Cuba: Alan Gross Has Received Perks

By JTA

Published June 03, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The daughter of Cuban head of state Raul Castro said that jailed American Alan Gross “has been granted everything that he’s asked for.”

In an interview on CNN to be aired Monday, June 4, Mariela Castro told host Christiane Amanpour: “Alan Gross has been granted everything that he’s asked for: he has been able to see his wife, he has been able to have matrimonial, conjugal visits, and he has been treated with respect and dignity the way we always treat prisoners in Cuba. We haven’t received the same treatment on the other hand for our five prisoners who have very long sentences that are not right. I think that the six must be released—both the five Cubans and Alan Gross.”

Castro is referring to what are known as The Cuban Five, a group of intelligence officers being held in the U.S. for espionage. She said her husband’s request was similar to that of Rene Gonzalez, whose brother is dying of cancer in Cuba.

Gross was arrested in 2009 and sentenced last year to 15 years on charges related to his distribution of communications equipment to the island’s small Jewish community, working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency on International Development.

He has appealed for humanitarian leave of two weeks to visit his 90-year-old mother, who has inoperable lung cancer. A U.S. judge allowed Gonzalez, on parole after serving time for espionage, to return to Cuba for two weeks to visit his dying brother.

Gross’ daughter also has undergone cancer treatment since his arrest.

Castro told Amanpour that the release of both the Cuban Five and Gross would be the “happiest solution.”

A number of analysts have said that the Cuban government is detaining Gross in order to trade him for the Cuban Five.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • 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.