Alan Gross Wife Calls for Bowe Bergdahl-Style Prisoner Swap

After Jailhouse Meeting, Calls for Talks With Havana

getty images

By JTA

Published June 25, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The wife of Alan Gross visited her husband in a Cuban prison, then likened his plight to an American prisoner of war traded for five Taliban members.

“If we can trade five members of the Taliban to bring home one American soldier, surely we can figure out a path forward to bring home one American citizen from a Cuban prison,” Judy Gross said Wednesday in Havana, where she visited her husband in their first meeting since Alan Gross’ mother died last week.

She was referring to the late May swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl that has generated controversy.

The Gross family has suggested that the Obama administration could trade Gross for the three of the remaining “Cuban Five” spies who are in prison, a deal that the Cuban government has hinted it would accept. Obama administration officials have said such a trade is unlikely. Two of the five Cubans were released before their sentences were completed and allowed to return to Cuba.

Gross, 65, of Maryland, who has been imprisoned since December 2009, is serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba for “crimes against the state.” Working as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, Gross was on a mission to connect Cuba’s small Jewish community to the Internet when he was arrested.

A statement released by the family spokeswoman, Lisa Black, noted that the Cuban government would not allow Gross humanitarian leave to attend his mother’s funeral on Friday.

U.S. authorities had allowed one of the Cuban Five to attend a family funeral in Cuba while he was on parole in Florida.


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!
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • "There are two roads. We have repeatedly taken the one more traveled, and that has made all the difference." Dahlia Scheindlin looks at the roots of Israel's conflict with Gaza.
  • Shalom, Cooperstown! Cooperstown Jewish mayor Jeff Katz and Jeff Idelson, director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, work together to oversee induction weekend.
  • A boost for morale, if not morals.
  • Mixed marriages in Israel are tough in times of peace. So, how do you maintain a family bubble in the midst of war? http://jd.fo/f4VeG
  • Despite the escalating violence in Israel, more and more Jews are leaving their homes in Alaska to make aliyah: http://jd.fo/g4SIa
  • The Workmen's Circle is hosting New York’s first Jewish street fair on Sunday. Bring on the nouveau deli!
  • Novelist Sayed Kashua finds it hard to write about the heartbreak of Gaza from the plush confines of Debra Winger's Manhattan pad. Tough to argue with that, whichever side of the conflict you are on.
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • 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.