Cuba: Alan Gross Deep in Depression
July 30, 2014
Refuses to Receive Most Visitors in Cuba
Wilfredo Cancio Isla (Café Fuerte)
HAVANA TIMES — Alan Gross, the US citizen sentenced to 15 years in
prison in Cuba, has lost the use of his right eye and refuses to receive
most visitors owing to a profound state of depression.
"Alan's situation is grave," said attorney Scott Gilbert in his
statements to CafeFuerte. "The governments of the United States and Cuba
have to resolve this situation very soon or Alan will die in prison."
Gilbert explained that 65-year-old Gross has already lost sight out of
his right eye and that his hips have deteriorated to such an extent that
he has been unable to do any type of exercise in the past two months.
"He has suffered a lot recently thinking about his mother's death,
having been unable to see her before her death or be with his family in
this time of grief," said Gilbert. "Because of his emotional state, he
has refused to receive most visitors."
Evelyn Gross died of cancer at 92 this past June 18 in Texas. Despite
the family's petitions to Raul Castro's government, asking that Gross be
permitted to attend the funeral, Cuban authorities turned down the request.
On April 2, Alan Gross began a hunger strike which he interrupted 11
days later at the request of his aged mother. The aim of the hunger
strike was to protest over the lack of a solution to his case.
At the close of June, Gilbert and Judy Gross, Gross' wife, visited him
in his cell at the Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital in Havana, where
the prisoner is currently confined. During the visit, Gross' family
revealed that the US contractor had lost all hopes of returning to his
country and was planning on ending his life.
Gilbert affirms that the situation has worsened and lays the blame for
the tragic unfolding of the case on both Havana and Washington.
The Cuban government claims it is willing to find a "humanitarian"
solution to the case, but only by negotiating the exchange of Gross for
the three Cuban agents currently imprisoned in the United States [since
1998]. Washington has turned down this offer, alleging that the cases
are entirely different.
Negotiating with Raul Castro
Recently, there was news that businesspeople Elon Musk and Shervin
Pishevar, two magnates of the world of new technologies and faithful
supporters of President Barack Obama, had accompanied actor Sean Penn to
Havana at the beginning of last year to negotiate the release of Gross
with the high spheres of government, to no avail.
Gilbert said he had no knowledge of that negotiation or its outcome.
The Gross case has become the bone of contention between Cuba and the
United States, making it impossible for the Obama administration to make
further progress in terms of bilateral relations with the island.
The December 3 will mark five years since Gross' arrest in Cuba. He was
detained in a hotel in Havana on the eve of his return to the United
States, after delivering Internet communication technology to members of
the island's Jewish community.
A Cuban court tried and convicted Gross in March of 2010 on charges of
undermining national security.
Source: Cuba: Alan Gross Deep in Depression - Havana Times.org -