The Cuban government released Saturday the results of medical exams for U.S. contractor Alan Gross, jailed in Cuba since 2009, to his family after an unfortunate delay, the prisoner’s attorney in the United States said.
In a communique, attorney Peter Kahn expressed gratitude that the Cuban government finally decided on Saturday to release Gross’s medical record and the results of his medical exams.
Kahn said it was unfortunate that the simple process took more than a month despite repeated requests, but he avoided commenting on the medical documents themselves until Gross’s doctors in the United States have a chance to study and analyze them.
The Gross family send a letter this week to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington to request the 63-year-old American’s medical test results, a demand repeated by the U.S. State Department on Thursday.
In a communique, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Gross’s health had deteriorated to the point that “he is no longer able to walk in his cell,” while Kahn added that the prisoner has lost more than 45 kilograms since his arrest and has developed a large mass behind his right shoulder blade.
Cuba’s Foreign Ministry replied Friday that the state of Gross’s health is “normal” and that his family has “systematically” received complete medical reports on the contractor.
The prisoner’s attorney rejected that assertion on Saturday and said that no results have been seen until now, and that the pictures of Gross published in the media, which show him remarkably thinner, support his version of the facts.
Kahn said that anyone who has seen the photos of Alan Gross will understand why his family is so worried about his physical and mental well-being.
Gross was arrested in Havana on Dec. 3, 2009, in possession of satellite communications equipment he said he was planning to distribute among Cuba’s Jewish community.
Havana says he was illegally aiding dissidents and inciting subversion on the Communist-ruled island. Last August, Cuba’s highest court upheld the 15-year jail sentence imposed on Gross five months earlier.
Gross was in Cuba as an employee of a Maryland firm contracted by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The Gross case has been yet another source of tension between Cuba and the United States, at odds for more than half a century.
Washington has repeatedly demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the contractor and considers “unjust” the sentence imposed by the Cuban court.