Alan Gross In 'Normal' Health, Cuba Says

Denies Wife's Claim He Is Deteriorating Quickly

Happier Days: Alan Gross, with his wife, Judy, in Jerusalem in 2005.
courtesy of gross family
Happier Days: Alan Gross, with his wife, Judy, in Jerusalem in 2005.

By Reuters

Published September 13, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Gross’ arrest ended a short-lived thaw in relations between Havana and Washington under President Barack Obama, who had eased the 50-year-long U.S. trade embargo against the island and allowed Cuban Americans to freely travel and send remittances to their homeland.

Cuban officials have previously suggested the two countries could do a prisoner swap - Gross for four Cuban agents jailed in the United States on spying charges.

Tuesday was the 14th anniversary of the arrest and incarceration of the agents, who the Cuban government says have been treated unjustly.

WASHINGTON REJECTS PRISONER SWAP

The United States has rejected the idea of a prisoner swap but did offer last year to send one of the four convicted Cuban spies home in exchange for Gross, a deal Cuba rejected.

Gross recently hired a new lawyer, Jared Genser, a Washington-based international human rights attorney whose clients have included Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar.

Genser told Reuters that Cuba had violated Gross’ rights to freedom of expression and had given him an unfair trial.

He said he had filed a petition to the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention seeking a finding against Cuba. The U.N. group has no power to enforce such a ruling, but its decision could place pressure on the Cuban government.

“A government detaining a person wrongly typically only lets them out when the costs substantially outweigh the benefits of detaining them,” Genser said. “I’ve seen how an opinion from the United Nations is a very effective tool, when combined with the appropriate political and public relations advocacy efforts.”

Genser also urged Cuba to allow Gross to be examined by an independent doctor. The true state of his health could not be assessed by the physicians who were also “Cuban government agents” who have seen Gross so far, he said.

The U.N. petition and Genser’s blunt statements appeared to signal new, more aggressive tactics as part of Judy Gross’ long battle to free her husband, a veteran development worker.

Previously, she had taken a more conciliatory approach. But in June, Judy Gross complained publicly about her husband’s condition, which prompted an angry denial from Cuba and a cryptic reminder that Gross could be in prison instead of the Havana military hospital where he is being held.


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!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • 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.