Washington Post OP/ED: How to Free Alan Gross From Cuban Prison 3

The news that Alan Gross, the contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development who has been unjustly detained in Cuba since 2009, might have cancer is not just a personal tragedy [“Maryland man, jailed in Cuba, might have cancer,” news, Oct. 2]. Mr. Gross’s only “offense” to the Cuban government was trying to give a laptop computer and satellite telephone to one of the island’s small Jewish communities.

In addition to a five-month growth on his shoulder that Cuban doctors call “benign,” Mr. Gross reportedly has lost 100 pounds. His continuing detention and deteriorating health demonstrate the utter disdain that the Cuban government has for basic human rights. The Obama administration’s unilateral extension of a hand of friendship to the Castro brothers has not changed the nation’s brutal dictatorship.

President Obama holds the key that could open the door to Mr. Gross’s jail cell. He should tell Havana that U.S. patience has run short and that, until Mr. Gross is released, remittances that the Cuban government heavily taxes and relies upon will be cut off and the “people to people” policy allowing American tourists to travel to Cuba will end.

The United States has the largest diplomatic mission in Cuba. If U.S. diplomats there can’t protect someone like Mr. Gross from abuse and mistreatment, it is time that Mr. Obama consider bringing them home.

Frank Calzon, Washington

The writer is executive director at the Center for a Free Cuba.



  1. This is a very good solution to this dilemma.Let’s cut off the travel of Cubans from the US to the island until Castro government releases Mr Gross.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s