Wife Pushes Obama for Action on Alan Gross

After Vote, Judy Gross Wants Deal To Free Jailed Husband


By Reuters

Published November 10, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

The wife of Alan Gross, the Jewish contractor jailed in Cuba for crimes against the state, said she hopes President Barack Obama’s re-election will soon help lead to her ailing husband’s release from the communist-ruled country.

Gross, 63, has been locked up in Cuba since December 2009 for his work on behalf of a semi-covert U.S. program aimed at promoting political change on the island.

He is serving a 15-year sentence for setting up Internet networks in Cuba, work that a judge said was a crime against the Cuban state, and his imprisonment halted efforts by Obama to improve long-hostile relations between the United States and Cuba, which began soon after his first election in 2008.

“The U.S. government sent him there, they sent him on a project, and they need to take responsibility for getting this man home,” Judy Gross told Reuters in an interview late on Friday.

Calling her husband a “pawn” in an unfortunate game between two countries just 90 miles apart, she said she believed Obama’s re-election could now help his administration push harder for Gross’s freedom, even if it means making possible concessions to Cuba that are opposed by conservative Cuban-American lawmakers.

“Nobody has ever come and said ‘oh well, we’re not doing this because of the election.’ But obviously that’s what we think was going on, and we’ll find out,” Judy Gross said.

“It’s going to take a few more weeks and we’ll be in contact with the administration, and we’ll hope for the best,” she added.

She did not elaborate on exactly what Washington could do to win Gross’s freedom. But she said he has had considerable weight loss since his arrest, as well as having degenerative arthritis and an untreated potentially cancerous mass behind his shoulder. She has been pressing for his release on humanitarian grounds.

“He’s a pawn in the sense that Cuba wants something for him and the United States is unwilling to give that up,” Gross said in the phone interview.


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!
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • 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.