Reporting Mary Bubala
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — Days away from the three-year anniversary of the arrest of a Maryland man accused of spying in Cuba, his wife and attorney call again for his release.
Mary Bubala reports much has changed for the Gross family since Dec. 3, 2009.
Judy Gross has sold the Montgomery County home she and her husband, Alan, shared for 18 years. Now, she lives in a small one-bedroom apartment and is living paycheck to paycheck.
This week a new photo of Alan was released. He has lost 110 pounds and has a mass on his shoulder.
According to Judy, an American radiologist reviewed her husband’s tests and records and concluded that the mass could be cancer.
But the Cuban government refutes claims that Gross is sick. They said a biopsy shows he does not have cancer.
Gross’ attorney, Jared Genser, wants an independent doctor to conduct tests.
“If the government of Cuba has nothing to fear because, in fact, his health is normal, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t allow an independent medical examination to be conducted so that we can be sure and we can have the confidence that Alan is, in fact, healthy,” said Genser.
“I cannot and will not allow my husband to die in a Cuban prison,” said Judy Gross.
Alan Gross is serving a 15-year prison sentence for espionage, but he says he was just setting up Internet access for a small Jewish community in Cuba.
The case has chilled relations between Cuba and the United States, with both sides pointing fingers and making demands.
Gross’ family is suing the U.S. government to take further action. Judy Gross relayed a conversation she had with her husband from Cuba.
“He said, ‘You know, Judy, I was sent here by the U.S. government, and I feel like I’ve been dumped here and forgotten,’” she said.
The Gross family also filed a lawsuit against his Maryland employer for failure to disclose the risks of traveling to do this kind of work.
The U.S. State Department has asked Cuba to release Alan Gross.