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Md. Man Marks 4 Years In Cuban Prison, Writes Letter Urging Obama To Secure His Release

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Four years ago Tuesday, a Maryland man was imprisoned in Cuba, accused of spying on the communist country.

Mary Bubala has the story.

Alan Gross continues to fight for his freedom–this time he’s written a letter to President Barack Obama pleading for help.

That letter was delivered to the White House on Tuesday.

Sixty-four-year-old Alan Gross, a subcontractor with the U.S. Agency for International Development, was arrested in Cuba on Dec. 3, 2009.

He was setting up an Internet network for the country’s Jewish community.

Gross was convicted in 2011 of crimes against the Cuban nation and sentenced to 15 years.

He now fears the U.S. government has forgotten him.

Gross writes to President Obama:

“With the utmost respect, Mr. President, I fear that my government – the very government I was serving when I began this nightmare – has abandoned me. Officials in your administration have expressed sympathy and called for my unconditional release, and I very much appreciate that. But it has not brought me home.”

The White House responded to the letter.

“We reiterate today our call for the Cuban government to release Alan Gross,” said Jay Carney, White House spokesperson. “Mr. Gross’s detention remains an impediment to more constructive relations between the United States and Cuba. Regarding your question about the president’s engagement on this, the president has himself personally engaged foreign leaders and other international figures to use their influence with Cuba to promote Mr. Gross’s release.”

Just hours before that news conference Gross’ wife Judy rallied outside the White House with other supporters, hoping to keep the pressure on President Obama.

“I am requesting that the president, the leader of this great nation, gets personally involved and to do whatever it takes to bring Alan home,” Judy Gross said.

In his letter to the president, Gross also describes his heartache of not being with his ailing daughter and mother and having to sell their home in Maryland.

Gross writes: “I ask that you take action to secure my release, for my sake and for the sake of my family.”

Both Alan Gross’ mother and daughter have battled cancer.

Earlier this year, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit the Gross family had filed against his employer claiming he was not informed of the possible danger of the mission in Cuba.

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