Resolution introduced on 3rd Anniversary of Alan Gross’ arrest in Havana
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) have introduced a resolution calling on Cuba to immediately and unconditionally release Marylander Alan Gross. The resolution, introduced on the 3rd Anniversary of Mr. Gross’ arrest in Havana, Cuba, is co-sponsored by 29 of their Senate colleagues including Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). It also urges the Cuban government to address Mr. Gross’ medical issues. When passed, it will mark the first time Congress has taken the step of passing a resolution condemning Mr. Gross’ arrest and calling for his release. Sens. Cardin, Moran and Mikulski held a joint press conference with Judy Gross, the wife of Alan Gross, this morning to discuss the resolution.
“Year after year, the Cuban Government continues to demonstrate why bilateral relations between our two countries remain frozen,” Sen. Cardin said. “Alan Gross should no longer be forced to suffer the consequences of political gamesmanship. Enough is enough. Alan should be immediately and unconditionally released so he can return home for medical treatment and to support his family. The health and humanitarian needs of he and his family are paramount,”
“The Senate’s passage of this resolution will send a loud and clear message to Cuba: it is past time for Alan Gross to come home,” Sen. Moran said. “For more than a decade, I have worked to open Cuban markets to American agriculture. This year, however, I stepped back from these efforts because the Cuban government has a responsibility to cooperate with the United States on the unjust detention of Alan Gross. The path to improved America-Cuba relations has always been difficult, but it is that much more difficult and unlikely until Cuba releases Alan Gross.”
“It’s long past time Alan Gross be immediately and unconditionally released from his imprisonment in Cuba,” Sen. Mikulski said. “For three years he and his family have suffered from these bogus charges and a sham trial. And for three years the Cuban government has ignored basic human rights and has shown they are not serious about building a relationship with the United States. I want Alan and Judy Gross to know that they are not in this fight alone. I will continue to do all I can so Alan can come home to Maryland and his family.”
Alan Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009, and after a two-day trial, was given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world. Mr. Gross was in Cuba working as a sub-contractor for the United States Agency for International Development, helping a small, peaceful, non-dissident community. He was doing the type of work he had done his whole career in international development – helping others in need.
A 63-year-old husband and father, Mr. Gross has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, as well as other health problems. The Cuban Government has denied requests by Mr. Gross for an independent medical examination by a doctor of his choosing. Members of his family have also faced serious illnesses during this time.