Dec 06 2012
Resolution passes just after 3rd Anniversary of Alan Gross' arrest in Cuba
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday evening, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution (S. Res. 609) introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and co-sponsored by 30 of their Senate colleagues, calling on Cuba to immediately and unconditionally release Marylander Alan Gross. This is the first time Congress has taken the step of passing a resolution condemning Mr. Gross’ arrest and calling for his release. The resolution, introduced on the 3rd Anniversary of Mr. Gross’ arrest in Havana, Cuba, also urges the Cuban government to address Mr. Gross’ medical issues.
“The Senate’s passage of this resolution sends a loud and clear message to Cuba: it is past time for Alan Gross to come home,” Sen. Moran said. “For more than a decade, I have worked to open Cuban markets to American agriculture. This year, however, I stepped back from these efforts because the Cuban government has a responsibility to cooperate with the United States on the unjust detention of Alan Gross. The path to improved America-Cuba relations has always been difficult, but it is that much more difficult and unlikely until Cuba lets Alan come home."
“The U.S. Senate stands united in the position that Alan Gross should be immediately and unconditionally released so he can return home for medical treatment and to support his family. Enough is enough. The Cuban Government continues to demonstrate why bilateral relations between our two countries remain frozen. Alan and his family should no longer be forced to suffer the consequences of political gamesmanship,” said Sen. Cardin.
"I am so grateful for this extraordinary outpouring of support from the U.S. Senate,” said Judy Gross, wife of Alan Gross. “I know that with its strong support, I am one step closer to bringing Alan home."
Alan Gross was arrested on December 3, 2009, and after a two-day trial, was given a 15-year prison sentence by Cuban authorities for facilitating communications between Cuba’s Jewish community and the rest of the world. Mr. Gross was in Cuba working as a sub-contractor for the United States Agency for International Development, helping a small, peaceful, non-dissident community. He was doing the type of work he had done his whole career in international development – helping others in need.
A 63-year-old husband and father, Mr. Gross has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest and suffers from severe degenerative arthritis that affects his mobility, as well as other health problems. The Cuban Government has denied requests by Mr. Gross for an independent medical examination by a doctor of his choosing. Members of his family have also faced serious illnesses during this time.
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