Richardson Will Visit Cuba To Seek Gross' Release

By JTA

Published September 08, 2011.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Bill Richardson is traveling to Cuba in an attempt to free Alan Gros, the imprisoned American Jewish contractor.

Gross’ American lawyer, Peter Kahn, said it was the family’s hope that Gross would be released in time to celebrate Rosh HaShanah with his family.

“We are pleased that the Cuban government invited Governor Richardson to Havana,” Kahn said in a statement. “We welcome any and all dialogue that ultimately will result in Alan’s release. We are grateful to Governor Richardson for his continued efforts. We hope that the Governor and Cuban authorities are able to find common ground that will allow us to be reunited as a family before the Jewish High Holy Days.”

CNN on Wednesday quoted State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland as saying that the former New Mexico governor’s bid was a private one, albeit supported by the Obama administration.

Gross, 62, is serving a 15-year prison sentence in Cuba for “crimes against the state” for distributing laptop computers and connecting Cuban Jews to the Internet. Gross was arrested in 2009 as he was leaving Cuba and accused of being a spy.

His appeal was rejected recently by the island nation’s Supreme Court, and now the only legal avenue left available is for the commutation of his sentence by President Raul Castro.

Since his incarceration, Gross reportedly has lost approximately 100 pounds and is suffering from partial paralysis, as well as other ailments. His daughter has breast cancer and his mother was diagnosed with cancer as well.

A former U.S. congressman, energy secretary and ambassador to the United Nations, Richardson has over the years secured the release of Americans imprisoned in Iraq and North Korea. He served two terms as New Mexico governor from 2003 to 2011.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.