Settlement Results in $3.2 Million Check for Alan Gross 1

This photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross with his wife Judy before leaving Cuba, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity. AP

This photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross with his wife Judy before leaving Cuba, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity. AP

By Mimi Whitefield, mwhitefield@MiamiHerald.com

The U.S. Agency for International Development and Development Alternatives Inc. finalized a settlement this week for claims related to USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who was released from a Cuban prison last week.

Development Alternatives is the Maryland-based international development firm that subcontracted a USAID pro-democracy program to Gross to introduce satellite communications equipment into Cuba.

The amount of the settlement wasn’t disclosed but CNN reported that as part of it, Gross was to be paid $3.2 million.

Gross was arrested Dec. 3, 2009, and held in Cuba until last Wednesday when the Cubans released him as a humanitarian gesture. His release, as well as the swap of a CIA agent held in Cuba for three Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States, paved the way for a historic agreement that will restore diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.

USAID said the settlement resolves unanticipated claims pending before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals under a cost-reimbursement contract and included claims related to Gross, who had served five years of a 15-year sentence at the time of his release.

The U.S. government has maintained that Gross was simply providing Internet access for the Jewish community in Cuba but the Cuban government said he was convicted for “illegally and covertly introducing … communications equipment meant only for military purposes.”

The Grosses filed a $60 million negligence suit in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia against both DAI and the federal government, alleging they had failed to adequately train and prepare him for the risks he would face in Cuba.

DAI earlier settled with the Grosses for an undisclosed amount but a judge dismissed the case against the government, saying it was immune from any claim arising in a foreign country.

USAID said the settlement with DAI, which was announced Tuesday, “avoids the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party.”

One comment

  1. TO QUOTE THIS ARTICLE: “USAID said the settlement with DAI, which was announced Tuesday, “avoids the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party.”

    My question then is: How much did the Cuban government have to pay the three cubans who were freed, through their Cuban government´s good diligent efforts to get them to freedom?

    The answer, of course, is: Nothing. Not one single penny, because they are grateful to their Cuban government who hlped to free them from U.S. Federal prison.

    In contrast, Alan Gross gets paid a stipend of $3.2 million for undergoing a so called “humanitarian missión” to Cuba. What a sorry ass, bad joke, this whole thing is. A guy as Alan Gross who, first, was subcontracted by DAI for over $500,000 for simply going to Cuba on various trips to conduct so called “humanitarian missions”. Therafter, Alan Gross turns around upon being imprisoned in Cuba for carrying an illegal high tech chip, such high tech chip not only illegal in Cuba, but it also not even allowed to be sold, in the free market, in the United States, and Alan Gross then sues is own government who–according to Alan Gross´ claims–has caused to subcontract him, because as he claimed the U.S. government did him wrong, although according to reports prior filed by Alan Gross´ associates stated he knew—perfectly well—the risks involved and which he was taking.

    The U.S. government and Alan Gross, both, must think the people of the United States are dum and stupid when the USAID recently stated the settlement with DAI, which was announced Tuesday was done to: “avoid the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party.”

    The whole thing is disgusting, yet with one good caviat: it has served to lay the foundation of the United States and the Cuban government to re-establish diplomatic relationships again.

    Now my question then is: when is the U.S. government (a government of the people and by the people) going to do away with the dozens of grants given to all the Cuba related foundations such as the Cuban American National Foundation, Radio Marti and the whole enssemble of programs of big watseful speding designed to cunter attack Cuba and without achieving nothing regarding the impending Cuba and U.S. diplomatic relations protocol and future dimensions.

    The exile infrastructure of grants to overthrow the Cuban government should be done away with. They resolve nothing and complicate matters and are a blatant act of interference between U.S. and Cuba diplomatic relations for the future as planned.

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