Alan Gross Biopsy, Hopeful but Not Definitive


By JTA

Published November 30, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The results of a biopsy released by the Cuban government raises hopes that Jewish American contractor Alan Gross does not have cancer, his lawyer said, but his family still wants his own physician to examine him.

“While we very much hope that these test results are accurate and do not doubt the Cuban government’s belief that Mr. Gross is healthy, the only way he will feel confident in them is for the Cuban government to allow an independent medical examination by a doctor of his choosing,” said a statement by Gross’ attorney, Jared Genser, on Wednesday, after the Cuban government released data from an examination by Rabbi Elie Abadie, a U.S. physician whom the Cubans allowed to examine Gross.

Gross’ radiologist, Dr. Alan Cohen of Maryland, said in an accompanying statement that the result is “hopeful but not definitive” because of the small sample size obtained by Abadie.

Gross has an unidentified mass behind his right shoulder, according to reports, and has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest in December 2009. His family says he is suffering from degenerative arthritis.

Gross, 63, of Potomac, Md., was sentenced last year to 15 years in prison for “crimes against the state.” He was arrested in 2009 for allegedly bringing satellite phones and computer equipment to members of Cuba’s Jewish community while working as a contractor for the U.S. Agency on International Development.

The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations said the Cuban news conference announcing the medical results underscored the need to release him.

“It is time for the Cuban government to demonstrate compassion and release Mr. Gross so that he can receive a complete medical examination by American doctors with the proper expertise,” the Presidents Conference said in a statement.

U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) expressed their disappointment that the news conference, which the Cuban government had touted to reporters on Tuesday, was not to announce his release.

“Though we are deeply disappointed by Cuba’s failure to make such an indication today, our commitment to Alan’s cause is undiminished and we will continue to work to ensure his immediate and unconditional release,” they said in a joint statement.

Last week, Gross’ wife, Judith, sued the U.S. government and the company that contracted his work in Cuba, saying their training was inadequate and a factor in his imprisonment.


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!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • 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.