Also, your wife may have to move to Cuba to be closer to you and to develop a good friendship with the wives and families of the Cuban 5. The finances are out there in the religious sector for all this to take place. These finances are especially strong among the Christians with pro Israel feelings. I know how these Christian think, because I spent years convincing them that Replacement Theology is false. All one has to do is put a connection between Joel 3: 12 and the Christian book Mathew 25: 32-46 and wow, they will be aware of their individual responsibility to you, Alan. These resources are endless and could cause the Cuban Embargo to be useless, as Christian from around the world make tours to Havana to visit you and donate. Also, this will be a good opportunity to teach Christians the concept of tzedakah, and this endeavor to help you can be referred to as “Tzedakah”. For every good favor the Cubans bestow upon you, Alan, the Americans are going to have to be shamed into returning the good favor to the Cuban 5. President Obama is a good man, but we are going to have to twist his arm until he says “uncle” and gives the Cubans what they want for your release, and I can't think of a better people to do this then the Brazilians. Let me know when I can meet with you and your wife in Havana, and we can start this process. I may have to give up my citizenship to legally raise funds to help you. According to the Treasury Department's letter CT-19110 they don't want me to help you. We have nice people at our State Department who are so twisted on killing communist for Jesus, that they want to ignore your situation. Alan, even though the U.S. Government has abandon you, the G-D of Israel has not forgotten about you. All my life, good things have come my way because I didn't let patriotism blind me from the truth, and now I am moved to help you. I don't expect President Obama will have a change of heart soon, but it would be so kind if he did, and you'll be release in time to attend my son's Bar-mitzva in Rio during August.
    I must know what you want to do. My address and e-mail are above for you to contact me. Joseph Wagner

  4. Paul LeBon says:

    I have conducted nine mission trips to Cuba and enjoy what no politicians or journalist enjoys – unfettered access across the island. I have met hundreds of Cubans – I know their beliefs, their passion, and their sense of national pride. Contrary to all the bloviating that comes from the Cuban-American supporters of terrorism in Florida, the people care deeply about their ‘Five Heroes’ and want them back home. Go to any school in Cuba and children can give you the names of each man, his date of birth, his family makeup, and the date of arrest and conviction. Could people in synagogues across the US tell the story of Alan Gross.

    The Cuban people feel bad that Alan Gross is away from his family but so are their (now four) heroes. Each government claims that ‘our guy(s)’ got a bum rap and got the shaft, and their guy(s) – guilty as hell. I know of the Gross trial what I have read in US media. I do know the Cubans are nearly paranoid about spying and anti-government propaganda. I have actually read the entire transcript of the Cuban Five Kangaroo Court in the Banana Republic of Miami. A seven month trial, 25 total counts against five defendants. The jury deliberated two and a half hours. Less than 6 minutes per count. Prosecutors sought to drop the 1st degree murder indictment after admitting they had not proven their case – the judge refused.

    Consider this factoid however. Alan Gross is housed in a hospital on a military base. (likely to deter a Navy Seal extraction) He shares his cell with two others. He gets a telephone call home to the US every Friday. His wife can visit literally at will. The Cuban (now) Four have been kept in separate federal prisons stretching from Florida to California. Each has been held in solitary confinement and not allowed interaction with other prisoners. They are not allowed to telephone home and their spouses have been denied visas to come visit them. One wife sought a conjugal visit hoping her husband could father a child before the end of his sentence but was denied. So Alan Gross receives better treatment in a Cuban jail than four Cubans receive in US federal prisons.

    To save face and bring about a logical end to this stalemate, we might learn from our friends the Israelis. From 1954 through 2011 Israel returned 28,905 living prisoners and the remains of 423 to a collection of their vilest enemies. In exchange they repatriated 401 of their own, and the souls of 78. This is a ratio of 64:1. (The entire year-by-year breakdown is included in my book, Cuba 54 pages 70-71, Amazon.com) A simple 4:1 ratio would certainly be palatable.

    The biggest obstacle to any deal however is not in the White House or Department of State. It is with the Cuban-American terrorists who sit in the US Congress, orchestrated Representative Ileana Ros Lehtinen. In 2003 President George W. Bush said “If you give aid and comfort to a terrorist, you are a terrorist.” Ms. Ros’ history of giving aid and comfort to murderers, bombers, and terrorists is too lengthy to detail here. It can be found starting on page 107 in Cuba 54. But she and her cohorts the Diaz Balart brothers and others in Congress relentlessly fight any progress in improving US-Cuba relations or making forward progress.

    After the Cuban-American community, Ms. Ros gets a large chunk of campaign funds from the Jewish communities of South Florida. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington would be wise to reach out to their counterparts in South Florida to apply pressure to Ms. Ros with a threat to turn off the spigot of campaign cash.

    In a similar vein Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, Congresswoman Debbie-Wasserman Schultz could be an ally. She obviously enjoys strong support from the Jewish community and is also held hostage to the demands and eccentricities of Ileana Ros and the other Cuba-American terrorists.

    Paul LeBon
    Nine Time Cuban Missionary
    Author, Cuba 54

  5. A new petition supports the President in negotiations for the release of Alan Gross: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/bring-alan-gross-home?source=c.url&r_by=945311

    I have also posted on Havananote an update on the Gross situation. http://thehavananote.com/2013/12/could_alan_gross_be_home_holidays

    John McAuliff
    Fund for Reconciliation and Development

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