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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Gross’

Alan Gross Suspends Hunger Strike at Mother’s Urging

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Alan Gross suspended his hunger strike Friday after a week at the behest of his elderly mother.

“Alan’s mother asked him to stop the fast,” Jill Zuckman, the spokeswoman of the family of the State Department subcontractor imprisoned in Cuba, told JTA. “He agreed to do that.”

Gross, who launched his fast April 3, told his lawyer in a weekly call on Friday that he planned further protest actions, Zuckman said, although he did not elaborate.

Gross’ mother, who is suffering from cancer, turns 92 on Tuesday, which is also the first day of Passover.

Gross, 64, 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. The Maryland resident is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state.”

Gross says he has lost more than 100 pounds since his imprisonment and suffers from painful arthritis. He reportedly leaves his shared cell once a day for one hour.

When Gross launched his hunger strike, he said it was to protest inaction by both the Cuban and U.S. governments. “Once again, I am calling on President Obama to get personally involved in ending this stand-off so that I can return home to my wife and daughters,” he said in a statement at the time.

Alan Gross Goes on Hunger Strike in Cuba

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

American-Jewish contractor Alan Gross has gone on a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment in a Cuban jail and the lack of American assistance.

“I began a fast on April 3rd in protest of the treatment to which I am subjected by the governments of Cuba and the United States,” Gross said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“I am fasting to object to mistruths, deceptions, and inaction by both governments, not only regarding their shared responsibility for my arbitrary detention, but also because of the lack of any reasonable or valid effort to resolve this shameful ordeal. Once again, I am calling on President Obama to get personally involved in ending this stand-off so that I can return home to my wife and daughters,” Gross said.

Gross, 64, 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. The Maryland resident is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state.”

Gross says he has lost 100 pounds since his imprisonment and suffers from painful arthritis. He reportedly leaves his shared cell once a day for one hour.

In a letter sent in December 2013, Gross asked President Obama to personally help secure his release.

The Cuban government has indicated that it wants the United States to allow the return to Cuba of five spies in prison or on probation in the U.S. in return for negotiations on Gross.

Gross’s wife, Judy, said in a statement that she fears her husband will not be able to endure his confinement much longer. “I’ve been begging our government for more than four years to bring Alan home,” said Judy Gross. “I’m worried sick about Alan’s health, and I don’t think he can survive much more of this.”

Kerry said Tuesday that he had spoken to the Gross family a month ago to discuss the status of efforts to free Gross. ”We are very, very focused on trying to get Alan Gross out of there, his treatment is inhumane,” Kerry said while testifying in the Senate.

Kerry Asks Vatican to Help Free Alan Gross

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asked the Vatican on Tuesday to intercede in helping free American-Jewish contractor Alan Gross from a Cuban jail.

Kerry said in a meeting Tuesday with the Vatican’s secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, they discussed Cuba and the need for respect for freedom of religion and human rights in the island nation.

“I raised the issue of Alan Gross and his captivity, and we hope very much that there might be able to be assistance with respect to that issue,” Kerry told reporters following the meeting.

Gross, 64, 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. The Maryland resident is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state.”

Edward Alex Lee, the U.S. acting deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, met with Gross late last week while in Havana for migration talks with Cuba. He said that the Gross case is a key issue in the troubled relationship between the United States and Cuba.

The Cuban government has indicated that it wants the United States to allow the return to Cuba of five spies in prison or on probation in the U.S. in return for negotiations on Gross.

Gross says he has lost 100 pounds since his imprisonment and suffers from painful arthritis. He reportedly leaves his shared cell once a day for one hour.

In a letter sent last month, Gross asked President Obama to personally help secure his release.

Alan Gross Meets with Cuban Jewish Leaders

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Cuban Jewish leaders met with imprisoned Jewish-American contractor on the last day of Hanukkah, two days after Gross marked his fourth year in jail in Cuba.

“During the encounter we could see that he was in better spirits, more physically recovered,” according to a statement from the Beth Shalom Temple in Havana according to the Associated Press. The Cuban Jewish leaders have met with Gross for other Jewish holidays throughout his imprisonment.

Gross, 64, 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. The Maryland resident is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state.”.

Gross says he has lost 100 pounds since his imprisonment and suffers from painful arthritis. He reportedly leaves his shared cell once a day for one hour. In a letter sent last week, Gross asked President Obama to personally help secure his release. The Cuban government has indicated that it wants the United States to allow the return to Cuba of five spies in prison or on probation in the U.S. in return for negotiations on Gross.

Washington Jews Plan Rally on Alan Gross’ 4th Year In Cuban Prison

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

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.

Federal Judge Dismisses Alan Gross’ Lawsuit against Government

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

A federal judge dismissed on Tuesday a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government by Alan Gross, the American-Jewish contractor imprisoned in Cuba since 2009.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that under federal law, the government cannot be sued for injuries that occurred in another country.

Gross and his wife Judy filed a $60 million lawsuit in November against the U.S. government and a government contractor, charging that Gross should have been better trained and informed of the risks before going to Cuba to set up Internet access for the Jewish community there.

Gross, 64, was arrested in December 2009 as he was leaving Cuba for “crimes against the state.” He spoke virtually no Spanish and traveled to Cuba five times under his own name before his arrest.

Gross’ family and U.S. State Department officials say that Gross was in Cuba on a U.S. Agency for International Development contract to help the country’s 1,500 Jews communicate with other Jewish communities using the Internet.

The main Jewish groups in Cuba have denied any contact with or knowledge of Gross or the program.

The Grosses settled in mid-May with Development Alternatives Inc., a Maryland-based contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, for an undisclosed amount.

Jews in Washington Launch Fund to Help Gross and other Jailed Jews

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington established a legal defense fund for Jews being held wrongfully because of their Jewishness and will assist Alan Gross, who is in prison in Cuba.

Financial contributions will be used to help cover the legal defense of Jews in the United States and throughout the world who the council believes have been wrongfully charged or imprisoned.

Funds also will be used to cover costs associated with advocating for the prisoners.

The council cited the Jewish value of Pidyon Shvuyim, or redeeming the captive, in a statement announcing the new fund.

The tax-deductible charitable contributions cannot be earmarked for a particular person.

The first funds will be used to help Gross, who has been jailed in Cuba since December 2009 and is serving a 15-year sentence for “crimes against the state.”

According to the Gross family and the U.S. State Department, the Maryland man was in Cuba on a U.S. Agency for International Development contract to help connect the country’s 1,500-strong Jewish community with other Jewish communities via the Internet.

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington has been advocating on Gross’ behalf, organizing vigils and spearheading legislation to help free Gross.

A U.S. congressional delegation this week arrived in Cuba to press for his release.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jews-in-washington-launch-fund-to-help-gross-and-other-jailed-jews/2013/02/21/

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