Photo: Alan Gross Sentence Upheld
The pleas of the U.S. government and Alan Gross’ family fell on deaf ears in Cuba again. First there was the two-day trial where the contractor was found guilty of crimes against the island nation and sentenced to 15-years in prison. Then on Friday Cuba upheld that 15-year sentence and dismissed Gross’ appeal. Gross has been detained in Cuba since 2009.
Gross’ family and the U.S. government have always maintained he was on the island attempting to improve the quality of life for the Cuban Jewish community by improving their internet access. In actuality he was a U.S. government subcontractor employee handing out satellite telecommunication equipment in defiance of Cuban law.
Today, Senator Robert Menendez, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee commented on the matter:
“The Cuban regime’s affirmation of USAID contractor Alan Gross’s 15year sentence for acts against the integrity and independence’ of Cuba is a vivid reminder of the intolerance and brutality of the authoritarian regime that has ruled the island for more than fifty years. Gross’ sentence eviscerates the notion held by some that the Castro brothers are embracing democratic reforms, but rather is a reminder that the regime seeks to control every aspect of life in Cuba and is willing to harshly punish anyone who challenges that control.”