Cuban officials continue to reject calls by the United States and the international community to free a U.S. citizen jailed unfairly in Havana. December 3 marked two years since Alan Gross was imprisoned on state security charges. He is innocent of the allegations against him and his continued detention is unjustified. The Cuban government should demonstrate its commitment to humanitarian concerns by releasing him to rejoin his family.
Sixty-two years old and suffering from arthritis, Mr. Gross is a dedicated development professional who has a long history of providing assistance and support to underserved communities in more than 50 countries. He was a subcontractor working on a project sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development in Cuba helping members of the country's small Jewish community gain access to the Internet. For these humanitarian activities, he was arrested on Dec. 3, 2009, convicted by a Cuban court of crimes against the state, and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The Obama Administration has used and will continue to use every appropriate, diplomatic channel to urge the Cuban government to release Mr. Gross so he may return to his family, where he belongs.