Reporting Denise Koch
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Imprisoned in Cuba. A Maryland man has been in police custody for two and a half years for a crime he says he didn’t commit. With no end in sight, Alan Gross opens up about the accusations against him.
Denise Koch has more.
International aid worker Alan Gross– convicted of spying on Cuba for the United States government– claims he was on a humanitarian mission to bring technology to the Cuban Jewish community.
Gross is allowed one phone call per week and he has this to say about the charges against him: “They charged me with being a threat to the security and independence of the state, which was laughable. And if I weren’t in this situation, I’d be laughing about it because I’ve got as much of a threat to the security of the state as my as the chair is that I’m sitting in right now.”
Gross’s case has brought outrage on U.S. soil, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on the Cuban president to bring him home.
Gross says he’s thankful.
“I think that President Obama and Secretary Clinton have really done everything possible to obtain my release,” he said.
But Gross is no closer to coming home to his family in Montgomery County, including his terminally ill mother, Evelyn.
“I have a 90-year-old mother who has inoperable lung cancer,” he said. “And she’s not getting any younger. And she’s not getting any healthier. And my lawyer and I have written on more than one occasion to the government of Cuba, requesting permission for me to visit her. I would return to Cuba. You know, you can quote me on that.”
In the two years and five months he’s been held in Cuba, Gross has lost 100 pounds. He is serving out a 15-year sentence.