By Mary Bubala

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Jailed in Cuba. The campaign to get a Maryland man set free moves in a new direction.

Mary Bubala has the latest on this ongoing international drama.

Saturday marks the second anniversary of the arrest and imprisonment of Alan Gross in a Cuban prison. As the anniversary approaches, his family is increasing the pressure on the Castro family to reunite them.

“I know Alan must be suffering even more than I am,” said his mother, Evelyn Gross.

Alan Gross’s 89-year-old mother made an emotional appeal directly to Cuban President Raul Castro. Evelyn Gross has terminal lung cancer and is afraid she will die before her son is released.

“When I get up in the morning, the first thing on my mind is Alan, when I go to bed it’s Alan. I can’t be without him any longer. It’s not fair for him or his family or me,” said Evelyn Gross.

Gross is serving a 15-year sentence in Cuba accused of smuggling illegal communications equipment into the country. Gross claims he was only trying to help Havana’s Jewish community connect to the Internet.

This week, Cuba allowed the general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ to meet with Alan Gross. Dr. Michael Kinnamon said his health is worsening.

Gross has already lost more than 100 pounds.

“We have concerns for his health but he’s in good spirits, and we had a good conversation,” Kinnamon said.

His family maintains Alan Gross entered Cuba in 2009 with government customs approval to bring cell phone and laptops with him.

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski released a statement a short time ago saying if Cuba wants to improve relations with the United States, they need to release Alan Gross now.


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