Cuba Lashes Out at Gross Health Charges 1

The Associated Press

HAVANA –  Cuba lashed back Friday at what  it called a campaign of distortions over the health of an imprisoned American  contractor, and hinted at retaliation that could include moving the 63-year-old  man out of the military hospital where he is being held and putting him in a  regular prison.

The statement sent by Cuba’s Foreign Ministry marked an escalation of a  dispute that has been simmering for 2 1/2 years and that has torpedoed any hope  of improved ties between the Cold War enemies. Maryland-native Alan Gross is  serving a 15-year term for bringing satellite and other communications equipment  into Cuba illegally while on a USAID-funded democracy-building program.

Cuban officials disputed recent comments by Gross’s lawyer and wife that his  condition is deteriorating, saying his health is in fact “normal” and he is  being properly treated.

It said he is well enough, in fact, to serve his sentence in a regular jail,  in what appeared to be a thinly veiled warning.

“Even though Mr. Gross could be held at any prison facility due to the fact that  his situation is not incompatible with that, he is being held at a military  hospital,” the statement said. “This is not because his health requires it, but  to ensure for him the best conditions.”

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One comment

  1. As I previously indicated, Gross needs to go on a hunger strike to press his case, like scores of other Cuban political prisoners have done. However, I don’t expect moral rectitude from a wimp who denounced the U.S. government before being sentenced in the hope of a lighter sentence.

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