Trip planned to visit Alan Gross in Cuban prison
By: Marissa Bagg
BOCA RATON, Fla. – In Boca Raton, a small delegation is on a mission, determined to visit a Cuban prisoner. Alan Gross is an American Jew, jailed for bringing communication equipment to the Cuban community. He’s three years into a 15 year sentence, but some fear he may not survive. Members of the Boca Raton Synagogue learned of his plight last year. “He’s being kept in prison unjustly and there’s no evidence in the trial of the accusations against him,” says Rabbi Efrem Goldberg.
Rabbi Goldberg and Dan Kaskel want to do something about it. Gross described prison life in a recent interview with CNN. “We’re not allowed to see other people. I get to go outside every day during the day now. That’s an improvement, I didn’t see the sunlight for my first year and a half here,” says Gross.
Countless politicians have pleaded with the Cuban government to release Gross. But he remains in a cell. Now Kaskel and Rabbi Goldberg are working to visit him in person. “The Cuban government has been challenging to work with because we don’t have official diplomatic ties with Cuban,” says Kaskel. But that isn’t stopping them. In 60 days the United States has agreed to issue the group a permit to travel to Cuba. “The extended Jewish community is our family, and if this was our brother, father or son, we’d go to the ends of the earth to help him. We hope to give him energy and courage to get through everything until he is able to get released,” says Rabbi Goldberg.